Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyHere, we're talking about Burgundy wines in the most precise sense: the produce, red or white, of the ``thirty-one-mile-long escarpment'' known as the Cote d'Or in northern France, based on cultivation of the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grape. Introductory chapters define terms of appreciation. While other wines may be drunk for mere enjoyment, Kramer ( Making Sense of Wine ) notes that the charge of Burgundy wine is to pay homage to special qualities of the ``minerally or stoney; chalky or earthy'' Burgundian terrain. To the extent that they bring out the ``earth'' in a wine, Kramer defends such techniques as sulfuring and chaptalization (or ``sugaring''). He evaluates site characteristics and winemaking techniques of each identifiable estate within the region's districts, conferring his findings in 400 pages of agreeably travel-guide-like text. But in evaluating Burgundies, Kramer struggles, as all wine writers must, with adjectives yearning for context. A wine may be ``thickly muscled,'' ``flabby'' or ``almost brutish in its amplitude.'' He does not cover the actual technique of tasting, how to cellar or serve Burgundies, or what to serve them with. (Nov.)
Library Journal - Library JournalKramer's previous book, Making Sense of Wine ( LJ 9/1/89), was a primer for beginning connoisseurs. This second volume of the ``Making Sense of . . . '' series is aimed at more advanced oenephiles who wish to understand wines from France's Burgundy region. From the vineyards to the wineries and wine shops, Kramer explains the features for which these wines have long been treasured. While naming and discussing producers, he does not make recommendations on specific vintages. However, the author provides a listing of vineyard owners and their holdings. Compiled in 1986 and since removed from public inspection by the French government, these records make Kramer's book a unique guide to one of the industry's best-kept secrets. Recommended for larger libraries.-- Peter C. Leonard, Mt. Lebanon P.L., Pa.
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