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Wine and the Thirst for Knowledge
If a hundred years from now someone happens to be writing the history of wine in our times, he will have no choice but to call the end of the twentieth century the golden age of wine. What characterizes the last two decades is an astonishing improvement in quality, unfaltering ambition among producers, and a seemingly infinite demand for fine wines in the marketplace. We are encountering an undreamed-of enthusiasm in many parts of the world for the drink that--except for water and milk--is the oldest in the world. Grape growing has expanded into new regions, and winemaking has undergone significant innovations, quickly absorbing and applying the discoveries of modern oenology. All these new developments need to be absorbed into our thinking as well. We need a new, comprehensive reference work to understand what it is we are drinking and to appreciate the work that goes into offering our senses pleasures they never enjoyed before. Wine: From Grape to Glass was written to quench the exquisite thirst for knowledge that lovers of wine feel arising within whenever they uncork a bottle of fine wine.
Fabled Vintages and Other Good Libations
Wine: From Grape to Glass was written not for those who exclusively love French, German, or Italian wines, or for that matter, any other particular wines. It is for those who will drink this today and that tomorrow, but are always reaching for the best. And what is best? That depends on each eclectic wine lover's mood. Yesterday it was a simple country wine brought back from a vacation. Today you go through the ceremony of opening one of the grand, awe-inspiring vintages. Tomorrowit might be a completely unknown wine, maybe from a country only recently added to the world's wine atlas. All of these wines have their own personalities. On the wine merchant's shelf, they stand side by side. What differentiates them is their prices. This book helps to explain why one wine may cost a hundred dollars, another only ten. It tries to provide a key to the complex language of wine, and to illuminate the science of winemaking while honoring the art that creates great wines.
Take Part in the Wine Revolution
Drinking wine is an experience. For this reason, a wine book should not be dry reading. Wine: From Grape to Glass is a book that presents the reader with the visual experience of the nature of wine, of the way it grows, of how it is made out of grapes. You will learn about whole-bunch pressing and find out what is meant by batonnage. Your eyes will see where great taste comes from and where the famous vineyard of Romanee-Conti is located. You will be shown why wines age faster in small barrels than in large ones and why it is sometimes a good idea to decant even a young wine. The book goes into its subject deeply enough to ensure that while you taste the characteristic flavors of great wines, you become conscious of exactly what you are experiencing. All the information is important: it makes clear what separates a good wine from a great one. Only when wine connoisseurs appreciate what winemakers do can they grow with the revolutionary changes now taking place in the world of wine.
Posted January 18, 2010
Although this book is heavily bent towards European wines, it provides a great overall understanding of the process and transformation of the grape all the way from the moment its aromas enter your nose and its taste hits your lips. Along the way the reader will become familiar with overviews of viticultural techniques, several means of vinification, and how each plays a role in the end product. Throughout the book, color pictures, charts, and specific notes are highlighted, adding a facinating visual component to subject matter that is foreign to those who seldom, if even, get to walk a vineyard or winery.
In particular, there is a great section that discusses several different verietals, both red and white, with large pictures of most of the important grapes. Also, each wine region discussed is concluded with a note on how each region classifies the quality of its wines.
Overall, the book was highly insightful for the average wine connoisseur who is simply not content with enjoying the finished product, but who desires to know more of the journey. For everyone else, throw it on the coffee table and let people look at the great pictures.