Wine: A Practical Guide to Enjoying Your Selection

Wine: A Practical Guide to Enjoying Your Selection

by Jens Priewe
     
 

Following the success of the author's Wine: From Grape to Glass, this new book offers a treasury of invaluable information for the contemporary wine consumer who would like to know more about caring for wine and serving it properly. It answers such questions as, How do you store wine? What sorts of glasses allow you to enjoy it most? How long can you

Overview

Following the success of the author's Wine: From Grape to Glass, this new book offers a treasury of invaluable information for the contemporary wine consumer who would like to know more about caring for wine and serving it properly. It answers such questions as, How do you store wine? What sorts of glasses allow you to enjoy it most? How long can you keep it? In addition to covering all the basics, this book provides numerous tips and tricks on such subjects as how to prevent the cork from breaking when opening a bottle; what the experts have to say about chilling and warming wines; how to hold a Champagne bottle to prevent spillage; how to store wine even if you live in a small apartment, and much more.

The wonderfully knowledgeable text is illustrated with more than 200 illustrations, including inspiring images specially commissioned for the book and step-by-step photos and drawings. Rounding out the information are a glossary of wine terms and a guide to Web sites. With so much to offer, this book enables both beginners and more knowledgeable wine lovers to fully appreciate the pleasures of wine.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780789207456
Publisher:
Abbeville Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/28/2006
Edition description:
1ST
Pages:
128
Product dimensions:
7.75(w) x 10.00(h) x (d)

Read an Excerpt

Preface

The Proper Handling of Wine

Countless people have discovered the fascination of wine in the past few years, experimenting with different wines, visiting wine-growing regions, and no longer waiting for Christmas or Easter to open a bottle. The loveliest drink in the world has become an essential element of their lives, on a par with music, theater, or literature. Increasingly, they are concerned about the proper handling of wine: how to store it, what sorts of glasses are best for it, how long it should be expected to age. More experience wine lovers may already have discovered answers to these questions. But many of them would like to know still more. This book was written with both kinds of wine lovers in mind.

Wine—A Practical Guide shows you how to take care of wine for maximum enjoyment. How to avoid breaking a cork. Why people call a capsule a “lead” capsule even though it may be made of tin. What it means when mold has formed under a capsule. What sediment is. Which corkscrews work best. Why the formation of bubbles in the glass is a reason for complaint in a red wine but not in a white. What can happen if a Champagne is exposed too long to light, and how to hold a Champagne bottle when opening it so that it doesn’t gush out.

Whenever I have eaten in a restaurant in the past few years, I have quietly watched what goes on with the waiters and sommeliers and made notes. How do they quickly chill a wine? How do they warm it up if it has come up from the cellar too cool? And whenever wine collectors have invited me to visit their cellars, I have quizzed them about their experiences with vertical and horizontal storage, about raised corks, and about how they prevent the temperature in a wine cellar from fluctuating too much. When sampling wines with vineyard owners, we have compared the taste of a wine served from the bottle with that of the same wine from a carafe and learned that you should not only decant certain red wines but also certain white wines.

Such instructive conversations have helped convince me of the need for this book, as did a number of disappointing experiences—especially in restaurants: red wines served too warm, white wines ice-cold, glasses filled to the rim. Many restaurants are still somewhat unaware in their treatment of wine. Others exploit the ignorance of their guests, serving a red wine in a glass intended for white wine and refilling it so quickly that you scarcely have a chance to savor it— let alone process the alcohol. There are also plenty of wine lovers who don’t have the foggiest notion about how to serve wines properly. Some go about it with antiquated ceremony, others with excessive caution.

And here’s something else. Anyone who drinks fine wines needs more than one corkscrew. This book lists the various useful gadgets you will need if you decide to take wine seriously, from a capsule cutter to an aroma stopper, from a carafe holder to the computer software that will help you manage your wine cellar. Epicures may sneer at some of these accessories, but wine professionals do not find them silly at all.

That is how it is with wine. There are no simple truths. Opening a bottle, serving the wine, and tasting it—this is all simple enough if you have the perfect wine merchant coaching you every step of the way. If you don’t, you need to learn on your own how to take care of the loveliest drink in the world.

Meet the Author

Jens Priewe was a journalist covering politics and economics for 20 years before writing exclusively about wine 15 years ago. His books include Wine: From Grape to Glass and Italy's Great Wines. A regular contributor to culinary magazines, he lives in Munich.

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