Hardcover: 388 pages
Publisher: Acheron Press; 1 edition (May 31, 2014)
Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.1 x 8.7 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #94,080 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #21 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Beverages & Wine > Wine & Spirits > Wine Tasting #106 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Beverages & Wine > Wine & Spirits > Wine
There are numerous books on the subject of wine and wine tasting but very little is included on the practice of blind tasting as a means of assessing and evaluating wines objectively from basic fundamentals without previous insight or bias. I miss the lavish full colour illustrations and detailed maps of more traditional tomes, but undoubtedly ‘The Concise Guide to Wine and Blind Tasting’ is the work of wine lovers for wine lovers. It is a joint production by psychiatrist Neel Burton and biophysicist James Flewellen – both clearly passionate as well as knowledgeable.In addition to the usual historical material on the earliest wines made from wild fruits, the principles of viticulture’s vines and grapes, or the picking, crushing, fermentation etc. of wine production, or classification systems etc. there is great emphasis on assistance for readers to identify styles of grape varieties and to distinguish them according to origins. This is achieved with examples and with explanations on how climate influences the wine, how soil types govern what is grown etc. Not all is straightforward and a lot of careful reading is required – it is evidence for connoisseurs! Appearance, texture, nose, palette, sweetness, alcohol level etc. – all are considered, and readers must be prepared for ‘overload’.The unique contribution of ‘The Concise Guide to Wine and Blind Tasting’ is the advice it offers on how to organise blind tasting events - complete with a series of ‘crib sheets’. Authors move on from merely describing wines to examining the ways in which particular kinds of wine are what they are, and how they are similar or different from other wines.
An exceptional guide/field resource for the budding oenophile and seasoned taster alike. But ultimately this book is about teaching people how to better understand and thereby better enjoy their wine. By learning how to identify the varied nuances from each wine's individual character be it through region, year, variety, or maker, a more full and more rewarding experience may be achieved. For me, the guided study of these nuances is the key differentiator of this book from others, particularly with the emphasis on the idea of "terroir", or in practical terms, the final expression of the wine due to the specific conditions and characteristics of the land it comes from.Curiously, I'm not aware of any other book out there that achieve what this one does, which is to meld the how, what, and whys of wine in a way that adds context from a wine-tasting perspective. I found chapter 4 particularly helpful in this respect. But for those curious about the book's overall content, one should look forward to the address of multiple topics including but not limited to:-Wine history-Wine making-Wine production / why does one production method create a different tasting wine, and why is that method chosen over others?-Wine tasting techniques / approaches-Climate and terroir's effect on wine-Wine tasting profiles of various grape types (Extensive tasting notes across a vast number of varieties in this area)-Wine and food pairingOne caveat I will mention is that this book may not be suited for the absolute beginner, as I think some experience tasting the major wine varieties will be helpful in understanding some of the descriptions and characteristics discussed in the book.
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