Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Wine Appreciation Guild (August 10, 2003)
Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 8.7 x 0.9 inches
Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #2,953,588 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #48 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Beverages & Wine > Wine & Spirits > Champagne #2395 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Beverages & Wine > Wine & Spirits > Wine #2452 in Books > Reference > Encyclopedias & Subject Guides > Cooking
In 1986 Tom Stevenson released his "Champagne" and established himself as a premier expert in bubbly wines. In this volume, he expands his range beyond the French region and considers other fizzy grape juice, both in France, and worldwide. This is a welcome release by an author who is thoughtful and makes positive contributions to wine scholarship, criticism, and appreciation.Critics of Stevenson often take issue with minor errors and typos in his trade paperback books (pocket buying guides). My observation is Stevenson's bookshelf reference works have all the careful editing you would expect for a premium product. I still find myself frequently reading his original tasting notes and information in his now 20 year old "Champagne."Stevenson's critics often take issue with his palate, selections, and emphasis. My own view is these critics are unfair. A serious wine drinker, who reads and thinks about wine, should keep first and foremost in mind their own preferences, while also developing ability to distinguish grapes and terroir. These objective skills, then coupled with self knowledge, let one understand and appreciate another wine critic's points of emphasis and preference. Almost anyone understands that Robert Parker's early views were heavily emphasized by a preference for sweet fruit, low acid, and his abiding love of stickies. Only after years have Parker's criticisms of dryer and more tannic wines become more balanced. Stevenson deserves similar sympathy and respect.A fundamental question then is: is this book worth it? For those who both like to drink, read, and think about wine, the answer is an unreserved yes. In addition, even for the casual consumer this work can help you save money on purchases.
He has a thoroughly enjoyable writing style (especially the puns) with superb information. I use the book very frequently when purchasing. These errors are minor but the sheer quantity of them seems inexcusable, especially in an encyclopedia and in an edition that has been "fully revised and updated".*The book does not explain the difference between "organic" and "bio-diversity" and the glossary makes them seem to be the same.*He uses the term "stone-fruit" to describe flavours and/or aromas but does not break this down. Stone fruit can include cherries, chokecherries, peaches, apricots, plums, dates, nectarines, etc. (each being prevalent in some wines) - what does he mean?*He uses the term "foursquare" frequently in describing a wine but provides no definition. I realize it is probably a British phrase but the book is sold world-wide.*He alludes to bottle shape possibly having some influence on the development of a wine's character but does not develop this thought.*There is superb, poor and inconsistent punctuation throughout the book. There are incorrect verb tenses. There are hundreds of places where commas would clarify meaning and ease the reader's experience. There are many double spaces between words within a sentence. Any word processing program should have caught this, and most of the spelling and grammar ones.*In a few instances, he disparages plastic corks. Yet, in other instances, he laments that bad corks ruined some wonderful Champagnes he was sampling. Readers would benefit from a more detailed explanation.*Sometimes he harshly criticizes a label design but he doesn't reproduce it to illustrate his point. Since labels are important to his rating system, this would be instructive.
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