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German Wine Guide [Hardcover]

Armin Diel , Joel Payne
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: 14.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

8 July 1999
At the beginning of this century German Rieslings were the most expensive wines in the world, commanding higher prices than the top growths of Bordeaux. Today, in their incomparably light and elegant style, they offer value for money unmatched by any other wine-producing country. During the past decade, German producers have been paying more attention to quality of their wines, reducing yields but enhancing their reputations. The wine world has noticed, and the consumer is beginning to as well, meaning that there are more and better German wines in our stores all the times. The German Wine Guide provides a region-by-region critique of individual vineyards and wines, including tasting notes and a price guide. The scope, while selective, is vast, taking in both the known estates of the Mosel and little-known vineyards crafting fine wines. The authors are considered the two most influential wine writers in Germany. As German wines continue to attract more attention, this will be the resource both for aficionados and amateurs.

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German Wine Guide + The Finest Wines of Germany: A Regional Guide to the Best Producers and Their Wines
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 515 pages
  • Publisher: Abbeville Press Inc.,U.S. (8 July 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789205777
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789205773
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 14 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 732,117 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive, accessable and informative. 14 Jan 2000
By A Customer
This is an excellent book. It begins with a clear and precise explaination of all aspects of German wines. Two of the most useful and worthy aspects of the introduction are a brief description of German grape varieties, both noble and hybrid, and a thorough explaination of the esoteric world of German wine labels. Each viticultural region is dealt with in alphabetical order, and each of the recommended winemakers discussed. For each winemaker there is a table of notable wines, highlighting the score given (on a Robert Parker style scale), alcoholic strength of the wine, the grape, vineyard and (where appropriate) the quality bracket in which each wine officially resides. There are also helpful suggestions of the anticipated maturity of each wine. The book is particularly helpfukl to those like myself (a student) who cannot afford to spend megabucks on one wine. There are listed at the start of the book a selection of growers who offer particular value for money. At the end there is a summary of the relatively unknown spin-offs of the German wine industry, Sekt, Grappa and Marc. I can thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who has the interest to look beyond Liebfraumilch and Niersteiner Gutes Dormtal, into the delights of which the Riesling grape is able to provide. Whether one wishes to use this as reassurance when looking in a supermarket, or for a guide to touring German vineyards (as one might with the French Guide Hachette) this is well worth the money.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Out of date. 28 Dec 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is a catalogue of German wines with prices published in 1999. Now it is 14 years out of date. I sent it back because it is no use at all.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book on German Wines 16 July 1999
By btsai@hal.com - Published on Amazon.com
This is the best book I've seen so far on German wines, with comprehensive coverage of wine- producing areas and firsthand information on more producers than any other book I can think of.
The reviews are concise and the ratings seem objective enough to me, with no punches held back when called for. For example, the book has a 5-star rating system, but unlike other books which rarely give anyone less than 2 stars, this book lists quite a few producers as 1 or NO stars!
The book ranks 12 producers as the top in Germany, and argues that they are among the best in the world. I have experienced wines made by 8 out the 12, and agree what the authors say.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book 19 Jan 2003
By Randy Given - Published on Amazon.com
I enjoy owning this book. My favorite wine is Riesling and favorite terroir is Germany, especially Mosel-Saar-Ruwer. This book has that covered.
Granted, some of the vintage information is three years old. However, the reputations of the wineries has not changed that much. Vintages matter more in Germany and most European areas and much less so in places like California. However, much of that information can be applied equally to all German wineries, so looking online for general vintage information will do just as well -- the relative ratings in the book will still apply, so they are still helpful.
I also dislike using German currency, even though it is a German book that was translated (and translated exceptionally well, I might add). I would have preferred seeing prices in US currency for different price ranges.
A couple of (very short) sections seem to be a marketing campaign for German wines (perhaps that is how it is seen in the industry, as I would suspect, so that would be acceptable). This only amounts to a handful of pages, so not that bothersome.
There are good miniature tutorials on German terminology, wine labels, grapes, Pradikat and other classifications. There are 30 color photographs of different vineyard owners/managers. There are several different sections listing the best estates, along with the author's favorite picks from different wines.
The following sections are covered, with many estates from each section:
Hessische Bergstrasse
Each section has a description of that area as well as a scaled map. Immediately after that is a brief list of names broken down into their rating. For example, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer has 6 five-grape, 15 four-grape, 22 three-grape, 20 two-grape and 5 one-grape ratings. There are an additional 26 "other notable producers" that do not have detailed pages for those estates.
Each rated estate has a full page (or more) with great information about each. Besides access information (owner, address, phone, fax, directions, hours, history, etc.), there is a box about recent productions. This includes the vineyard area (in hectares), annual production (in bottles), top site, soil types, grape varieties (by percentage), average yield (hl/ha) and best vintages of that time. After that is a commentary on the vineyard as well as ratings of some 10 to 20 wines. After that is a black-and-white photo of the vineyard label, which is greatly helpful when looking for the wines at a wine shop.
At the back of the book are sections on the best sparkling wines, Marc and Fine, information bureaus and wine glasses.
Overall, it is an excellent and useful tool for German wines. Well worth the price, which is hardly more than a single bottle from most of the good wines of this region. Definitely a book to own and know.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Wines of Germany 11 April 2002
By Ron Hunka - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
"German Wine Guide"
Armin Diel and Joel Payne
ISBN 0-7892-0577-7
This book with the unassuming title is an encyclopedia of German wines. It has no pictures of scenery or vineyards. But it has photos of a number of German wine producers, an unusual touch, some of their labels, and some of their wine advertisements. This is a very serious wine book. It is not so much a book to be read as much as one to be studied. Most of it consists of ratings and listings of wines region by region in a highly systematic manner. One of the authors of this book, Armin Diel is a wine producer in Germany himself. In the past, I have enjoyed a bottle of wine from his estate in the Nahe wine region and read a little about the wines produced there.
Although I have no serious expertise on German wines - this book re-assured me of that - over the years I have tried wine in about half of the thirteen wine regions described in this book and tasted wine from others. The mention of the names of familiar towns and wines in Germany made this book interesting for me. Someone who is unfamiliar with Germany and these regions might grow tired of reading the lists of wine produced by various estates in them. In other words, this is probably not the right book for a person beginning to learn about German wines. It seems to me that it is more for someone who already knows something about them.
The authors give the prices, in marks, of the wines in this book, and some might be surprised to learn that a nice bottle of wine, including some of those listed here, can be had in Germany for as little as a few dollars. Another surprise is that there is even information in this book about two not too well known wine regions in the former East Germany, Saale-Unstrut and Sachsen, although they are apparently as yet not highly regarded.
One disappointment about this book, no fault of the authors, is that a good deal of what one reads about in it is not widely available in the United States. This is like reading an appealing menu without being able to order. Even in cities like Austin where I live, a good selection of German wines is difficult to come by.
As suggested earlier, it would be difficult to describe this book as "a read", but it is an excellent reference. The next time I go to Germany, along with my German dictionary, I intend to take this book. Prost!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Reference Guide To German Wines. 14 Aug 2000
By sherri j. thorne - Published on Amazon.com
This book is a tremendous help, in that it provides an in depth look at "The Best-Kept Sceret of The Wine World."
The point of departure is the 13 wine-growing regions, the names of the major wine producers and how they ranked based on the performance of their last 5 vintages. There is a brief history of the estates along with 'phone numbers should you wish to contact them directly. Cellar door prices are listed in German Marks, which is useless, unless you are in Germany and are going to buy from the producers directly. The authors give their recommendations about drinking dates and offer a good illustrated section on the various labels, and how to decipher them. Clearly, with profiles on 400 vintners and the 3,000 different wines which are rated, this book goes well beyond Riesling and Gewurtztraminer. That alone makes it well worth having.
20 of 28 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Biased and unfair 19 Jun 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
The book is good for listing producers but the ratings are very biased and unfair. Unfortunately, there is no other major German wine book, that is current. Two scandals of fall 99 and spring 2000 revealed that the samples are not tasted blind and that Armin Diel even sold leftover samples. The wines of the top producers are great, no doubt, but the better values are found elsewhere. The authors have certainly helped Herman Doennhoff for example to establish his high pricelevel, while I found the wines of 99 that I tasted were not to that level. Great other winemakers are left out, because they do not grease the wheel, just make great wine. Check out the producers with the lower ranking and you find best values.
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