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Grapes and Wines: An Encyclopedia of Grape Varieties Hardcover – 4 Oct 2001

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown & Company (4 Oct. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316857262
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316857260
  • Product Dimensions: 26 x 20.3 x 2.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 772,977 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

The subtitle, "The Key to Enjoying Modern Wine", indicates what Oz Clarke is up to in this new book Grapes and Wines. Most wines now, especially those from the New World and Australasia, are sold not on the name of a chateau-type maker or a négociant blender but on the (usually single) grape variety that has gone into it. The words Chardonnay or Syrah on a label arouse particular expectations in the taste-buds of buyers in wine shops or supermarkets. This represents an enormous change in the way wine is marketed and sold, a change that has come about only in the last few years and which has opened the world of wine to many who might otherwise be deterred by the arcane impenetrabilia of traditional wine nomenclature. Most of us, if pressed, could name a handful of the grape varieties used in wine making: Grapes and Wines is an alphabetical encyclopaedia listing hundreds of them in great detail, many, as Clarke points out, never described in print before. The great varieties--the Sauvignons Blancs, the Pinot Noirs, the Rieslings and their noble companions--get extended treatment, but in many ways the most exciting aspect of this book are the up-and-coming hopefuls grown in developing wine areas such as Eastern Europe and the profoundly new characters acquired by familiar grapes in new soils and climates. Think of the difference between a fine, aged Hermitage from the Rhone Valley and a juicy young Australian Shiraz, both as it happens made from the same grape. The fact that in France the grape is called Syrah points to some of the difficulties that Clarke and Rand must have faced in steering a clear path through the baffling complexities of vine naming, which is in general casual, local and historically contingent. Steer it they do, though, and this comprehensive, finely illustrated book forms a lasting ornament to Oz Clarke's mission to bring the pleasures of wine to as wide an audience as possible. --Robin Davidson

Review

...another estimable tome, this one containing everything you ever wanted to know about wine grapes. -- Wine Enthusiast, December 15, 2001

...shows to the full his talents as taster, writer, hugely knowledgeable expert and enthusiast ...' -- Harpers, 2001

...the whole thing rattles along at a cracking pace. -- WINE, 2001

...well paced and thoughtfully written ... incredibly well researched. -- Time Out, 2001

This is an exhilarating book ... No serious wine lover's library is complete without it. -- Wine Spectator, December 31, 2001

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By purrdey on 9 Oct. 2002
Format: Hardcover
Over the years I have built up a sizeable collection of wine books, but these days most wine books more than a few years old are a waste of shelf space. 20 years, or even for some people, 5 years ago, there was no conception of the extent of the world's new wine areas and the new grapes or blends from which wine is being made today.
You're standing in Majestic or Tesco or whatever. What is Aglianico? Or Tannat? Garnatxa sounds familiar, and is, since it's the Grenache. Here's a wine made from a Malvasia Nera+Negro Amaro blend; come again? This book is clear, concise and brilliant for diving into - after half hour flipping through the pages you'll forget why you took it down from the shelf in the first place. Mind you, if, like me, you buy wine from all over the place, when the mood strikes you, you'll probably want to keep it in the car, not on the shelf!
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 29 Nov. 2001
Format: Hardcover
I've just been given a copy of this for my birthday and I want to recommend it to everyone - even if, like me, you don't consider yourself a real wine buff. I am amazed by the sheer number of different grape varieties - most of which I've never heard of. This book will definitely encourage me to be more adventurous in my wine drinking. I particularly like the consumer information which lists best producers and recommended wines to try.
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By Rogerglan on 26 Dec. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book was in good condition as described. It does not have the detail of Jancis Robinson's earlier boot on grape varieties and distribution but is a useful update on that now ageing edition.
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By Jay rough rider on 30 April 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have learnt a lot about wine and grape types a very helpful book at an great price, so good I bought one for a friend.
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By Mark Le Sueur on 16 Nov. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A must have book, if you are serious about wine.
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