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New Sotheby's Wine Encyclopedia [Hardcover]

Tom Stevenson

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The Sotheby's Wine Encyclopedia The Sotheby's Wine Encyclopedia
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BBC Good Food Magazine, 1 February, 2006

'It’s a great gift for a wine buff' --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
55 of 58 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Feast For Oenophiles 22 Sep 2005
By Jonathan Appleseed - Published on Amazon.com
When I first reviewed this book, I must have been on crack. I gave it four stars, but accused it of leaving out "almost unforgivable" information. Looking through it again, I'm shaking my head, wondering if I was looking at a different book, perhaps Curious George, or Fox on Socks. The New Sotheby's Wine Encyclopedia has information that is unavailable in any other credible book on wine.

This reference is AMAZING, and belongs on every wine lover's bookshelf, even if you have The Oxford Companion to Wine, The World Atlas of Wine, Ox Clarke's Encyclopedia of Grapes, and others. Many of the maps included in this book are superior to those found in The World Atlas of Wine (strangely odd), and nowhere can you find a more comprehensive listing of major wine producers. Every wine making country in the world is covered (as far as I know), and that is something lacking in other references. I don't mean to knock other references, but each reference has a slightly different slant, each provides information that the other doesn't. To me, this book, along with the aforementioned books, completes an unsurpassed reference quadrology.

If you're an oenophile, or a wannabe oenophile, you need this book on your shelf.

I offer my sincere apologies to the author for my earlier review.

Amazon's policies will not allow me to change the rating, but make no mistake: this is a five star book.
41 of 47 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars New Guide is Not So New 13 Aug 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
I bought the 1997 (or brown covered) encyclopedia a few years back (which I love by the way) and decided to purchase the updated version to find new and updated information such as new wineries or ones that were upcoming and warranted coverage in the new book. I am so dissapointed. The only change I could find is a box containing information on wine quality from 1997 to 2000. Tom Stevenson didn't even change one word in his cover letter! Even the page numbers in each book have the same information! The winery ratings didn't change - or not from what I could tell. Unless I can actually see what's inside the next version, I will never purchase an version again. If you own an earlier version, do not purchase this book - it's a waste of money.

I rated it 2 stars, not because of the content, but because it is not updated as the cover indicates (see red circle). I do however question just how much Tom Stevenson puts into research with each book edition if nothing c
64 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best single-volume general wine reference I know of 6 Nov 2001
By Max W. Hauser - Published on Amazon.com
In the "wine-drinking" countries (which excludes the US, by about a
factor of 10 per capita), a knowledge of wine at the casual level is
pretty widespread. When people want to know more, they turn to
an expert. This is typically someone who has spent his or her life
in some part of the wine trade and therefore whose livelihood has
depended on ability to satisfy, and accurately advise, customers.
There are even highly respected standards such as the British
Master of Wine examination that will establish whether a person
genuinely knows the subject and can also smell and taste all of the
nuances that he claims to. (The MW exam is notoriously revealing
and would undoubtedly depopulate overnight the ranks of the
self-appointed US wine pundits, which may be why many of them
pointedly avoid reference to it.) In the US, which lacks most of
these traditions, any musician or sportswriter or lawyer can claim
to be a wine expert and there's a fair chance they'd get a Following,
self-perpetuating on the basis of popularity.
Fortunately in the US, relying on such writers is not (yet) compulsory.
It is possible to get books by English-language writers of very high
caliber and experience, who mostly are in other countries (such as
Clive Coates, Serena Sutcliffe, Remington Norman, and Michael
Broadbent). Stevenson comes from this tradition, and although his
book is not as specialized as those of the other authors I've just
named, it is compensatingly broad. There is a desperate need for
accessible one-volume introductory wine books. Blake Ozias's "All
About Wine" served this need in the US, 25 or 35 years ago, but it
is badly out of date (not to mention out of print); it was a thin book
you could absorb in a few evenings. Stevenson's is different, it is
a genuine encyclopedia, combining succinct overviews of all kinds
of wine-making regions (including Texas and Mexico) with further
depth on producers and labels in the larger regions. The compact
snapshot on Beaujolais, for example, is superb, first laying out the
history and styles, then illustrating many producers that you will in
fact encounter in the shops. It distinguishes the deep, complex
wines that the region can make from the bubble-gum style that has
become more common recently. More generally, if you found a
random bottle of wine that you were interested in, there is a decent
chance you could look it up in Stevenson and learn much more.
This is the best single-volume general wine reference I'm currently
aware of. I have recommended it to several people who wanted to
learn more about wine and all of them have been very satisfied.
36 of 45 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars wide but superficial 10 Aug 2003
By "javalsan" - Published on Amazon.com
I'm a professional of wine working in Shanghai. I purchased this book in Amazon after the advise of a friend. I found the book to be interesting and a complete work, but I think his view sometimes lacks actuality. Although the author's mastery in wine tasting is out of discussion, his presentation of tasting is outdated: nowadays nobody can asses the origin of a wine just by tasting: the examples the author proposes are valid just in a ideal world without Australian Shiraz-Mourvedre, South African Cabernet-Merlot or Californian Zinfandel (otherwise rightly commented in his book).
I can't help but bring here the review of "Toro" wine growing area. The author dispatches this area with few words, the last of them to tell us "among the many dirty cellars I have seen in my life, this one in Toro is the filthiest". This is the only comment he makes about wine cellars on that area. I bought also "The Oxford Companion to Wine" and Robert Parker's sixth edition of Wine buyer's guide. In "The Oxford Companion to Wine", edited by Jancis Robinson, in this region "a small number of producers have fostered a move away from the heavy, bulk reds of recent times, notably Manuel Farina, Vega Sauco and Frutos Villar". Concise and accurate, like all the rest in this excellent book.
Mr. Parker has tasted the wines more carefully: this region" has adopted modern technology, and the results have been some rich, full-bodied, deeply flavoured, southern Rhone-like wine from wineries like Farina. They taste similar to the big, lush, peppery wines of France's Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Gigondas, and they represent astonishing values..." He found one of the wines produced there to be outstanding, and several others to be good.
Nobody would expect from a wine taster to have the last news from every piece of vineyard on the world, but the word from such a well-known, reputable professional is too heavy to be delivered so lightly.
3.0 out of 5 stars Goes into detail but... 23 Oct 2013
By ShoeHeaux - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Well my only gripe is wine changes and evolves so much that there is only so much info in these editions and you will continually want and in some part need to buy the updated version. Now I have an encyclopedia set of these atlas.
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