Wine head girl Jancis Robinson publishes a new edition of her acclaimed Oxford Companion to Wine
, coming as close as anybody is likely to in achieving the unachievable goal of a detailed, comprehensive, single-volume work of reference covering the whole world of wines. Just how daunting the task of keeping up with the now practically supersonic pace of development in many areas of the wine industry must be is indicated by the need, only five years after the first edition, to issue another with updated versions of about half the 3,000 entries. It is an awesome achievement. Wine is now a modern, global industry: Jancis Robinson and her team of contributors require--and deliver--expertise in a really astonishing range of disciplines.
Practically every field of human knowledge seems to have something to contribute. From geology and soil chemistry, through forestry and the nature of the different woods used for barrels and the harvesting of cork bark, to the cultivation of the vine, its training and pruning, and the techniques of fermentation; the list extends even into areas of cutting-edge science such as DNA fingerprinting (which finally in 1997 unravelled the mystery of the parentage of the Cabernet Sauvignon grape--no, wild horses wouldn't drag it from me, you'll have to buy the book). This is not to mention the thorough coverage of wine regions and grape varieties, the role of wine through history and its presence in art, the glossary entries. One could go on and on. This is a stupendous feat of organisation. More than that, it is throughout well written and lively, and in possession of a healthy quantity of attitude. --Robin Davidson
"This is an invaluable resource for serious wine drinkers who never quench their thirst for learning about varietals, appellations, wine history, and vineyards."--Business Week"The greatest wine book ever published.... A worthy purchase even for those who already own its predecessor."--Michael Franz, The Washington Post"An encyclopedic reference.... If it's not here, it has nothing to do with wine."--Wine and Spirits"A wine lover's best friend."--La Cucina Italiana"The preeminent basic resource for wine lovers.... It is hard to believe that editor Jancis Robinson could improve upon a work whose first edition was so universally lauded, but indeed she has."--Wine EnthusiastReviews of the first edition: "A required reference for anyone who is serious about wine."--Frank J. Prial, The New York Times"Jancis Robinson has become the Julia Child of wine."--Newsday"One of the definitive reference books on the subject."--Anthony Dias Blue"Easily the most complete compendium of wine knowledge assembled in modern times.... Essential to even the smallest library of wine books."--The New York Times"This may be the most important book on wine to appear in the past 20 years....The very existence of this book stands as evidence of the significance of wine in our culture.... This volume will enhance the usefulness of every other wine book by providing authoritative explanations of the nuts and bolts that others treat only in passing."--The Washington Post