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The Oxford Companion to the Wines of North America Hardcover – 26 Oct 2000

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; First Edition edition (26 Oct. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 019860114X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198601142
  • Product Dimensions: 27.2 x 3 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,992,065 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


"impressively comprehensive" -- Independent 14/10/00

About the Author

Bruce Cass brings years of internationally recognized expertise to this remarkable project. He has taught wine classes on the Stanford University campus since 1972, helped found the Society of Wine Educators, and was the editorial consultant for James Halliday's Wine Atlas of California, which won both the Julia Child and the James Beard awards as Best Wine Book of 1993. He is a respected wine judge in international competitions both at home and abroad. He lives in San Francisco, California, where he runs the non-profit Pacific Rim Wine Education Center. Jancis Robinson is one of the world's leading authorities on wine and the editor of the acclaimed Oxford Companion to Wine. Now in its second edition, this bestseller has won numerous awards, including the Cliquot Book of the Year, the James Beard Award, the Julia Child/ International Association of Culinary Professionals Award, and the Andre Simon Memorial Award. The first British journalist to have passed the notoriously tough Master of Wine exams, she is now the wine columnist for the Financial Times and writes a regular column for publications in eleven countries on five continents, including The Los Angeles Times. She lives in London, England."

Inside This Book

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First Sentence
THOUGH vines grew wild in some regions of the vast continent, the indigenous peoples of North America were not wine consumers. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

0 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 7 Aug. 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is the best book on the subject by the world's greatest wine writer. (Jancis Robinson)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 7 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Wit and Unbelievable Wisdom 26 Dec. 2000
By Bob Prewitt - Published on
Format: Hardcover
"Waiting on Petite Sirah hoping for elegance is like marrying a stripper in the hope of witty conversation in old age."
This is the wonderful kind of wit that you find throughout this book. Bruce Cass, Jancis Robinson and the other fine wine writers who are responsible for the book's substance all appear to have a tremendous love of wine but don't need to deify it. I laughed out loud several times as I read descriptions of wines and wine characters.
The Wisdom is even more amazing. There is a wealth of factual information and interpretation. Just open up the book to any page and start to read. Within 45 seconds, you will utter, "Wow, I didn't know that."
This is the best book on wines written in a long time.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
an inferior supplement to the Oxford Companion to Wine 1 Feb. 2002
By Bob Carpenter - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The "Oxford Companion to Wine", edited by Jancis Robinson, is the definitive modern reference on wine. Not intended to be read as a book, the entries nevertheless make compelling reading and following the cross-referenced entries can easily consume a pleasurable evening. This "supplement" doesn't live up to the original in terms of quality, comprehensiveness or value. If you were expecting a version of the companion tuned to American wines, you'll be sorely disappointed. On the other hand, if you can't get enough of the original and long for more information on California growers, this isn't a bad start. We can always hope for a revised, expanded, second edition.
For the North American supplement, Jancis Robinson served only as a "consulting editor". She apparently corrected the editor's English usage (see the preface), but she didn't write any of the entries. She did write two throwaway pieces in the beginning of the book on "How Good are North American Wines?" and "Commentators and the Wine Media". There are roughly 60 pages worth of introduction to North American Wine, most of which I did not find deep enough to be particularly informative.
Almost all of the cross-references on vinification, wine-making, cellaring, tasting, defects, grapes, etc. are in the "Oxford Companion", making it essentially impossible to use the North American guide alone.
Compared to the "Oxford Companion", the entries are relatively breezy. The font is larger, the margins are wider, and the book is much shorter. Like the "Oxford Companion", the maps are truly horrendous; you'll remember them from coloring assignments in grade school. Invest in Hugh Johnson's and Jancis Robinson's wonderful new "World Atlas of Wine" for maps. The Atlas's coverage of North American wine styles, grapes and regions isn't half bad, either.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Good, but could have been better 8 Nov. 2006
By J.A. - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Given some of the less than stellar reviews of this book, I was expecting far less. This is a collection of excellent information specific to North American winemaking, wineries, producers, etc., that can't - to my knowledge at least - be found anywhere else "under the same roof". There are also some good introductory articles that are educational, especially for the neophyte.

True, the maps in the back of the book are fairly useless. They display towns, highways, mountain ranges, elevation, but no AVAs. That left me dumbfounded. I now know that Hwy 101 can take you from LA to Ventura and further north into Washington State, but - so what? I already knew that, and I live in Illinois. If you're going to include maps in a book like this, they need to be specific and informative.

Still, as I said, the fact that there is excellent information in the A-Z section, and that in the text of that section references are directly made to the Oxford Companion to Wine if the reader wants more information, makes this a very good reference.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Doesn't deliver as a "companion" 3 April 2001
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book for our public library's reference collection. Reviews indicated that this book would be an excellent source of information about wine. It falls far short of that. One example: I needed it for a definition of "syrah" (which they refer to in an article) - neither the alphabetical arrangement of the book nor the index yielded anything. This is a coffee table book and nothing more.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Definitely better books... 4 Sept. 2013
By CJInscore - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book based on a recommendation out of Kevin Zraly's book, Kevin Zraly's Complete Wine Course I think he recommends it in the Oregon wine section of his book. This book really does nothing for me. If you want to look up some wine terms its great, but more than likely, by the time you buy this book, you will already know the terms. The wineries it showcases are great, but the wines it recommends are impossible to find, as with most wine books...It is a great book if you are a bare bones beginner. Also, it is a bit dated.
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