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Vines, Grapes and Wines: The Wine Drinker's Guide to Grape Varieties [Paperback]

Jancis Robinson
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

29 Oct 1992
Shows how the key to the appreciation, understanding and enjoyment of every wine we drink is in the grape variety the wine is made from.

Product details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Mitchell Beazley; New edition edition (29 Oct 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857329996
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857329995
  • Product Dimensions: 2.4 x 20.4 x 27.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 189,368 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Jancis Robinson MW is internationally renowned for her witty, authoritative wine writing and her books The World Atlas of Wine and The Oxford Companion to Wine are among the most important in wine literature. She is acclaimed as 'awesomely intelligent' (Guardian) and 'a writer of breathtaking clarity' (The Spectator). With (subscribers in nearly 100 countries) and her flock of Twitter followers, she is something of an online pioneer as a wine communicator. She makes frequent visits to the USA to stay ahead of the crowd and, in the early 1980s, was the first British journalist to take a serious interest in American wine.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
This thicket of arrows showing just some of the more seminal movements of the vine vividly illustrates the trouble man has taken to furnish himself with a drink both stimulating and palatable. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Without a doubt this is by far the most comprehensive guide to wine grapes available. Every grape you will ever encounter in you wine drinking life, (and many more you won't), will be included here with a detailed entry and the major varieties are discussed at great length. Better still this is all done with the upmost clarity and without the pretentiousness which often accompanies less gifted authors on the subject of wine.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great stuff but very dated 13 May 2005
I greatly enjoyed this book, but found that the author dwelled a bit too much on facts about where and how much each grape variety is grown, and much of the data is from a 1979 census which doesn't seem too relevant now. Also, the information on Spain is very out of date as it is only in the last 15 years or so that Spain has got its wine act together. Apart from that, very recommended as no other book I have seen covers this subject so extensively and so well.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Useful, if dated, resource 22 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The content and design are both dated but some things don't change and so this is a useful resource. I think Jancis' style comes across as a touch pompous but it doesn't get in the way.

A book to keep for dipping into, possibly in the smallest room.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deep perspective 5 Oct 2001
By F. G. Hamer - Published on
Jancis Robinson has long been one of the established authorities on wine. I once watched her and Oz Clark in a wine tasting 'contest' on television. They were an even match with scores of almost 100% on vineyard, price, year, quality etc. I've also watched Robinson's television series on wines and her knowledge and enthusiasm seem to know no bounds.
In 'Vines, Grapes and Wines' Jancis Robinson puts this enthusiasm and knowledge to good use, producing 280 large format pages of unadulterated information and pictures. It's clear she wants her readers to know not just about the wine itself, but about the region, the soil, the climate, the vintners, the wine's history.
This is not an cozy weekend read, it's much more a reference book that gives both pleasure and information, but well worth the investment for any serious wine buff.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A reference book no-one should be caught without 16 Aug 2003
By stephen wong - Published on
Simply put, this is one of the classics and a must-have for anyone with more than a passing interest in wine. Although it is several years old now and certain parts are out of date in terms of trends and the planting patterns of some younger wine-producing countries, the important bits are still are relevant as ever. The most comprehensive and invaluable book on grape varieties, purely for its reference fact value. Oz Clarke and Margaret Rand have written a more up-to-date bok covering the same topic, but that is less focussed on the grape itself as the wines made around the world with the particular grape. If you can have both, all the better, but if you had to choose one, this one would be it.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating 1 Sep 2002
By A Customer - Published on
This is a fascinating, well-written book, sure to be of interest to anyone wanting to deepen their knowledge of what's in their wine glass. It's a perfect companion piece to Johnson and Robinson's _Wine Atlas_. The bulk of the book is devoted to descriptions of "classic," "major," and "other" varieties, with the first two categories getting detailed treatment. There's also a section on "Where grapes grow and why" and some very interesting maps and analyses of great vineyards (e.g., Chateau Margaux and the Rutherford Bench).
One minor caveat is that the book doesn't seem to have been revised since it first appeared in 1986. So some of the "sociological" parts of the text (e.g., where specific varietals are being grown, and comments on their popularity) are becoming increasingly out of date, especially for the New World. But it's kind of interesting to be reminded that in the mid-1980s Syrah (aka Shiraz) enjoyed only "very limited popularity" (p. 90).
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Detailed and pretty interesting 1 Mar 2000
By Michaeleen Callahan - Published on
This book is incredibly informative. I often re-read sections because you cannot absorb all the information at once. Robinson's writing is clear, but sometimes the details (especially the history sections) are dry. I think of this as almost a text book but a readable text book with great pictures!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still a valuable resource 9 Nov 2006
By Jonathan Appleseed - Published on
While not as exhaustive as "Oz Clarke's Encylopedia of Grapes", this does contain information that Clarke's book does not. Before the three sections on grapes (Classic Varieties, Major Varieties, Other Varieties) there is a section entitled "Where Grapes Grow and Why" that provides valuable insight. Some of the information is dated, however, and that should be a caution to anyone reading this for use as a text. For example, the book uses a 1979 "census" of the varieties grown in Champagne. The figures quoted in 1979 are far different than those today. So be careful if you quote this book with specific regard to data.
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