An interesting read for this reviewer, being a wine consumer rather than a wine connoisseur or expert, this book provides a detailed history and overview of wine from Sicily (Italy).
However this book is not a tasting guide, where you get to see that the author has used a thesaurus to try and describe in florid terms an opinion or two, but a more generic look at what makes Sicilian wines "tick". With this in mind, as a by-product it provides a rather interesting generic look at wine matters that can aid the unwary reader in their quest for knowledge.
Clearly this is an academic-orientated work that the average reader can take advantage of, looking at the very earliest origins of Sicilian wine and wine culture and a general walk through history to more current times. Matters such as geography, ecology and broad social issues are also brought under the author's analytical gaze. Nothing appears to have been left out. Despite its long historical pedigree, Sicilian wine does not have the same reach, exposure and awareness that is enjoyed by other wine-growing regions. A number of factors are responsible for this and are behind the gradual changes that have led to the wine's present-day exposure. In a strange way this development is like reading an action novel, if such a comparison may be used. Changes within the industry, technological developments and political manoeuvres have all played their part and the author gets behind these and gives an interesting, jargon-free commentary to the reader.
As the author notes, Sicily is only now rediscovering the quality of its indigenous grape varieties and distinctive terroirs such as the slopes of Mount Etna, leading to many observers considering Sicilian wine to be a bit of a "undiscovered gem" still hiding in the shadows.
This is no lightweight read due to the sheer mass of information being thrown at the reader and there is even more information available for those who seek it courtesy of an extensive series of notes and a detailed selected bibliography. The author has managed to make the manuscript readable by the enthusiastic amateur whilst not compromising academic integrity and accessibility. This is probably not going to be a general introduction to wine for the average reader, but the more enthusiastic consumer might find this a very detailed look behind something that still retains a fairly low profile in the international wine world.
on 19 December 2013
A somewhat scholarly approach, but it contains plenty of information for lovers of history, practical viticulturists, wine consumers. The historical informationa and description of the land is wonderful. The part with terrior I like although being a geologist it is much to say. Guess the chemist also like a word abou terrior. But it is nicly put. The only realy negative thing in my opinion is to few pictures and maps.I am going to Siciliy this summer and going to memorize many pages from this book about the wine areas.