on 15 July 2004
This isn't the book it could and should be. Anyone looking for more information than will be found in a guide like Hugh Johnson will be disappointed. The coverage is extensive, but not profound. For instance, I wanted to look up Sardinian wines because I was due to go to a Sardinian restaurant. More than half the wines on the restaurant's list weren't mentioned in this book. Notes on individual producers gave no idea of whether they were any good or not. This is true across the board. There are solid overviews of the different regions, but nothing you couldn't find out from a good general book on wine. Some of the best wines are cursorily treated. Look up Amarone and you get about sixty words; there is information on makers, but it's brief. The book's presentation is also quite drab, inside and out.
on 3 October 2000
This is a great starting place for anyone wanting to learn about Italian wines. Burton Anderson explains all of Italy's most important grape varieties and lists and describes all the major wine producing regions in Italy. It is easy to understand and concise. He gives star ratings for each of the regions and also vintage details. For £8.99 it is great value for money and I do not believe it is intended to give an in-depth insight into Italian wines but instead an overview directed at the beginner. Having bought, read and used this book recently, it is full of current, up-to-date information and I recommend it to anyone who has little knowledge about Italian wines but wants to know more.
on 3 January 2000
Lots of useful information on the wine growing areas of Italy, grape varieties, etc and producers. The disappointing aspect is that with the rise of the vdt there is not more information, for example Sassicaia is mentioned twice and vintage information is given but Antinori's Tignanello (which is almost of a par with Sass') is only given a passing mention, together with his other terrific (my opinion) wines, under the producers section. Think carefully before purchase because you will need further reference to complete the Italian picture!