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4.7 out of 5 stars15
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 8 December 2010
Michael Schuster does and excellent (and methodical) job of explaining the art of wine tasting. Nothing is assumed as the reader is taken through the correct process of tasting wine. This methodical approach is tremendously important and, as a matter of technique, it its application is equally useful to both the novice and the professional.

Michael employs a great specificity of language that will help readers understand exactly how oak, climate, grape variety, soil, and other factors influences the wine. This in turn can raise the readers' awareness, appreciation and enjoyment of wine.

This book has helped me understand wine better, and improved my ability to describe and write about wine. I am a professional Sommelier and a wine writer, and this book has unequivocally helped me in passing blind-tasting exams as well.

I see this book as an essential resource both for wine lovers and for wine professionals, and I recommend it whole-heartedly.
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on 27 November 2000
For anyone not lucky enough to have attended one of Michael's courses, this serves as an excellent alternative.
Schuster brings his customary eloquence to the printed page and goes further than others toward pinning down some of the less obvious nuances of wines. Reading this book and following its spirit will help anyone to get the most from wine - from Blue Nun to Cheval Blanc. Debunks many widely held myths and misconceptions and encourages objectivity in tasting - a sadly underestimated skill. The tutored tastings are a remarkably effective innovation - how can one resist the urge to reach for that corkscrew?
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on 11 February 2011
Bought this for my brother-in-law. Was highly recommended on Amazon but I was initially a bit disappointed when I received it because it's not a glossy guide you can particularly dip in and out. However, looking more closely it is a wonderful book if you want to actually learn to taste wine, rather than dip in and out. Effectively it's a bit of a course in wine tasting. What is nice is that it suggests wines to purchase with the details of tasting, and would be great for organising your own wine tasting parties!
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on 7 May 2002
Without a doubt the best wine book I have seen. Superbly laid out with easy to follow references. This book teaches practical knowledge on every page which comes to life in step by step tasting experiences. Michael Schuster has a great knack of bringing enjoyment to this art. The first book I have read that explains why a certain wine matches a certain food. I just want to read, learn and taste more.
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on 26 October 2000
You really don't need to be knowledgeable about wine to be inspired by this book - you just need to enjoy the taste of it! Essential Winetasting is an inspirational read, half way through which you'll be (well I was) tempted to ring up your friends, issue instructions on which wine to bring, and organise an impromptu tasting.
The book educates and informs with a style that's by turns absorbing, entertaining, and hugely educational - importantly, even as a 'novice', I never felt patronised or confused. It's beautifully illustrated throughout - particularly in the section on step by step guided tastings. It's this superb section which 'makes' the book; it allows you to put the knowledge you've just aquired into a practical, tutored context - which in turn ensures that the learning process becomes fun, instinctive and effortless.
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on 4 July 2012
This book is very well laid out, easy to read and very informative. If you are a beginner, this book is perfect.
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on 11 May 2012
If you are going to write what is, essentially, an introduction to wine tasting, for me the emphasis should be accessibility. All of the details associated with wine can be quite daunting, understanding how wine is made, grape varieties, and different wine growing regions, and the technical facts can sometimes be difficult to navigate. Consequently it's got to be a well written book, allowing a slightly nervous reader to feel at home. A little humour is nice. But also, chances are that if you have bought this kind of book, you do actually want to learn something about wine- so you've got to keep that focus on wine details as well. Tricky to balance these things; I almost feel the biggest attraction of Michael Schuster's `Essential Winestasting` is just how well it is done.

Recommended to me by a friend who is very involved with wine, it didn't disappoint. The glossy pages are packed with pictures, it's easy to pick up and read start to end, and with the many colourful summary boxes, you can also just look up bits and pieces of information for reference. In addition to the chapters you would expect, on grape varieties and so on, there is a chapter which forms a series of guided tastings- suggesting a few wines to buy, to compare and contrast particular wine characteristics, so that you can actually put the wine tasting ideas into practice. There's a notional price ceiling, and the top, expensive wines aren't discussed, which seems right for this kind of text; you should be able to purchase any wines talked about. This book is not a big wine reference book- so it's not going to come with loads of depth and detail- but if you are looking to start learning a little about wine, it is hard to envisage a much better read.
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on 31 January 2013
This is a great book for anyone who is starting to learn more about wine tasting.
It has everything you would expect & a lot more.
Whats more, its always a great reference book in the future, so I dont think I will be letting this book out of my sight in a hurry.

Thoroughly recommended.
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on 14 March 2013
One of the best book on Wine I have read. Well structured, informative, interesting easy to read. I would advise it to anyone that wishes to understand better the world of wine.
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on 28 April 2013
This is a really well presented book for beginners with loads of information without going overkill whilst still keeping it interesting.
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