on 24 November 2010
Wines are normally described based on the location, wine yard or country of origin. Oz Clarke had however the brilliant idea to describe wines based on the grape(s) used. Information is given on each grape used for making of wine. For the most important grapes, further details are given such as history and geographic locations, viticulture and vinification, taste and a limited number of recommended producers and wines. Since the world of wine is constantly changing, this book is regularly updated, the latest revision is from 2008. It gives a very original, unique and informative look on the available wines around the world, therefore highly recommended for all wine lovers.
on 10 January 2011
We are very lucky that the product 'Wine' is very closely related to the 'Vine' or Cepage as the French call it and to an important extent the 'Terroir'. Very few products have such a close relationship that we can taste and is visible.
Oz Clarke's book `Grapes and Wines: A comprehensive Guide to Varieties and Flavours', brings out the importance of knowing and appreciating the `story' of the different cepages and their occurrence in the various regions and continents. Carmenere, from Chilé, was considered to be Merlot, but later was found that Carmenere originated from Bordeaux, flourishes in Chilé but has disappeared from Bordeaux. And to our understanding, it is not found anywhere else with a Bordeaux climate.
The book is a delight to read and is also an easy reference book. Internet can provide good information and must not be excluded,but is not as comprehensive as this book.
I am following a three-year oenology course in Brussels, and find Oz Clarke's book very helpful to complement the lectures, wine tasting and field trips. There are far more vines than the `usual suspects' Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, ... or Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc, Semillion, in lesser volumes but not lesser taste, for lack of a better word.
Knowing something of a wine's cepage, helps in appreciating the wine much more.