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4.3 out of 5 stars62
4.3 out of 5 stars
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I found this a very helpful little book which gives a good account of the basics of wine without being patronising or pompous. I suspect that I'm like quite a few people who might be considering this book - I'm not a wine expert by any means, but I have picked up some knowledge of grapes, countries and regions and so on - and I found that it filled in a lot of the gaps in my knowledge and has some really useful information in an accessible and easy-to-use format.

The book covers the basics of how wine is made, from the growing of the grapes to the bottling and ageing and gives an overview of the way in which the climate and "terroir" of a region and the techniques of winemaking can affect the taste of the wine. There is a pretty comprehensive list of grape varieties with their characteristics and sections on how to chose, store and enjoy wine, all full of useful guidance - particularly the section on pairing wine with food - and some basics of buying wine and cooking with wine. The major section of the book, though, is "Wine Regions of the World," which I thought was very good. It gives, country by country, a brief but informative guide to the various regions with a guide to their main characteristics and some suggestions of "One to watch" producers. To be able to look up easily a little bit of information about an obscure Portuguese region, for example, or to have a simple guide to the labyrinthine appellation systems of Bordeaux or Burgundy is a real bonus for me and I found this a really helpful section.

It's a very handy and easy book to refer to and the pocket-size format does mean that if you wish you can easily take this little book with you when you might be buying wine, which is a useful feature. The "Bible" in the title is a very exaggerated claim, but I'd certainly recommend it to anyone who drinks wine and would like a simple, practical and pretty comprehensive guide to augment their knowledge.
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The style of this small book is not dissimilar to all those mountains of books which inevitably come out every Christmas trying to cash in on the success of Schott's Almanac. However, unlike many of those pieces of useless gift tat, this actually serves as a good introduction to learning more about wine for those who know little or nothing to begin with and would like to know a bit more, and avoids the snobbery surrounding the subject from many quarters. For those with a bit of knowledge some of it may seem too simplistic however.

Topics covered include: a brief history of winemaking and how wine is made; varieties of grape (necessarily this only covers the most common); winemaking regions of the world (the largest section of the book); enjoying wine (looking, smelling, tasting and describing); wine and food (some basic principles of wine and food matching, ordering wine in restaurants, cooking with wine); buying wine (reading lables, where to buy wine); storing wine; and wine and health.

Five stars for fulfilling the purpose of a good introduction for beginners, but as noted above probably would not make a great gift for those of a more intermediate level.
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VINE VOICEon 13 December 2009
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The wine pocket Bible

The wine pocket Bible is another book in the "Pocket Bibles" series and is indeed a winner covering all aspects of wine lore in a easy to read and well formatted styler.

Following on from an introduction which itself looks at the history of wine. From here the book itself is in a number of sections; each discussing wine from a different perspective.

The first section of the book covers all aspects of making wine from growing grapes (of all varieties) all the way to fermentation and blending of the finished product to produce particular styles. These chapters go very nicely with the next section which looks at different regions of the world discussing the characteristic styles of wines produced in different regions. This section makes up the largest section of the book by far; understandably since there are a lot of wine making regions in the world.

We then get to perhaps the most important part of the and whilst one might think that wine is easy to enjoy; simply pop open a bottle and guzzle down the contents; there are actually a range of details which when followed makes for a more enjoyable drink. Here we discuss how to look at the wine; noting features such as colour, aroma and "legs". Logically enough the next stage of the book describes wines most important bedfellow - Food; discussing what wines are good with what foods. Finally the book details how to buy and store wine.

In all, I found this book to be very informative and easy to read. I'll certainly be keeping a copy in my pocket when I visit a wine shop ready for Christmas in a few weeks
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VINE VOICEon 10 January 2010
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is only a small hardback, but a really handy one to have around if you're a lover of wine.

It has eight chapters that are really well put together. They focus on the following:

1. How wine is made
2. Varieties of grape
3. Wine regions of the world
4. Enjoying wine
5. Wind and food
6. Buying wine
7. Storing wine
8. Wine and health

As you can see from the contents of the book above, this small book covers the majority of what you need to know about wine. I learnt quite a few things from it, and more so than some of the more complex books on wine from some well known authors. What I like about the book is that it is a really easy book to pick up and have a quick 'flick through' to find a little nugget of wine knowledge. If you have ever read Ben Schott's 'Food and Drink Miscellany' you'll be right at home with this book as they are similarly put together.

I really like this book, i refer to it as a quick reference, i read it for a bit more wine knowledge but most of all, I like it for what it is - a well put together comprehensive small book on wine.
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a great little wine book full of interesting hints, tips and advice about wine, its history and most of the regions where it is produced.

For the wine novice like me, it manages to be informative without being pretentious or condescending and I think that it draws you in, provides a little help where needed, and boosts confidence.

Whilst I have only tasted half a dozen or so of the wines identified in Wine Pocket Bible, I'm more or less in agreement with the notes, and will start to try and be a little more adventurous and branch out ... I wouldn't have a problem in sticking the book in my back pocket when setting off on a wine buying trip, and in fact, I spotted a copy on the shelf of my local independent wine merchant last week. If it is good enough for them, it is good enough for me.

An excellent present idea for the wine novice ... heartily recommended.
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VINE VOICEon 17 December 2009
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
As befitting a bible, this is less a book you'd read from start to finish (though I did) and more a book you'd refer to specific sections as and when you're seeking pointers in the right direction. Whilst many wine books written by oenophiles are partisan (and honest about it), detailing that writer's personal preferences and tastes, this book is not prejudiced against any region or grape (nor any budget). Indeed, it is comprehensive almost to the point of being exhaustive, which is quite an achievement for its sub-200 page count.

Though it delves briefly into the history and process of winemaking, and also includes short chapters on storing and investing in wine, at the heart of the book is the tour of the major (and some minor) wine regions of the world. Each country (and for France particularly, each region of the country) has a map showing how different regions and 'terroirs' are connected, and the book then details which grapes are grown where. In as such if you already know a wine you liked and want to find others like it, but still explore further, this book will nudge you in the direction of several possibilities. Alternatively, it'd probably be just as enjoyable to dive right in blind and trust its writers' recommendations.

Ultimately the proof is in the drinking, and what this book does is help you read wine bottle labels, to understand whether a wine comes from a highly regarded region, whether it is mass produced or expensive for good reason, and more importantly, to know whether it is likely to be to your tastes. It is not a buying guide, and contains no prices, and besides a handful of specifically recommended bottles, it empowers you to make your own choices rather than make them for you.
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on 17 December 2009
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Not a book for wine snobs, it is a simple book on wine that will hopefully allow you to understand and appreciate the different pleasures that is available to you from a humble glass of wine. Easily readable, easy to pick up and hopefully easy to navigate when trying to decide what wine will complete a meal or to bring a good day to an end. The pocket bible range always seem to be good worthwhile reads (check out the christmas pocket bible - v.good) and gives a sharper punch than a lot of the other "worthy" books about wine. Worth purchasing- a big yes. Cheers.
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VINE VOICEon 10 December 2009
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The Wine Pocket Bible follows the same format of other books in the series. Capturing the essence of the subject in a pint size...or should that be...Carafe sized pot.
The authors,Andrew Smith and Jenny Dodd cover just about every facet of the subject, from the history of fermenting grapes to modern day wine making. Offering advice on wine selection,storage and appropriate complimentary foods.
All packed in a little book not much bigger than a diary. A useful stocking filler come Xmas time.
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on 8 December 2009
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Like many people in the UK, I love a glass or two of red wine, especially with a meal. But I would guess that also like many people I tend to stick to the usual, run of the mill wines that you can buy from your local Supermarket usually in the form of some Australian Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot. I've often attempted to try something a bit more adventurous, but as I have little knowledge of wine types and characteristics, I usually end up with something that I really don't like.

This little book is a real gem. It's hardly an extensive list of wines and grape varieties, but it does give the average novice (like myself) a basic grounding in the subject. Interspersed with interesting facts, it covers the main grape varieties and regions of the world. The great thing about this sort of publication is that you can just dip into it from time to time when you have 5 minutes to spare.

As other reviewers have mentioned, if you have some knowledge and experience with wines then this will be too basic. However, if like me, your knowledge of the wine world is limited to Blossom Hill or Hardys then I would highly recommend this little book. It would also make a great gift for any wine novice who likes a drop of the old vino.
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VINE VOICEon 10 January 2010
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
There is a lot of information in this book which, although necessarily selective to fit the format, is mostly relevant and concise.

The book is divided into several subjects, the biggest of which, Wine Regions of the World takes up half the book. Even then, only the major areas within each country are covered. You will need to look elsewhere for anything off the beaten track. Other sections include buying wine, matching with food and wine and health. The first chapter covers how wine is made, the inclusion of which may be debatable as, when you are looking for tips for buying and drinking wine, is not really relevant (if you are buying a car for example, you won't necessarily want to know about its production). However it may be useful for, say, someone who doesn't know how rose wine is made and may have been mixing red and white with less than perfect results.

This is a useful book to have around if you need some quick concise information and it is easy to read. If you want more in depth information, you can look elsewhere but this book may help to point you in the right direction.
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