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This review is from: Essential Winetasting: The Complete Practical Winetasting Course (Paperback)
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.