Grapes and Wines: An Encyclopedia of Grape Varieties Hardcover – 4 Oct 2001
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The subtitle, "The Key to Enjoying Modern Wine", indicates what Oz Clarke is up to in this new book Grapes and Wines. Most wines now, especially those from the New World and Australasia, are sold not on the name of a chateau-type maker or a négociant blender but on the (usually single) grape variety that has gone into it. The words Chardonnay or Syrah on a label arouse particular expectations in the taste-buds of buyers in wine shops or supermarkets. This represents an enormous change in the way wine is marketed and sold, a change that has come about only in the last few years and which has opened the world of wine to many who might otherwise be deterred by the arcane impenetrabilia of traditional wine nomenclature. Most of us, if pressed, could name a handful of the grape varieties used in wine making: Grapes and Wines is an alphabetical encyclopaedia listing hundreds of them in great detail, many, as Clarke points out, never described in print before. The great varieties--the Sauvignons Blancs, the Pinot Noirs, the Rieslings and their noble companions--get extended treatment, but in many ways the most exciting aspect of this book are the up-and-coming hopefuls grown in developing wine areas such as Eastern Europe and the profoundly new characters acquired by familiar grapes in new soils and climates. Think of the difference between a fine, aged Hermitage from the Rhone Valley and a juicy young Australian Shiraz, both as it happens made from the same grape. The fact that in France the grape is called Syrah points to some of the difficulties that Clarke and Rand must have faced in steering a clear path through the baffling complexities of vine naming, which is in general casual, local and historically contingent. Steer it they do, though, and this comprehensive, finely illustrated book forms a lasting ornament to Oz Clarke's mission to bring the pleasures of wine to as wide an audience as possible. --Robin Davidson
...another estimable tome, this one containing everything you ever wanted to know about wine grapes. -- Wine Enthusiast, December 15, 2001
...shows to the full his talents as taster, writer, hugely knowledgeable expert and enthusiast ...' -- Harpers, 2001
...the whole thing rattles along at a cracking pace. -- WINE, 2001
...well paced and thoughtfully written ... incredibly well researched. -- Time Out, 2001
This is an exhilarating book ... No serious wine lover's library is complete without it. -- Wine Spectator, December 31, 2001
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Top Customer Reviews
You're standing in Majestic or Tesco or whatever. What is Aglianico? Or Tannat? Garnatxa sounds familiar, and is, since it's the Grenache. Here's a wine made from a Malvasia Nera+Negro Amaro blend; come again? This book is clear, concise and brilliant for diving into - after half hour flipping through the pages you'll forget why you took it down from the shelf in the first place. Mind you, if, like me, you buy wine from all over the place, when the mood strikes you, you'll probably want to keep it in the car, not on the shelf!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have learnt a lot about wine and grape types a very helpful book at an great price, so good I bought one for a friend.Published 16 months ago by Jay rough rider