This book is perfect for anyone studying for their WSET exams, I wish I had read it before. It is consise, informative and straight forward. I particularly enjoyed the blind tasting guide and I will be putting some of them to the test with my wine tasting group. The comparisons made between similar wines and what makes them different sets this book apart from others and inspires the reader to have a go! I will also write a review on my blog Lovewinelovefood.com
Full of praise for this wine writer. I worked in the South African wine industry and wished to learn a little more about wine globally. I can tell from his discussions about my own local wine that he does his research most thoroughly. So often writers are exposed when they venture into territory you know a lot about. Neel covers an enormous amount of territory in a very readable way. Great book to give a framework to your wider wine knowledge and education.
This guide is perfect for those interested in learning more about wine and the art of wine tasting. Ideal for reading before a tasting, during a tasting and after a tasting! It provides a simple framework for tasting a wine and delivers interesting background knowledge on wines from all over the world. It is beautifully written and is entirely accessible to the beginner. I couldn't recommend a better book to anyone interested in wine!
There are numerous books on the subject of wine and wine tasting but very little is included on the practice of blind tasting as a means of assessing and evaluating wines objectively from basic fundamentals without previous insight or bias. I miss the lavish full colour illustrations and detailed maps of more traditional tomes, but undoubtedly ‘The Concise Guide to Wine and Blind Tasting’ is the work of wine lovers for wine lovers. It is a joint production by psychiatrist Neel Burton and biophysicist James Flewellen – both clearly passionate as well as knowledgeable.
In addition to the usual historical material on the earliest wines made from wild fruits, the principles of viticulture’s vines and grapes, or the picking, crushing, fermentation etc. of wine production, or classification systems etc. there is great emphasis on assistance for readers to identify styles of grape varieties and to distinguish them according to origins. This is achieved with examples and with explanations on how climate influences the wine, how soil types govern what is grown etc. Not all is straightforward and a lot of careful reading is required – it is evidence for connoisseurs! Appearance, texture, nose, palette, sweetness, alcohol level etc. – all are considered, and readers must be prepared for ‘overload’.
The unique contribution of ‘The Concise Guide to Wine and Blind Tasting’ is the advice it offers on how to organise blind tasting events - complete with a series of ‘crib sheets’. Authors move on from merely describing wines to examining the ways in which particular kinds of wine are what they are, and how they are similar or different from other wines. Connoisseurs will welcome the Appendices on setting up blind tastings and on choosing foods to suit various wines – for me it will be party entertainment – but ‘The Concise Guide to Wine and Blind Tasting’ is a serious work suited to extending the skills of students and professionals. Potential readers are recommended to visit [...] for a more eloquent overview.
A number of additions to the first edition make this the only book in its field worth considering. Written in a highly approachable style, it is hugely informative without being patronising to those who are still finding their feet in the world of wine. A must for experts and novices alike
An excellent work, very focused and with good details and descriptions of a very difficult subject. Suitable for all levels of interest and expertise, including up to WSET Diploma level too. In fact a good aide memoire for all serious wine buffs.