Not the first book on Port or the region to be written by Richard Mayson so rest assured this overall guide and which encompasses mainly port but also the still wines of the Douro region of Portugal has been written by a person who knows his material.
To call this an introduction would do the book a disservice. Covering the history, the vineyards, the shippers as well as the winemaking techniques, I purchased the book prior to a trip to this region. I was very thankful I did. Many minor details that I saw in the vineyards as well as in the shipping houses of Oporto I would not have picked up on has I not read the majority of this book first.
Mayson's book can be read cover to cover if you are a bit of a wine nerd. I fall into that category but reading the alphabetical descriptions of the port producers and shippers requires that sort of mindset. However, for the average enthusiast or someone looking to dip in an out the book offers well written chapters that can be read more or less in isolation. Other chapters such as the one which described pretty much every vintage of port are exceptionally useful to help distinguish the nuances between vintages or to show off you knowledge to friends. A much welcome glossary is included to help through the jargon associated with port. So if you Colheita from your Qunita a hand reminder is contained at the back.
The history of port is fascinating and many much larger tomes have been dedicated to the subject over the years but for a well written broader based book this (especially if you then visit the region) will have you drinking more port, paying far more attention to what is on the shelves at your supermarket or wine merchant and much happier for the whole experience!!
If you are keen to learn about Port this is the book to read; up to date and written by an authority on the region. Master of Wine students and WSET Diploma students should certainly have this on their reading lists.Port and the Douro (Infinite Ideas Classic Wine)
At last a new book, by a british citizen, on Port, the wine that the Scots, the English and the Dutch have helped to create, together with the Portuguese and the Galicians. For long time, the English have written very good books on Port, its origin, its story and its tasting! But in recent years they have edited less books and drunk less wine! At last, R Mayson, a very respected agent of this trade, has published a wonderfull book! A. Barreto