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May 15, 2017 BOOKLIST
Find more Core Collection
Anyone seeking a degree of sophistication in life—knowledge of the finer things, including good food and rewarding travel—is bound to include wine on their list of desired competencies. The truth is—and, remember, in vino veritas (“in wine, truth”)—anyone who can read is capable of teaching themselves how to find their way around a wine rack with enough authority to bring a good bottle of wine to the table. The following guides are helpful, authoritative manuals to steer you in the right direction toward the viticulture awareness you seek. Salud!
Canadian Wineries. By Tony Aspler. 2013. Firefly, paper, $29.95 (9781770852440).
There are approximately 560 wineries in Canada, and wine columnist Aspler, accompanied by photographer Jean-Francois Bergeron, visits many of them in this stunningly beautiful guide. Four geographical areas are explored: British Columbia, Ontario, Québec, and Nova Scotia and the Atlantic provinces. Each winery is given a greatly informative profile.
Complete Wine Selector: How to Choose the Right Wine Every Time. By Katherine Cole. 2013. Firefly, paper, $24.95 (9781770852259).
How to “overcome your paralyzing fear of the world of wine” stands as Cole’s basic principle in this gorgeous, highly informative guide that ranges in subjectareas from the essential wine “styles” (including “crisp, lean whites” and “rich, full-bodied reds”) and help in buying and serving. The text is presented, for the most part, in easy-on-the-eye chart format.
Drink This: Wine Made Simple. By Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl. 2009. Ballantine, $26 (9780345511652).
The author carefully explains how to negotiate wine lists in restaurants, how to build your own wine collections, how and with what to serve wines, and how to comprehend the layouts of wine shops, all underscored by her fundamental principle that wine is about how and where grapes are grown. The book’s format is both attractive and comfortable.
How to Love Wine: A Memoir and Manifesto. By Eric Asimov. 2012. Morrow, $24.99 (9780061802522).
Wine fanatics, or those angling for entry to the world of wine, will find comfort in New York Times chief wine critic Asimov’s down-to-earth discussion of loving wine. His approach welcomes all, untangling the preposterous hype around wine scores, blind tastings, and grape varietals, aspects that supposedly separate the masters from the rest.
Inventing Wine: A New History of One of the World’s Most Ancient Pleasures. By Paul Lukacs. 2012. Norton, $28.95 (9780393064520).
In highly readable prose, Lukacs tells the story of winemaking’s worldwide history, recounting such ever-fascinating stories as the discovery of champagne and the creation of phenomenally unctuous and costly wines from what appear to be overripe, rotten grapes.
Kevin Zraly’s Complete Wine Course. By Kevin Zraly. 2011. Sterling Epicure, $27.95 (9781402787935).
Noted for his straightforward approach, Zraly aims to demystify the world of wine and turn wine drinking into an enjoyable experience that anyone can appreciate. The book is organized as a course textbook; “examinations” conclude class sessions with specific page citation to locate correct answers. The reference value of Zraly’s book cannot be overstated.
Michael Broadbent’s Vintage Wine. By Michael Broadbent. 2002. Houghton, $60 (9780151007042).
Particularly pleasurable to sit down and read cover to cover, this guide addresses buyers of fine vintages and takes on a confusing subject with common sense. Each wine cataloged here is given a zero- to five-star rating, and each major wine-producing region is afforded its own chapter, including those in France, California, and even New Zealand.
Unquenchable: A Tipsy Quest for the World’s Best Bargain Wines. By Natalie MacLean. 2011. Perigee, $24 (9780399537073).
This is a lively, entertaining tour of wines and a personal look at some of MacLean’s favorite wines, a book that says you don’t have to be rich or excessively refined to enjoy wine; you just have to know what you like.
Wine Appreciation. By Richard Vine. 1997. Wiley, $59.95 (9780471153962).
Starting with the chemical reactions that turn sugars to alcohol and gas, Vine outlines the scientific fundamentals of wine production. His botanical guide to the many varieties of grape vines helps the reader comprehend why wine stores offer their customers such a bewildering assortment of bottles.
The World Atlas of Wine. By Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson. 2013. IPG/Mitchell Beazley, $55 (9781845336899).
This large-format, luxurious book is a visual as well as informational feast, an essential reference work for any sizable public library wine-and-food collection. Now in its seventh edition, this highly regarded tome was first published in 1971, and its reputation as one of the best places to turn for learning about wine production in every region in the world has increased over the years.
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