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Authentic Wine: Toward Natural and Sustainable Winemaking Hardcover – September 15, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


"A very good book. . . . One of the more balanced and detailed accounts dealing with the issue of sustainable winemaking."- Robert M. Parker, Jr.
(Robert M. Parker, Jr. The Wine Advocate 2011-11-22)

“An ocean's worth of savvy detail about both the more (organic farming, the endless shades of sustainability) and less (reverse osmosis, acidification) happy nuances of making wine.”
(San Francisco Chronicle 2011-08-14)

“A compelling manifesto for natural wine . . . the understandable, everyday terms used make this a genuine guide to wine science for the citizen.”
(Brian Elliott Scotland On Sunday 2011-11-30)

“‘Authentic Wine’ performs the invaluable service of raising crucial questions and explaining complicated issues coherently.”
(Eric Asimov New York Times 2011-12-13)

“It's been a good year for wine books. The most compelling new book is undoubtedly Authentic Wine by Jamie Goode and Sam Harrop.”
(Huon Hooke Sydney Morning Herald 2011-12-06)

“Ambitiously comprehensive. . . . Illuminating.”
(Beverley Blanning Decanter 2012-04-01)

"A very well written and useful book with a long shelf life. Once read, it is one to dip in and out of regularly."
(Mary Gorman-McAdams The Kitchn 2011-12-01)

From the Inside Flap

"Goode and Harrop are terroirists determined to protect and preserve wine as a unique part of civilized life. Authentic Wine is both stirring manifesto and a reasoned, practical guide. Vive les terroirists!"—Mike Veseth, author of Wine Wars: The Curse of the Blue Nun, the Miracle of Two Buck Chuck and the Revenge of the Terroirists

“Jamie Goode is a rarity in the wine world: a trained scientist who can explain complicated subjects without dumbing them down or coming over like a pointy head. It also helps that he’s a terrific writer with a real passion for his subject.”—Tim Atkin MW

“It is not surprising that wine often stimulates the flow of bile - often exchanged between highly opinionated groups of wine writers, drinkers and kibbitzers, each with a different aesthetic and ideology. This book by Jamie Goode and Sam Harrop mounts a passionate defense of "natural wine" from an utterly rational perspective. They make the case that we must choose to grow grapes and make wines in a natural way, allowing the wines to achieve the greatest expression of individuality, lest we drown in an a wine-dark (possibly over-extracted) sea of sameness.”--Randall Grahm, author of Been Doon So Long

"Praise for Jamie Goode's The Science of Wine":

“Mr. Goode has written one of the most enlightening and clearheaded wine books to appear in years. This is a wine book you’ll actually read and reread.”--Matt Kramer, New York Sun

“Lively and provocative.”--Eric Asimov, New York Times

“Goode’s readable prose makes even the most technical subjects accessible. For anyone interested in more than just drinking wine, this is a must read.”Wine Enthusiast


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; First Edition edition (September 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520265637
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520265639
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.1 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #480,600 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Patrick on February 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am surprised this book has not yet been reviewed. First of all, it should be said that this is not a ligt read. Many of the discussions require concentration and I found myself reading them several times to fully grasp what they were tying together. Tis book is more suited someone who is interested in learning about the science of wine faults,chemistry, in addition to details related to yeast, grafting, alcohol and ripeness, how wine can be manipulated, etc. the authors have done a good job looking at both sides of an argument.

I have learned a great deal from this book and highly recommend it to anyone who wants to better understand things mentioned above. The issues are also timely and, while they are not always necessarily popular, they are topics that the wine industry should discuss. I have read several bloggers who are overly critical of this book and get hung up on a couple of controversial points (Tom Wark from Fermentation is one example).

Again, if you want to understand why you smell rubber, smoke or gooseberry in a wine, buy this book.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By DPHBrooklyn on March 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This review first appeared in

Authentic Wine: Toward Natural and Sustainable Winemaking is a title one might expect to find on an academic paper, presented at an obscure symposium, or perhaps at a wine industry conference. It is a yawner, isn't it? The book itself is not. The first and last portions of Authentic Wine, which try to define authentic wine and how it might be promoted, are not always well thought out. The authors' commitment to natural wine making sometimes seems a bit shaky, and their proposals rather naive. But in between the mildly polemical chapters is the broader portion of the book, more scientifically based, with interesting observations on such diverse topics as terroir, vine grafting, wild vs. cultured yeasts, and how to make wine without sulfur additions.

Did you know?

* The concept of "minerality" in wine is almost certainly a misnomer, since vines cannot absorb the aromas or flavors of blue slate, chalk or any of the other soil types wine lovers praise. What is described as "minerality" is more likely a combination of high acidity and volatile sulfur compounds, perhaps with an assist by the yeast Brettanomyces.

* Robert M. Parker, who has been accused of promoting "inauthentic wine" is a part owner of Beaux Frères, a biodynamic winery.

* A 2008 survey of pesticides in wine found that every bottle of wine made from conventionally farmed grapes contained pesticide residues. While the levels may not be injurious to public health, wouldn't no trace (as in nearly all of the organic wines tested) be preferable?
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Thomas J Pace III on June 1, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
First off, this is not a guide nor is it all about "natural wine." While this book is a bit advanced, it is not a textbook. Authentic Wine reads like an academic paper touching on the various topics in winemaking. It explains clearly the issues facing winemaking from viticulture to must adjustments, yeast inoculations to packaging. Clearly this was designed for those with serious interest in wine and not for the average consumer as it borders on being very technical (although shying away from serious chemistry and science). What I appreciated was the vast amount of discussion that the authors had with viticulture experts, enologists, consultants and winemakers who are involved at all levels of making wine - authentic, natural, organic or sustainable. I also enjoyed discussions on biodynamic farming as this is one of the more confusing trends in wine growing today.

The goal of this book is to demystify "natural wine" and to encourage everyone, from winemakers to consumers, to seek out sustainable wines that display character and a sense of place. It isn't all about organic farming, no SO2 additions and indigenous yeast.

This book is not for everyone but it does shed light on the industry as a whole with a focus given to healthy vineyards and less-manipulated wine.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very well written, balanced, informative, thought-provoking, relevant, and some will find it inspiring. As a vigneron I resonated with the messages about minimalism in the vineyard and winery. Each chapter had (more than) enough detail to become reasonably informed about the relevant issues, and thereby evaluate the various sides given in the real-life examples. Take the chapter about biodynamic viticulture - I thought there was enough information, and the opinions of those practicing it, to evaluate its merits, and toy with the idea of whether it would be personally relevant. I really appreciated the authors' efforts to present all sides of an issue. I think I understood their positions, but I never felt like the book was preaching. For example, after exploring the two extremes on natural winemaking they concluded by suggesting that in reality "natural" is a continuum, and that some practices that are seen by some as unnatural might actually allow the wine to be presented more naturally (e.g. by ridding the wine of aggregious faults one can see the true representation of the terroir from where the grapes were grown). There are so many books about wine, but this is one that had me thinking. Well worth your time.
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