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The Concise Guide to Wine and Blind Tasting [Kindle Edition]

Neel Burton , James Flewellen
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

This book is for all those seeking to acquire a deep and systematic understanding and appreciation of wine, whether for exams, work, or pleasure. It outlines a simple and yet robust framework for analysing wine as objectively as possible, and provides all the background knowledge that you need to interpret and evaluate your findings—covering everything from grape varieties and vineyard management to winemaking techniques and the world’s most important wine styles. Neel Burton and James Flewellen aim to provide you with a strong foundation in wine, which you can then build upon with your own, unique tasting experiences. **Winner Best Wine Education Book at the UK Gourmand Awards 2014**

From the back cover:
This clear and concise primer provides detailed coverage of all the major wine styles and regions, together with notes on the history of wine, viticulture, winemaking, and blind tasting. It seeks throughout to examine in what ways a given wine is unique and different from other, similar wines. For example, why and in what ways is Pauillac, in Bordeaux, different from Pomerol, also in Bordeaux? Why and in what ways is Mosel Riesling different from Riesling from the Rheingau, or the Nahe, or Alsace, Austria, or Australia? This book is dedicated to all wine lovers, and should prove particularly useful to competitive blind tasters, higher level and diploma students, winemakers, wine traders, and sommeliers.

About the authors:
Neel Burton is a psychiatrist, philosopher, writer, and wine-lover who lives and teaches in Oxford. James Flewellen is a biophysicist at Oxford University. While still a student, he led the university’s blind tasting team to victory in several competitions, most notably the Sciences Po International Tasting (SPIT) and the Varsity Match against Cambridge University.

Reviews:
A comprehensive education in wine… speaks to both the novice and the seasoned oenophile. Read diligently, it will transform the wine drinker’s understanding and appreciation of the magic that is wine. --The Times Literary Supplement

...a book that will be of benefit to anyone taking a Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) course in the coming years. --Paul O'Doherty, JancisRobinson.com

This is a splendid, concise, up-to-date, comprehensive and accurate guide ... Warmly recommended! --Clive Coates MW, Author of The Wines of Burgundy

This excellent book covers all aspects [of blind tasting], in a delightful yet sophisticated way. --Konstantinos Lazarakis MW, Author of The Wines of Greece

Anyone, whether eager volunteer or unsuspecting victim, who has experienced the mental and sensory rigours of blind tasting will welcome this helping hand with open arms. --Gabriel Savage, Managing Editor, The Drinks Business

The book is a trustworthy and valuable resource to have, and would doubtless become well thumbed by any serious wine devotee. --Richard Hemming, JancisRobinson.com

The book is unique in the way it sets out to examine what makes similar wines different ... I wish this book had been available when I was studying for my WSET Diploma. --Colin Smith, IWC and IWSC Judge

Anyone either considering taking on, or in the middle of, a wine course such as the WSET should consider this essential reading. --Thomas Parker, Purchaser at Farr Vintners

Salient characteristics of each of the world’s wine-producing regions are captured both succinctly and lucidly. This is an indispensable guide. --Michael Palij MW, Founder of Winetraders and Winematters

A fine introduction to the world of wine to anybody who is remotely serious about it. --thewinedoctor.com

This is a book that needed to be written … I recommend it to my wine degree students at Plumpton College. --Matthew Hudson, Course Leader, Plumpton College

Burton and Flewellen prove to be singularly diligent guides. The tone is brisk and businesslike, never lapsing into gratuitous academia. --Graham Holter, The Wine Merchant magazine


Editorial Reviews

Review

The book is a trustworthy and valuable resource to have, and would doubtless become well thumbed by any serious wine devotee. --Richard Hemming, JancisRobinson.com

...a book that will be of benefit to anyone taking a Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) course in the coming years. --Paul O'Doherty, JancisRobinson.com


A fine introduction to the world of wine to anybody who is remotely serious about it. --Chris Kissack, thewinedoctor.com

This is a book that needed to be written ... I recommend it to my wine degree students at Plumpton College. --Matthew Hudson, Course Leader, Plumpton College

Burton and Flewellen prove to be singularly diligent guides. The tone is brisk and businesslike, never lapsing into gratuitous academia. --Graham Holter, The Wine Merchant Magazine

A comprehensive education in wine... speaks to both the novice and the seasoned oenophile. Read diligently, it will transform the wine drinker's understanding and appreciation of the magic that is wine. --The Times Literary Supplement 

This is a splendid, concise, up-to-date, comprehensive and accurate guide ... Warmly recommended! --Clive Coates MW, Author of The Wines of Burgundy 

This excellent book covers all aspects [of blind tasting], in a delightful yet sophisticated way. --Konstantinos Lazarakis MW, Author of The Wines of Greece

From the Inside Flap

This book is for all those seeking to acquire a deep and systematic understanding and appreciation of wine, whether for exams, work, or pleasure. It outlines a simple and yet robust framework for analysing wine as objectively as possible, and provides all the background knowledge that you need to interpret and evaluate your findings--covering everything from grape varieties and vineyard management to winemaking techniques and the world's most important wine styles. Neel Burton and James Flewellen aim to provide you with a strong foundation in wine, which you can then build upon with your own, unique tasting experiences.

Product Details

  • File Size: 5510 KB
  • Print Length: 388 pages
  • Publisher: Acheron Press (February 20, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00IKFH1D6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #281,454 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Although there are some very good books on wine tasting this is the first that I know of focusing on blind tastings.

It gives a concise but fairly complete introduction to winemaking and viticulture and then summarizes each of the main winemaking regions of the world in order to give the reader the fundamentals to spot wines and varietals in a logical manner.

It is also the first publication I've seen to give proper crib sheets comparing wines from different regions made from the same varietals.

A must have for MW/MS students and wine lovers who have fun doing blind tastings.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terroir and Tasting April 12, 2014
By J.K.R.
Format:Kindle Edition
An exceptional guide/field resource for the budding oenophile and seasoned taster alike. But ultimately this book is about teaching people how to better understand and thereby better enjoy their wine. By learning how to identify the varied nuances from each wine's individual character be it through region, year, variety, or maker, a more full and more rewarding experience may be achieved. For me, the guided study of these nuances is the key differentiator of this book from others, particularly with the emphasis on the idea of "terroir", or in practical terms, the final expression of the wine due to the specific conditions and characteristics of the land it comes from.

Curiously, I'm not aware of any other book out there that achieve what this one does, which is to meld the how, what, and whys of wine in a way that adds context from a wine-tasting perspective. I found chapter 4 particularly helpful in this respect. But for those curious about the book's overall content, one should look forward to the address of multiple topics including but not limited to:

-Wine history
-Wine making
-Wine production / why does one production method create a different tasting wine, and why is that method chosen over others?
-Wine tasting techniques / approaches
-Climate and terroir's effect on wine
-Wine tasting profiles of various grape types (Extensive tasting notes across a vast number of varieties in this area)
-Wine and food pairing

One caveat I will mention is that this book may not be suited for the absolute beginner, as I think some experience tasting the major wine varieties will be helpful in understanding some of the descriptions and characteristics discussed in the book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Contribution for Connoisseurs March 29, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine reference May 31, 2014
By matt
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I picked this thinking it would be a very good review. In reality, I think it represents a very nice reference which can and should be included in the libraries of those doing CSW/CWE, WSET3/Diploma, and the various French Wine Society programs. It is well written and factual.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, largely accessible April 2, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Specialist terminology made the early chapters on viticulture and winemaking a challenge, though I’d nonetheless fallen in love with the book by Chapter Four: Blind Tasting. Who else but this psychiatrist and biochemist duo could have so deftly articulated the interplay of agriculture, sensory stimuli, and human perception? The sample tasting notes linking appearance, nose, and palate to particular grapes, terroir, and vintages are second-to-none.

Twenty three chapters on geographic regions of varying magnitude (Burgundy, Germany, Australia) or wine type (sparkling, fortified) comprise the bulk of the work. Personally I was delighted to find my own home, Washington, included in the chapter on the USA and Canada. Highlights among the appendices include directions for setting up a blind tasting as well as crib sheets to assist serious competitors. One might expect a “Concise Guide” to cater to the beginner; quite to the contrary, Burton & Flewellen’s opus is one that this budding oenophile will be growing into for the next decade and beyond.
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