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Sotheby's Wine Encyclopedia Hardcover – Unabridged, October 31, 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Tom Stevenson has been writing about wine for thirty years. He is the author of twenty-three critically acclaimed books and the winner of thirty-one literary awards, including Wine Writer of the Year-three times.

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Product Details

  • Series: Sotheby's Wine Encyclopedia
  • Hardcover: 736 pages
  • Publisher: DK ADULT; 5 edition (October 31, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0756686849
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756686840
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 1.9 x 11.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #386,879 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book is a needed update: the world of wine moves ever forward, and many appellation systems throughout the world are in flux. New sections on cooperages, glassware, and an expanded variety section are good additions. The producer profiles remain a little disappointing in some areas, and as always Stevenson makes his own opinions and views very apparent--an occasionally awkward approach for an encyclopedic tome, but ultimately a refreshing one.

Stevenson is never something to be read from cover to cover, but this book will likely remain on your shelf as a resource for years to come, and every fresh look brings some new detail to light.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was my go to text for the WSET Advanced level as well as the Certified level of the Court of Master Sommeliers. This text has enough information to easily cover almost any question on those exams. For the Advanced level as well as the WSET Diploma, this is still a handy reference. The Oxford will be a bit more useful for those upper level exams. But that is not to say this is only a reference text for wine students. No, this book is a wonderful overview of wine production as well as wine regions across the globe. I recommend this highly over the Kevin Zraly text and the Wine Bible by McNiel.

The updates are not quite as dramatic as in other texts. Mainly the author adds a few newly approved appellations and updates the vintage charts in each section. There are also many new photos. But the bulk of the book remains unchanged, and it doesn't need to be changed. I have purchased three revisions, this being the third. Each one does contain enough new information to warrant updating to the new version: if you are using it to study. If you are just a wine consumer, the updates may not be worth getting the new edition. Mainly I was tired of the old highlights from my previous study sessions!

If you are working towards wine certifications, this should be one of the three books that form the foundation along with World Atlas of Wine and The Oxford Companion to Wine, 3rd Edition. These three texts are amazing and well researched and cross checked.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm not a sommelier, nor do I play one on TV, but I bought this encyclopedia to try to get a better knowledge of wine, and boy it's the real deal! I'm only about 10 pages in, and I've already learned a ton!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I wanted to learn more about wine, and boy, did I learn more than I wanted to. This is an encyclopedia and is used mainly for reference. This is the most popular book in my coffee table pile. Usually a starter of conversations and even helps your chances with the ladies sometimes.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
this book is so incredibly thorough and i cannot believe how detailed it is. i have over 7 wine books, various version, editions, etc but this one is amazing. i read it nonstop and can carry this one with me when studying and not need to source from another book! i'm a fan.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is very well constructed. The information contained within far exceeds what I would have expected to find in density and depth. Each 2 page spread I encounter seems to cover more information than I have found in entire chapters of some other wine references.

This density of information makes some portions of this book, especially the lengthy lists of individual producers, not a light or "fun" read. However these portions of the book make invaluable reference points for anyone wanting to build a professional level of knowledge. The first several chapters of this book should be required reading for anyone who wants to work in wine retail, and there should be a copy available as a reference in every store. The list of grape varieties is just right for a good wine reference. It includes synonyms and brief descriptions. The book cover
s trellising systems, deductive tasting, glassware, and many other important basics.

There are easier books to read on this subject. If I had never read a book on wine, this is not where I would begin. I would recommend owning it though, because it is a very useful reference.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Just wish there was an e-Book version so I could increase the font size! There's a wealth of information here, but much of it is difficult to read due to the teeny tiny font used to cram as much information into the book. Maybe 2 volumes of 700+ pages would allow you to double the font size into something legible.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this encyclopedia, they way it is organized and all the detailed information it provides. I personally think that the Italian section is a bit scarse but overall a good informative book.
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