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The Wine Trials: 100 Everyday Wines Under $15 that Beat $50 to $150 Wines in Brown-Bag Blind Tastings Paperback – May 1, 2008
"100 Million Years of Food" by Stephen Le
A fascinating tour through the evolution of the human diet, and how we can improve our health by understanding our complicated history with food. Learn more
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More About the Author
You can visit his blog at http://blindtaste.com.
Top Customer Reviews
Pros: Large selection of wines under $15.00 taste-tested by over 500 volunteers. There is a section which ranks the taste-tested wines within each wine category and another alphabetical section which assigns a one-page review for each taste-tested wine. If you are into it, there are several sections on the background of and process used for the taste-testing.
Cons: The book is too big to slip in your pocket and use unobtrusively when actually shopping for wine. An included tear-sheet or separate quick-guide listing the wines ranked within each category would be helpful.
So far, I've tried a half dozen wines recommended in the book and been very happy with them. They were a lot better than the random choices I made from the same grocery store shelves. All in all a good place for the novice to start.
"The Wine Trials" takes on the commonly used 50- to 100-point wine rating system. Goldstein asks whether the ratings are biased by price, label, and advertising. His tests show that they are, sometimes hugely.
Goldstein wanted to know how cheaper wines - below $15 - rated against more expensive ones, in the $50 to $150 range, and each other in blind, brown-bag tastings. Over several months in 2007 and 2008, he held tastings of 560 wines for everyday wine drinkers and experts. Many of the cheap wines excelled and surpassed the expensive ones.
The result is a set of ranked lists of 100 wines for under $15 by general type -- heavy red, light red, heavy white, light white, etc. -- and by location -- Europe and the "New World" (the Americas, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand). Each of the ranked wines also gets its own description. I've tried several of the top-ranked wines, and they are delicious, some from small, unadvertised labels and some from big producers.
As a buying guide, this is a very useful book, by far the most useful I've seen in a long time. Goldstein's jaundiced look at the wine business, especially the conventional wine rating business, is a bonus.
The book doesn't pretend to be anything like Karen MacNeil's "The Wine Bible" or others in that category. You won't find here detailed descriptions of individual wine grapes, wine growing regions, famous bottlers, characteristics of the terroir, or that kind of information.Read more ›
It's main weakness is that it is hard to sort subtler information out from the simplistic hype on the book jacket. In other words, it would be wrong to conclude from this book that there are a lot of inexpensive wines ( under $15) that will taste better to the "everyday wine drinker" than most expensive ones ( $25 and up). That might be true, but these wine trials don't take us that far down the path of savvier wine-buying.
The massive tasting was designed to produce scientifically and statistically significant results, and on the whole it appears to have been very well done and well analyzed. As I said, the 100 "best" wines they came up with seem quite good. But the main revelation of all the statistical work is not the list of 100 but rather the finding that ordinary American wine-drinkers really do prefer, on average, the flavor of less expensive wines, ie, those under $15.
Just as important, their preference for the flavors of under-$15 wines, though real, is only a slight preference. The book also claims to have found that "wine experts" are just a little different -- that they prefer the flavors of more expensive wines but that their preference too is only slight.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great Information, the only problem is that is does not come with a sample of the wines listed in the book.Published 9 months ago by Jim E
This guide has lots of information, but very difficult to use in a practical sense, for example in the supermarket wine section While there is a cross-index (of sorts) of wine... Read morePublished 11 months ago by SIROCCO
Offers some good advice for finding wines you will like. Probably is offered as a new edition every year but if you read one and take the advice to heart, you won't really need... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Danno
LOVE THIS! We have read it together and discovered many great wines!Published 16 months ago by Kelly A.
"Explodes on the palate with juicy fruit and lovely herbal notes"
"Very aromatic, with hints of orange blossom"
"It's distinctly Old World in style,... Read more
If you have been at a liquor store to pick up wine and have no idea what you are looking for, this is the book for you. Read morePublished on December 22, 2013 by T. Green
We had the The wine Trials 2008 and dragged it around every time we shopped. This one is just as helpful, so we bought some for small presents for wine lovers. Read morePublished on February 22, 2013 by Paintsheets