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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deep perspective, October 5, 2001
This review is from: Vines, Grapes & Wines: The Wine Drinker's Guide to Grape Varieties (Paperback)
Jancis Robinson has long been one of the established authorities on wine. I once watched her and Oz Clark in a wine tasting 'contest' on television. They were an even match with scores of almost 100% on vineyard, price, year, quality etc. I've also watched Robinson's television series on wines and her knowledge and enthusiasm seem to know no bounds.
In 'Vines, Grapes and Wines' Jancis Robinson puts this enthusiasm and knowledge to good use, producing 280 large format pages of unadulterated information and pictures. It's clear she wants her readers to know not just about the wine itself, but about the region, the soil, the climate, the vintners, the wine's history.
This is not an cozy weekend read, it's much more a reference book that gives both pleasure and information, but well worth the investment for any serious wine buff.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A reference book no-one should be caught without, August 16, 2003
By 
stephen wong (Wellington New Zealand) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Vines, Grapes & Wines: The Wine Drinker's Guide to Grape Varieties (Paperback)
Simply put, this is one of the classics and a must-have for anyone with more than a passing interest in wine. Although it is several years old now and certain parts are out of date in terms of trends and the planting patterns of some younger wine-producing countries, the important bits are still are relevant as ever. The most comprehensive and invaluable book on grape varieties, purely for its reference fact value. Oz Clarke and Margaret Rand have written a more up-to-date bok covering the same topic, but that is less focussed on the grape itself as the wines made around the world with the particular grape. If you can have both, all the better, but if you had to choose one, this one would be it.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, September 1, 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Vines, Grapes & Wines: The Wine Drinker's Guide to Grape Varieties (Paperback)
This is a fascinating, well-written book, sure to be of interest to anyone wanting to deepen their knowledge of what's in their wine glass. It's a perfect companion piece to Johnson and Robinson's _Wine Atlas_. The bulk of the book is devoted to descriptions of "classic," "major," and "other" varieties, with the first two categories getting detailed treatment. There's also a section on "Where grapes grow and why" and some very interesting maps and analyses of great vineyards (e.g., Chateau Margaux and the Rutherford Bench).
One minor caveat is that the book doesn't seem to have been revised since it first appeared in 1986. So some of the "sociological" parts of the text (e.g., where specific varietals are being grown, and comments on their popularity) are becoming increasingly out of date, especially for the New World. But it's kind of interesting to be reminded that in the mid-1980s Syrah (aka Shiraz) enjoyed only "very limited popularity" (p. 90).
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Detailed and pretty interesting, February 29, 2000
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This review is from: Vines, Grapes & Wines: The Wine Drinker's Guide to Grape Varieties (Paperback)
This book is incredibly informative. I often re-read sections because you cannot absorb all the information at once. Robinson's writing is clear, but sometimes the details (especially the history sections) are dry. I think of this as almost a text book but a readable text book with great pictures!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still a valuable resource, November 9, 2006
This review is from: Vines, Grapes & Wines: The Wine Drinker's Guide to Grape Varieties (Paperback)
While not as exhaustive as "Oz Clarke's Encylopedia of Grapes", this does contain information that Clarke's book does not. Before the three sections on grapes (Classic Varieties, Major Varieties, Other Varieties) there is a section entitled "Where Grapes Grow and Why" that provides valuable insight. Some of the information is dated, however, and that should be a caution to anyone reading this for use as a text. For example, the book uses a 1979 "census" of the varieties grown in Champagne. The figures quoted in 1979 are far different than those today. So be careful if you quote this book with specific regard to data.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and nostalgic book but it is out of date ~, March 20, 2013
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This review is from: Vines, Grapes & Wines: The Wine Drinker's Guide to Grape Varieties (Paperback)
The main thing to understand with this book is to not plan on acreage and other statistics being accurate since the information is from the late 70s to late 80s (1987 I believe was the publishing date).

But I love the colored pencil drawings and the actual information on the grapes is still valid. If you are trying to use this text for studying for wine certifications, you probably won't get too much from it. But if you want to just know a little more about grape varieties and read from Jancis Robinson's point of view, it's worth the used prices.

Otherwise go with the more up to date: Oz Clarke: Grapes & Wines: A Comprehensive Guide to Varieties and Flavours.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As advertised, January 14, 2013
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This review is from: Vines, Grapes & Wines: The Wine Drinker's Guide to Grape Varieties (Paperback)
The ad stated, "like new" and that was my assessment too. This book arrived on time as advertised in great shape
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Vines, Grapes & Wines: The Wine Drinker's Guide to Grape Varieties
Vines, Grapes & Wines: The Wine Drinker's Guide to Grape Varieties by Jancis Robinson (Paperback - July 28, 2006)
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