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Windows on the World Complete Wine Course: 25th Anniversary Edition (Kevin Zraly's Complete Wine Course) Hardcover – September 29, 2009


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Product Details

  • Series: Kevin Zraly's Complete Wine Course
  • Hardcover: 338 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling; 25 Anv edition (September 29, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402767676
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402767678
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 8.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,579 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Quick, what's the correct way to open a wine bottle? Bonus round: what are the 13 grape types permitted in Chateauneuf-du-Pape?

Whatever your score on the above, you're bound to enjoy the Windows on the World Complete Wine Course. Subtitled Millennium Edition, this 14th annual update is again authored by Kevin Zraly, founder and teacher of the Wine School, begun in 1976 as an offshoot of New York's Windows on the World restaurant. On 200 colorful and clutter-free pages full of maps, wine labels, and sidebars full of facts and anecdotes, Zraly acts as your Sherpa through eight classes. Chapters 1 through 3 circumnavigate the white wines of France, the New World, and Germany; 4 through 8 explore the reds of France, California, Iberia, Australia, and South America, concluding with a section on champagne, port, and sherry.

As wine guru, Kevin Zraly is opinionated, knowledgeable, and patient. His skill at talking novice wine devotees off the ledge is especially evident in the chapters on Burgundy and Germany, with their notoriously confusing wine labels. Study Zraly's careful parsing and annotation of a German label and you'll be able to tell the region from the town from the vineyard the next time someone hands you a Mosel-Saar-Ruwer Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Spätlese.

But any book that calls itself a "Complete Wine Course" sets the Barbera pretty high--sometimes too high. Oregon and Washington States share one page while New York State rates two and a half. Certainly a millennium edition could scare up another paragraph for the red-hot Pacific Northwest. And two chapters following the classes--"Creating an Exemplary Restaurant Wine List" and "Award-Winning Wine Lists"--seem little more than padding.

But these are small quibbles about a handsome and approachable volume that will take you from Amarone to Zind-Humbrecht with confidence. Whether you're a true cork dork or someone who doesn't know their Alsace from their elbow, you could certainly do worse than pressing your nose up against these windows on the world. --Tony Mason --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

The silver anniversary version of this perennial bestseller by legendary wine personality Zraly still emphasizes consumer enjoyment and user friendliness in the pursuit of education and appreciation. The DIY edition of his now-legendary class tackles the wide world of vini- and viticulture with a sense of humor, erudition and modesty, and includes expanded material on wine regions beyond France, Italy and California. The 25-year benchmark provides frequent opportunity to look back over changes in grape growing and winemaking over the past quarter century. While the book's frequently busy layout may reflect changes in traditional media and information acquisition—large sections are laid out like FAQs—it allows room for a broad range of information without oversaturation. Tasting work sheets and self-administered questionnaires are included, while sidebars include lighter material, such as wine-related quotes and other assorted trivia. Among the handy visuals are wine-growing maps and wine labels included not merely for aesthetic appreciation but for useful comparisons in areas with complicated classifications like Burgundy. Appropriate for professional and layperson alike, the volume continues to be one of the most indispensable titles of its kind. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Customer Reviews

Zraly's style of writing is very easy to understand as well as fun to read.
Agustin Devoto
The book is a great educational experience and I recommend it to anyone who would like to learn more about wine and the wine regions throughout the world.
JD
This book is more than I expected and makes learning about wine fun, interesting and far less intimidating than one could ever imagine!!!
Christine Marcotte

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

69 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Keith E. Webb VINE VOICE on November 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Windows on the World Complete Wine Course: 25th Anniversary Edition is the number one book to learn about wine. It's a complete, readable guide to wine regions, grape varietals, wine pairing, and much much more. You'll learn about all the major wine regions, their typical grape varietals, and distinguishing characteristics.

Throughout the book specific, easily available, and affordable wines are profiled by winery. Special sections take this further: wine tasting "courses" of flights of different wines to compare; 101 favorite wines; and wines to begin a wine cellar.

Now, in it's 25 Anniversary edition it's been enlarged further with new sections on Austria, Hungary, and Greece. The wine lists have been updated and enlarged, and sections Chile, Argentina, and New Zealand have been expanded given their influence in the world of wine today.

I've completed two levels of the excellent Wine and Spirit Education Trust's wine programs. I'm amazed that Kevin Zraly's Windows on the World is just as thorough and is basically the intermediate level - in a book. I refer back to it often, and give it as gifts to friends who want to increase their appreciation of wine.
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By B. O'NEILL on November 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great introduction for anyone new to wine, as I was. This is not intended to be the most complete reference for all wine, but is instead a colorful, focused, entertaining overview of wine today. Each chapter focuses on a different region or type of wine, providing background information on each wine area, the author's favorite wineries/producers from the area, a sample tasting (he picks several wines for you to try and also suggests alternatives if you can't find those particular bottles) and a quiz at the end to help you retain some of that information. A great book for any wine lover!
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Agustin Devoto on June 29, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I just finished reading the book last night and I was blown away by how much I learned from it. Zraly's style of writing is very easy to understand as well as fun to read. The book covers the main wine growing regions of the world, as well as the wines grown in each region, types of grapes, some interesting anecdotes and what wines to pair with what food. I truly think Zraly went the extra mile on this book to make sure that just about every question a beginner to wine might have is answered. After reading the book, every time you walk down the wine aisle of your local grocery shop, you will have a very good grasp of the endless brands, and types of wines that are available today. I was truly impressed by the information in this book and the way it was presented. I strongly recommend this book to anyone that wants to learn about this wonderful subject. If the book worth 3 times as much, I would still say it's a bargain considering how much restaurant wine courses cost. Buy it and you wont be dissapointed.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Smith on September 27, 1999
Format: Paperback
Kevin's book is great in that it is short and concise, yet at the same time covers practically every wine making region and wine type and also offers recommendations for wine/food combinations and good vintage years. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars was because of the fact it was published in the early 80's...it's a little outdated on recommending good vintage years (at least for my pocketbook). It also has a chapter for selecting wines for a restaurant...great if you're a restauranteur, but not very useful if you buy wine for personal consumption. Other than that, highly recommended.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Michael Casey on November 6, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I have been reading this regularly published book for over ten years. Zraly makes the fundamentals of wine easy to understand and fun to read. His writing is lively and entertaining and his worldwide knowledge of wine is astounding. As an aside, I was very happy to hear that Zraly was not at Windows on the World at the time of the terrorist attack, but the wonderful restaurant lost many great employees. Windows on the World incorporated wine into dining in ways no other restaurant could match, and Zraly's expertise was the reason.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By depcharrge on December 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I had a previous edition of Kevin Zraly's book that was recommended to me by a gentleman who was the regional buyer of wine for a large, national chain of high end steak-house restaurants. This is a wonderful book for people just getting into wine, as well as your "above average" fans of wine. Just this weekend, I purchased 2 copies as gifts for friends. The book is sophisticated yet personal and approachable. The only better gift would have been to actually buy bottles of wine!! Enjoy!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By David Moore on July 16, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Kevin Zraly wrote the book I wish I'd written. Good solid information on how to make sense of wine labels (which makes buying wine a whole lot easier) and good, thumbnail sketches of the world's wine growing regions.
Not quite as fufilling from an aeshtetic viewpoint, for example not quite enough information about viticultural practices and how they affect the quality of wine. All in all, however, a great jumping off point for the novice.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Daniel L Edelen TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 19, 2002
Format: Hardcover
If you are just starting out in the wine world, let Kevin Zraly tag along via "The Windows on the World Wine Course" and you won't go wrong. His light approach and expert analysis of all aspects of the wine world are a reassuring voice amid the din of conflicting advice out there in the wine racks.
Zraly, well-known for his superior knowledge in matching wine with food, keeps his book informative, but not overwhelming. The book is written in a breezy and easily read format, with plenty of white space on each page to keep the text, sidebars, margin info, and graphics from overwhelming the reader. And for those who like to know interesting facts about wine, each page has tidbits written in the margins that when dropped correctly during your next wine tasting will bring out the "Oohs" and "Aahs" in the guests.
The only negative to the book is that it can't have it all ways. It is clearly a beginner to intermediate book, and while it is derived from the class in wine that Zraly actually teaches around the country, it lacks the ability to serve as a comprehensive reference. For this reason, I would team this book with Karen MacNeil's "The Wine Bible" - a very comprehensive, yet still easy to understand resource.
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