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Wine Myths and Reality Hardcover – 2010

4.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 636 pages
  • Publisher: Vendange (2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934259519
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934259511
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 1.7 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #724,531 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Chambolle VINE VOICE on September 7, 2010
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"Panoramic in its scope" and "explodes the world of wine" -- so says the amazon product description. This book does indeed attempt to cover the entire panorama of wine, but in doing so, it creates a bit of an explosion in a mattress factory, with shards of information seemingly scattered hither and yon. In the course of about 550 pages, Lewin tries to do it all, which leaves us with some fascinating insights and wonderful exposition on some topics, and some absurdly truncated presentation on others. Washington and Oregon wine garners about a page and a half, for example. He blows through the Loire in about two or three pages. On the other hand, Australia for some reason gets a very extended discussion. There is very informative and readable information on basic winemaking principles and wine chemistry. Lewin, like many other authors, presents his own twist on the 1855 Bordeaux classification and his own alternative for the 21st century. An essay on cork and alternative closures. Plenty of this and that on Robert Parker and "international style" winemaking.

Having devoted considerable time and effort to plowing through this massive volume, I'm left with the sense Lewin never really decided what this book should be. It's not a survey or basic reference on the order of Johnson's "World Atlas," although it does include a "touch 'em all" review of just about every wine producing region in the world. It isn't a screed along the lines of Nossiter's "Liquid Memory," although Lewin does sprinkle the book with observations about the esthetics of wine, the role of wine criticism and related topics. It isn't an expose like Brook's "Bordeaux - People, Power and Politics," yet Lewin does go out of his way to debunk what he views as "wine myths" and to stir up some controversy.
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Unlike most wine reviews or books that I have come across and that seem to be meant for entertainment like fiction writing, this is for reader who would like to know facts and have a scientific mind. This book is extremely well researched and leaves no stone unturned.
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I am studying viticulture and enology and work at a wine shop, and this book has been an excellent resource. It is truly a surprise with some of the industry tactics Lewin explains in this book. Makes you think twice when you purchase that "value" wine for $3!
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