Top critical review
33 people found this helpful
Great forms, but is it practical
on April 19, 2010
The first part of this little book is a discussion of wine tasting linked to the forms that make up the bulk of the book. While the discussion is intersting and may be useful to someone with very little knowledge of wine, there are other, better books for the purpose of helping a wine drinker learn to taste and appreciate.
The bulk of the book is made up of blank tasting forms. These forms are among the best that I've seen to help a wine drinker really reflect on and capture thoughts on a particular wine. In terms of the layout of the forms and the information presented (or requested), this book succeeds admirably. However, I have to question the practicaility of the book. While these forms may work for a wine tasting in the home, how many people are going to carry the form with them, let alone carry the whole book? As we've moved to more digital-based lives (hello, iPhone), I'm afraid that carrying a wine-tasting form or a book of forms may be a bit ... um ... 20th Century? That said, if these forms were offered in an iPhone application, I would probably be very quick to buy that app.
Finally, at the end of the book are a series of simple tasting terms broken down by large categories and with references to wine to which the terms might apply. At first, I sort of brushed these pages aside, but upon greater reflection, I realized that they are a very important part of the book and can be very useful to help a wine drinker begin to accumulate a vocabulary to use to describe wines. These pages are a sort of underappreciated gem hidden in the back of the book.
So, while I think highly of the forms and the tasting terms (less so the introduction), I'm just not sure that in the era of smartphones this book is terribly practical. I'd rate the forms themselves and the tasting terms with 5 stars, but the difficulty in actually "using" the book forces me to subtract from this rating. If you only want to taste wines at home or don't mind carrying this small book with you, then this book might be a good purchase. If you're new to wine and don't mind carrying the book, then this may be an absolute "must buy".