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WineWise Hardcover – October 13, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

WineWise is a must-have for anyone seeking the knowledge and confidence to select and enjoy great wines. It will give readers a basic introduction to wine: how to select different varieties and identify their flavors, how to read wine labels, and how to identify grapes from wine-growing regions all over the world. The interior features detailed maps, examples of wine labels, and hundreds of four-color photos. Chapters include Enjoying Wine, White Grapes, Red Grapes, Living with Wine, Wine and Food, and Wine in Restaurants, as well as chapters on wine-growing regions from France, Italy, and Germany to California and New York State to South America, Australia, Spain, and Portugal. There is also a chapter on Bargains, featuring the greatest inexpensive wines from around the world. Detailed information on grapes, flavor profiles, regions, and food and wine pairings makes it easy for consumers to choose the right wine for any occasion and any budget. Filled with understandable, consumer-friendly, expert advice, this book is the ideal companion for any wine enthusiast.

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Review

"...plenty of essential information about geography and winemaking and the book can be read in easily digestible chunks." (International Herald Tribune, December 19th 2008)

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 1 edition (September 5, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471770647
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471770640
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1.1 x 10.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #680,517 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

STEVEN KOLPAN

Steven Kolpan is Professor and Chair of Wine Studies at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, NY. Steven is co-author of Exploring Wine, which has sold more than 125,000 copies, and was nominated as Best Wine and Spirits Book by the James Beard Foundation. Steven is also co-author of WineWise, a consumer-friendly guide to the wines of the world, which won both the 2009 James Beard Foundation Award for Best Beverage Book and the 2009 Georges Duboeuf Award for Best Wine Book of the Year. He is also the author of A Sense of Place, a history of Napa Valley's Niebaum-Coppola / Rubicon Winery (foreword by Francis Ford Coppola) that received the prestigious Versailles Award for Best American Wine Book in 2000. Steven is a co-author and chose all the wines for the recipes in the book Italian Cooking at Home. He is a contributing editor and the wine columnist for The Valley Table and for Salon.com. In 2007, Steven Kolpan was named Wine Educator of the Year by the European Wine Council. He has been a member of Slow Food International for 20 years. Steven Kolpan lives just outside of Woodstock, New York. You can read Steven Kolpan's blog at: http://stevenkolpanonwine.blogspot.com

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 30 people found the following review helpful By kiwanissandy VINE VOICE on December 25, 2008
Format: Hardcover
One of the topics I really liked in this book was the explanation of the Appellations. There are detailed maps showing the wine regions and how the Appellations are then broken down within those regions. It really helped me understand this whole thing. The maps were very detailed and well drawn.

There's a whole chapter on the great white grapes: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Grigio, and Viognier.

In the red grape chapter the varietals covered are: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Shiraz, Zinfandel, and Grenache.

There are then chapters specific to other parts of the world such as: California, Washington (with Oregon and New York), South America, Australia (with New Zealand and South Africa), France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany (with Austria), Canada (with Greece). The Spain chapter had a "What's Hot Now" section but did not have that on any of the other countries.

I did not understand how to follow the "Tower of Power" section in the food and wine matching section. And this was the real reason I purchased this book was to be able to better match wine with my dinners. All the different food groups are broken down into whether they are most delicate, delicate, moderately rich, rich, very rich. Meals are served not individual food groups so say you're having chicken (considered a most delicate food) with eggplant (considered a very rich food) so do I serve white or red wine? There was no clear explanation of this for me. This book would have you serving both I guess. But then what's crazy is the book then covers asparagus, artichokes, spinach, garlic, tamarind, eggs, and cuttlefish in detail. Go figure.
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Format: Hardcover
There is a lot of useful information in this book, but most other intros to wine do a much better job. It is heavily biased to "new world" and at times misleading. The book feels as though it was dashed together - some parts over-simplified, and others throwing out more complicated concepts without explanation. It is too focused on being trendy and cool, e.g. the section on German wine states that by trying German wine "you will be part of that rare breed that is cutting edge of what is trendy". What?? France, the largest and most important wine grower in the world, is included only after several smaller, and some very minor, wine-making countries, and starts with a very negative introduction, "at a major crossroads...but every one of the traffic lights is flashing red". Inexplicably, Greece is featured (in a chapter with Canada, oddly) but retsina, a type of wine unique to Greece and commonly available, isn't mentioned! Since the book was endorsed by Culinary Institute of America one would have expected the wine and food section to have been decent. Though the matchings section is broad with several cuisines represented amazingly there are no food pairings for Pinot Noir other than fried calamari (?!), clam chowder (?), and veal chop. In this way the book really presents a distorted view on the world of wine. Pass.
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By AJH on September 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book should never be read cover to cover. The material is too dense, but anyone in the restaurant industry could do right by their customers, and their tips, by investing some time with this book. Take a few minutes at a time while between shifts, on the toilet, or riding the street car home and you'll be able to match a wine with your food or the food of your guests in a few months time. Yes, I said a few months time. Wine wisdom doesn't come quickly, but the book allows you to constantly come back and not have that textbook feel as you continue to learn through repeat exposure.
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Format: Hardcover
The materialhas become dated. The book I recieved is a 2008 edition. While the content is extremely good and thorough, there has been a global myriad of changes since 2008. The reader needs to also read a companion book, Exploring Wine by the same author which is more recently published and contains up-to-date info.
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By PB on August 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is very good for the person interested in learning more about wine. The information covers types of grapes, the regions in which they are grown, produced and bottled; down to how to the basics of understanding labels. An excellent book.
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By Stokes on November 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
FOund the book very compelling. Using the regional maps I was surprised to learn how many of the wines I really enjoy are all grouped together in a similar area of California.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is fantastic. If your just looking to drink wine or study it! It gives you the best education. Besides the Wines Class in Culinary institute of America
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By Marcio on September 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book came in very good conditions! I'm very happy with the material received. I definitely will by again. Thanks
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