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How to Taste: A Guide to Enjoying Wine Hardcover – November 25, 2008
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"The woman who makes the wine world gulp when she speaks...as unpretentious as Beaujolais Nouveau." -- Jerry Shriver, USA Today
"I have watched her slowly tighten her grip on the wine world with awe...Don't be fooled by her twinkling television persona; her serious purpose is to open the wine world to all comers, at all levels. In the process she has become a household name -- for good." -- Hugh Johnson
"The Julia Child of wine." -- Peter M. Gianotti, Newsday
"She is simply the best wine writer working today. No one else comes close to Robinson's combination of tasting acuity, prolific and authoritative writing, and wit." -- Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar
"A thorough, no-nonsense approach to unlocking some of the mysteries of appreciating and enjoying wine." -- Frank Prial, The New York Times
"For those who want to learn how to taste wine, the Robinson approach is hard to beat!" -- Gerald D. Boyd, San Francisco Chronicle
"By a long measure the best wine writer in the world." -- Paul Levy, The Wall Street Journal
Top Customer Reviews
Since I first became interested in blind wine tasting almost 25 years ago, I have searched for a book that provided a complete and authoritative guide to describing the taste of different wines and grapes-a reference point or sounding board, if you will, against which to calibrate my own impressions. Never mind that the essence of blind tasting and the apprehension of quality depend on forming your own innate vocabulary of scents and flavors. There have been many times when I have struggled, and have just wanted an expert to tell me what the heck a textbook Crozes-Hermitage, for example, is supposed to taste like.
Jancis Robinson's Guide To Wine Tasting is an excellent contribution to this subject for beginners. I didn't realize until around page 150 that the book had originally been published in 1983 under the somewhat unfortunate title, Masterglass, but I think we can forgive her this youthful indulgence. Because over time, she has truly become the heir apparent to mantle of most prolific British wine commentator, eclipsing my other English heroes Michael Broadbent, Hugh Johnson, and Clive Coates. With multiple books, a TV show, videos, a weekly column, a new DVD and a website ... she is, to paraphrase wine newcomer Howard Stern, the Queen of All Wine Media.
This book systematically lays out the factors that contribute to the taste of a wine, and how to appreciate them. It follows the model of a "wine course," in that each chapter combines theory and practice, the practice consisting of specific instructions of what wines to try that best illustrate the principles being taught.Read more ›
Unless you have tasted many wines, chances are that you have not yet found the 20 wines you would like the most in your price range. If you are like me, you don't want to spend thousands of dollars to locate wines you would like better than what you now drink. What can you do? Read this book, and start tasting along with some adventuresome friends!
In the mid-1970s, I was fortunate to work for Heublein which made and imported many fine wines. At dozens of tastings, I was introduced to hundreds of superb wines and had a chance to buy them very inexpensively. From that rich experience, I have been given the opportunity to select wines at many great restaurants and many social occasions. People always marvel at how much I know about wines.
Can I let you in on a little secret? If you use the process in How to Taste, you will probably exceed my wine knowledge in a few months. What's the reason? Well, I haven't tasted geographically as widely as this book suggests. I know a great deal about French, German, and California wines but relatively little about those coming from other locales. In fact, I plan to use this remarkable book to guide myself into a broadened palate.
Jancis Robinson is a wonderful wine tasting resource. She obviously knows her stuff. She breaks the most complicated issues down into simple, constituent pieces that can be easily grasped. She knows how to give you the experiences you need to find wines you will like better with a minimum of effort and expense. And she writes well, so the words go down easily.
Each chapter has theory and practice sections, along with tasting exercises (sometimes of common foods rather than wines).Read more ›
And so she is the perfect guide for learning <how> to taste: how to focus on and identify--and later describe--the layers of aroma and flavor wines contain; how to remember them so you can compare in the future; how to match them with food; how to get interesting insights from tea cups and a mouthful of toothpaste.
I said "really short" and I mean it. In the past two years I've seen a handful of books for wine beginners that ought to have been <weighed.> Robinson gives you about 200 pages--pretty small pages, too, with plenty of excellent and informative illustrations. Moreover, this book isn't necessarily for beginners. Most people <haven't> been taught how to taste effectively. And that means there are plenty of serious wine amateurs around who know a great deal about wine except how to taste it.
This book will open your eyes and reward your taste buds.
Bill Marsano is a contributing editor of Hemispheres, United Airlines' in-flight magazine, for which he often writes on wines and spirits. One of his Hemispheres articles won him a James Beard medal in 1999.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a really great primer on wine, and I would think it would be especially good if you have the time and inclination to try all of the "homework". Read morePublished 12 months ago by Every Shining Thing
I had the earlier edition of this book and really enjoyed it. When I saw a new edition came out I decided to "upgrade. Read morePublished 16 months ago by B. Ponikvar
This book was the text to my UCLA extension "Intro to Wine"~~ an excellent supplement to the class!! I could have purchased the book and easily learned the subject. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Renee Ralls
Simply written with plenty of detail, a great book to learn the basics of wine-tasting - also goes into greater detail for beginners and experienced tasters a like.Published on March 4, 2014 by Noel H.
Book is helpful with descriptions of typical flavors to expect to find when drinking various wines. There are little assignments to try different specific varietals to help... Read morePublished on December 12, 2013 by Karen