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Kevin Zraly's Complete Wine Course Hardcover – September 6, 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kevin Zraly is the founder and teacher of the Windows on the World Wine School, now in its 33rd year, which has graduated more than 20,000 students. Zraly was recently honored with a James Beard Lifetime Award; his other honors include the Lifetime Achievement Award from the European Wine Council and the James Beard Award for Wine and Spirits Professional of the Year. He has been featured in The New York Times, People, The Wall Street Journal and Newsweek, and many other publications. He is also the editor of the highly acclaimed The Ultimate Wine Companion.
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Product Details

  • Series: Kevin Zraly's Complete Wine Course
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling Epicure; Revised edition edition (September 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402787936
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402787935
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 8.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #225,639 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My husband and I are just getting "into wines". This book is EXCELLENT! Not only does it explain the classifications of wine, but it puts the information into understandable terms. We first used it as a reference but now read it because it is informative and written so well. Now instead of bringing a bottle of wine to our dinner party hostess, we bring a copy of this book - price is about the same. And we get it quickly through Amazon prime.
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Format: Hardcover
As best as I can tell, this book is identical to Kevin Zraly's Windows on the World Complete Wine Course in regards to text, illustrations, maps, and pagination.

However, the softcover Windows on the World Complete Wine Course book has a series of smartphone tags/tiny URLs throughout it that help the reader with pronunciations, and a series of instruction videos (which I could not find and so could not view).

The binding of the paperback seems a bit flimsy: it is the standard so-call "perfect binding" common to all paperbacks, but the paper is is very good quality (as good as the hardcover) and makes me doubtful of how long the binding would hold up under use.

This book is among the best I have seen for an introduction to wine. The content seems accurate and is very detailed and there are small quizzes at the end of each chapter to test/reinforce the knowledge gained from the reading.

Of the dozen or so books on wine I have purchased recently, I would rate this as one of the top two (the other being the much more inclusive and more expensive Exploring Wine by Koplan, et al).

If you're looking for a comprehensive introduction to wine that will inform without inundating you with TMI, this is the book I would recommend.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I recently started work at a restaurant with two Certified Sommeliers on staff. I decided to increase my value as an employee and for future jobs to start working toward that status. I asked both of them what should I do to prep for the Level 1 course and test. They both recommended this book. It's a great read and explains the world of wine in a complete yet still concise way.

The tasting guides will be invaluable in the future and the review at the end of each lesson truly helps with test prep. Highly recommended as a book to keep on the shelf for a long time.
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Format: Hardcover
Just picked this book up yesterday and was blown away by how simple and informative this book was - I've never seen another wine book that starts from such a basic level without being condescending while giving an overview of wines around the world.
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Format: Hardcover
Kevin Zraly is lauded as a master sommelier for good reason. He knows about as much about wine as there is to know. I've bought several editions of this book as they came out an have never been disappointed. Each new edition has something new and exciting. The book is interesting, entertaining and full of useful information for anyone who really wants to know about wine. I loved learning about the different geographical areas, what terroir does to grapes and as a result, can pretty much tell whether a wine from a certain area will be something I'd like or not. I've tried enough "samples" to prove it. I often donate a "wine basket" to charities for raffles and always include a copy of this book as part of the prize.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book to get more "into wine". My background is in engineering, data analysis, beer, homebrewing (and home wine/cider making) and beer judging - so please take what I am going to write with that perspective.

Reading through this book feels like the author is well versed in wine but has not bothered to learn any new information related to the field in quite a few years (despite it being updated in 2011). You will learn more about older wine styles from Italy, Spain, France and California Cabs/Pinot Noir but won't learn to much about the differences between a Australian Malbec and a Chilean Syrah/Shiraz. Also, the vintages that are noted in the book stop at 2009 - a bit outdated for 2013.

My biggest problem with this book is the factual accuracy. Within the first few pages, the author claims that alcohol is denser than water. Seriously? This absolutely false statement caused me to treat the book as not really a way to learn facts about wine, but really just learn "one man's truth" about wine. The book is also littered with inconsistent data. For example, the front chapters say that Italy is the largest importer of wines to the US. In the last chapters, he claims that France is the biggest importer. Now, are these large issues? No, not on their own, but it makes me call into question the validity of the rest of the information presented.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the only wine book that anyone should buy who is interested in getting past just the basic 10 grapes everyone knows. The book is so well written because they author asks basic questions that almost anyone would have asked at some point. THen he proceeds to answer the questions in very basic language. Want to understand what the classifications of Burgundy are. He uses graphs and basic language to spell I out. Same for SHerry, Hungary. America. You name it. I recommend it to anyone who asks me about wine and I am a master sommelier.
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