- Hardcover: 416 pages
- Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 1 edition (October 24, 1984)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 047188149X
- ISBN-13: 978-0471881490
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #446,443 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Knowing and Making Wine 1st Edition
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Text: English, French (translation)
From the Publisher
Translated from the French by Alan Spencer, this authoritative account by a highly respected and expert French enologist offers a complete survey of wine-making techniques and wine appreciation in easy to understand terms without complicated chemical formulae. Treats every aspect of wine science from both the theoretical and practical point of view. Provides the student or professional with the opportunity to solve problems which arise and guides them to the proper solutions.
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Top customer reviews
You should be aware that there have been many advances since this book was published. It is still valuable as a reliable reference.
I loved this book. It was kind of like discovering an old alchemical text with quirky symbols and archaic names for chemicals interlaced with practical hands-on information. However, It should not be transmutated into a holy grail. Some of the info is simply outdated. Even though Wilder's English translation publication date is 1981, the text was originally written in “The French” circa 1971? Some paragraphs are difficult to understand. Wade through with caution. The wine chemistry is 40 years old. Examples? How about using a 'slide rule' to do some calculations! The publisher even provides a B&W “photograph” of one for your convenience.
Or—Does your wine need clarification? Use ox blood as a fining agent! Professor Peynaud explains how to do so. Just for fun, I checked out modern sources in the states. ScottLabs does not offer freeze-dried ox blood. Shame on them!
In the (good) discussion of yeasts there is only scant mention of Saccharomyses cerevisiae. From deep in my memory banks (I'm not human) I recalled that there has been Taxonomy classification changes (plural) since that time. In fact, when the text was written commercial freeze-dried yeasts were just becoming available. Therefore, Emile does not mention “spontaneous”, “indigenous”, or “natural” fermentation. Why? There was no reference point for it. That was all there was. For wild yeast freaks (like myself) this book contains valuable info.
Putting all joking aside, the book is a treasure trove of practical/technical information from the later half of the 20th century, from the French perspective---from the camp of the Bordelais (not Burgundy). It becomes clear why Emile Peynaud is historically the most important consultant of the era. Even though it is obvious he had a strong chemistry background, he was not a nerd. His approach is pragmatic—applied science. The techniques make good common sense; and when he does not understand something he says so. That is the attitude that always leaves the door open for more knowledge to flow in.
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