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The Oxford Companion to Wine Hardcover – November 17, 1994
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With more than 3,000 entries on every aspect of wine from vine pests to specific grapes, this hefty tome has something for both the seasoned connoisseur and novice alike. Edited by one of today's premier wine columnists, the work covers all aspects of wine, travelling back in time to early Greece to examine wine's role in Dionysian revels, then returning to today's wine centers to explore all aspects of wine appreciation. A full third of the book is dedicated to specific wines and wine-producing regions. All those technical terms you've heard and puzzled over at tastings are clearly explained, making this the perfect reference for newcomers to the world of oenology.
For the true connoisseur, The Oxford Companion offers detailed information on the history of the vintner's art, as well as a plethora of details on everything from climate effects on vine disease to the function of the second malolactic fermentation. If you buy only one wine book, this should be it.
From Library Journal
This essential addition to reference collections breaks new ground. Unlike the excellent works by Alexis Lichine (e.g., Alexis Lichine's Guide to the Wines and Vineyards of France, Knopf, 1989. 4th ed.) or Hugh Johnson (e.g., Vintage, S. & S., 1992), which are standard sources on the growing, buying, drinking, tasting, and enjoying of wine, this work broadens the discussion to "less obvious topics, such as animals (their function as vine pests), auctions, the specific influence of the British, and Australians, on the world of wine, fashion, fraud, global overproduction, wine in literature and art, and the role of water throughout wine production." About 3000 alphabetically arranged entries range from the most familiar topics, such as "California," to the quite obscure (e.g., "Xynisteri," a white grape grown on Cyprus). Yet those less interested in the esoterica of wine will surely find the information they seek, as about 70 percent of the book is concerned with specific wines and areas of wine production. There is also practical guidance on such matters as serving wine and matching the right wine with the right food. Editor Robinson, who writes regularly for the Wine Spectator, is widely respected for her taste and abilities. Here she assembles an international cast of over 70 experts. Since only a small number are from the United States and since many may be unfamiliar to the average American reader, this work is also valuable as a kind of directory of authorities on wine-related subjects. While erudite, this book is not dry; historical anecdotes abound. The text is complemented by over 250 fascinating illustrations, which include an aroma wheel, maps, a red wine-making chart, labels, a varietal geneaology, a wine-tasting sheet used by judges, and more. This book, which offers something for everyone, is highly recommended.
Wendy Miller, Lexington P.L., Ky.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.