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Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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Vintage: The Story of Wine Hardcover – October, 1989

4.4 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1st edition (October 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671687026
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671687021
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 7.8 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #558,350 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
However, I must say that I did enjoy this book. While one reviewer here didn't seem to be too interested in the history of wine, I found it very interesting, so interesting in fact that I am giving my paperback version to a friend and purchasing the hardback version for myself.
What I enjoy about the historical approach is that it helps me understand just how modern wine styles evolved. For example, seeing the influence of the Napoleanic wars on British purchasing and subsequent development of new wines (like Port) was interesting.
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Format: Hardcover
This is one of the most comprehensive and certainly one of the most enjoyable books on wine in any language. Combining excellent prose with impressive scholarship, Mr. Johnson offers a scintillating and often enlightening history of the world's best beverage. Strongly recommended for the historian or wine enthusiast.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Hugh Johnson's marvelous book in a partial answer to a question that few of us have had the sense to ask. While many of us will spend valuable hours wondering: `which wine?' we rarely ask `why wine?'

What's the big deal? Why so many books, why such intense feeling? Wine is just the fermented juice of grapes. Yes, and music is just organized noise and sex is merely one of the ways in which organisms ensure perpetuation of their type.

The reason for the passion isn't to be found in alcohol alone. Almost any sugary solution will support fermentation, and it seems that just about every possible sweet liquid has been fermented from time to time. An amateur winemakers' guide in my library lists recipes for the production of wines from almonds, apples, bananas, barley, beetroot, birch sap, cloves, clover, eggplant, guava, lemons, oak leaves, orange juice, parsley, parsnips, peapods, squash, tea, tomatoes, wallflowers, yarrow and yes, to complete the alphabet, zinnias.

These 'wines'are all possible, but none of them exist. In fact, we restrict our winemaking to just a few varieties of grape. Why?
Aside from the many economic advantages, the fermented juice of grapes is delicious. At its most common, it's a fresh and fruity drink that quenches the thirst and gladdens the heart. At its most exalted, the basic flavors of the grape are transformed by fermentation and aging into a symphony of aromas and tastes and lingering associations. Both the bountiful nature of grape vines and the enormous appeal of their fermented fruit's juice has led civilized man to attach a lot of meaning to wine.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have just begun perusing this book. It's really not a tome one reads cover to cover. One goes back and forth. It's really a good reference work if one needs to know a little about the history of wine. Since I write historical fiction, it's a good book to have around. After all, the peoples of history drank lots of the liquid we call wine. It is a ceremonial as well as social drink.

Since one of the stories I tell as a storyteller is about Medea, it was very interesting to learn that the cultivation of wine came from her part of the world, Colchis, which is now Georgia. I think of Medea as a chemist, so I now wonder if this ancient myth's location had anything to do with the cultivation and fermenting of wine. Was it she who took this knowledge to the Mediterranean when she escaped with Jason to that location? We can only speculate. I keep reading this book with each glass of wine I take in the evenings.
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Format: Paperback
A real masterpiece (and an obvious work of love)! Combining extensive research and scholarship with wit and eloquence, the book traces wine and wine making from ancient times to our day. It is both the "Story of Wine" and the history of wine. The story is told in the context of its geographical, cultural and technical background. Exquisite pictures and maps abound. A truly extraordinary book!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a classic text on the history of wine, and it is out-of-print! Though required for a college class, it is well written by one of the few people who the subject good enough to get it right. The illustrated edition is worth the extra cost not only for the informational photographs, but also for the history of wine as told through artwork from around the world! Many classic paintings are reproduced in the volume, which makes this book at home on the coffee table not the library!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Many people consider "useless culture" to have knowledge about certain issues. Many would claim: "Why do I have to know about wine?". The answer is very simple, indeed. Wine is part of the culture of a people and more than being a drink it is a form of art.

Considering the wine a form of useful knowledge and a form of art, "The sorty of wine" is a masterpiece on the subject. It is also written in such a way you may feel you are part of the trips Mr. Johnson did in order to come up with this brilliant work. A book for the lovers of this beverage that is more than something to drink, it is a pleasure for the soul.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you are interested in the history of wine it is a fine and interesting book. It was published in 1989 and the wine world has changed it needs to be revised. It does a poor job on wines of the new world; still it is a book worth reading.
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