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The Way to Make Wine: How to Craft Superb Table Wines at Home Paperback – April 1, 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Eminently readable. . . . Highly recommended to anyone eager to discover the thrills and delights of making wine at home.”
(Gastronomica: Journal Of Food & Culture 2008-08-01)

From the Inside Flap

"An essential reference that takes you step-by-step through techniques used by professionals to create quality small-lot wines. A book like this would have been a huge help for me when I first started making wine! Both easy to read and serious enough so that the reader doesn't feel talked down to as an amateur, The Way to Make Wine is a much needed guide to the basics of modern winemaking."—Michael Dashe, owner and winemaker, Dashe Cellars

"This book is a terrific resource. Warrick clearly knows his stuff and conveys the sometimes technical information in a truly palatable manner."—Lynn Alley, frequent contributor to Wine Spectator and author of Lost Arts: A Celebration of Culinary Tradition
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; First Edition, With a New Preface edition (April 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520266145
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520266148
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #650,682 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jack B. Keller Jr. on November 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is a very solid and readable handbook on making homemade wines. Sheridan Warrick has written this book the way I think I would have written it -- in a friendly, first person, conversational style. Along the way of learning what he has to teach, you get to know the author. It's a friendly, unassuming book with great content. If you are a beginner, it will teach you to make wine. If you are an experienced vintner, it will help you sharpen your skills.

Warrick explains things so simply that I found myself taking notes on subjects I have trouble explaining so well. He gets to the essence of it, and that is what the reader needs. The anecdotal asides all have a point to convey and do so well. Numerous sidebars contain both useful facts and interesting teaching points. His chapters flow from one to another seamlessly in an organized, logical fashion, making it a very readable and useful book. I was able to thumb back through it several times most easily to find something I wanted to re-read, using only the book's organization as the measure of where to look -- it has a useful index, but I didn't need it.

The book is organized into two parts. The first is a beginner's guide to winemaking, but loaded with a wealth of knowledge and explanation. The second part is about the refining techniques that help you master the business of making good wine great. In a phrase, this means knowing what is going on and that means testing, testing, and more testing. Too many winemaking books say to test this and test that, but don't explain how to do it. Warrick does. His section on malolactic fermentation, for example, is as fine and useful a treatment of the subject as I have read, and it includes the best step-by-step tutorial on paper chromatography I have in my sizable library. Indeed, all of his treatments of testing are well-done. And this, in my estimation, is reason enough to invest in this book.
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This book was published just in time for my second winemaking season and is remarkable in its helpful clarity, having the correct answers to mystifying challenges. I had one crazy challenge in my first season of winemaking which resulted in several answers being given by experts. This book correctly identified the problem, the fix, and how to prevent the problem. It somehow provides a more straightforward and simple walk through of the process, taking away any notion that wine making is a challenge. It also discusses in depth and allows consideration for those of us who would like to minimize the inclusion of sulfites. Just being aware of that as a concern of the home winemaker is a huge win. I couldn't recommend this book more - it is the perfect tome of essential information to those wanting to get going with their own winemaking. I keep saying, I wish I had started years ago. Get this book without hesitation - it will get you on your way to stunning wine produced by your own efforts. Great satisfaction is guaranteed.
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Format: Paperback
I see Jack Keller's rave review above. Enuf' said. He's the Pope of homewinemakers...

I've read them all and found them mostly to be poorly written, padded out with recipes for obscure wines, and even one book directly contradicting another book's instructions. This one is reader friendly, logically organized, well written, accurate and totally comprehensive without bringing in extraneous material.

If you want to make red or white wine at home, buy this book and look no further.
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This book has been a wonderfull read, and has taken me from knowing almost nothing to feeling confident and excited about my first upcoming vintage. From understanding how to get grapes to feeling comfortable with testing for the total acidity of a wine, this book has been a real pleasure. I walked away from this book knowing much more than I did walking into it.
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In days of yore you crushed some grapes, left them out for a few days, and you had wine. It might not be very good wine, but it was wine.

Then winemakers learned ways to better control the process, and that allowed them to make wines of more repeatable quality. When the international wine market reached the masses, local producers had to improve or perish, and winemaking moved more into the realm of science.

I knew that many modern wineries have sophisticated laboratories. But I hadn't realized that home winemakers are now "expected" to perform such an array of tests and control so many factors. From adding sugar or water and acid to get the right conditions for fermentation, to choosing the right yeast, to forcing (or preventing) malolactic fermentation, it can become a complex process. But I guess if you are going to go to the trouble of making your own wine, you really want it to come out better than what you can buy in a jug at the grocery store. The bar is high nowadays.

I first saw this book in the tasting room of my favorite winery, and figured they wouldn't sell a book that got it wrong. So I later ordered a copy, and it really is a good introduction to the subject. It covers all the steps--and options--clearly but succinctly. The author neither talks down to the reader nor assumes you have a degree in chemistry. (Wet chemistry was not my favorite subject in school.) And as complex as it all reads, I suspect that doing it over the course of a few weeks is actually easier than reading it through in a couple of days makes it sound.

If you have an interest in making wine, by all means read this book. Even if it convinces you that it's more trouble than you want to go to, at least you'll better appreciated what went into the bottle from the market.
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