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The Way to Make Wine: How to Craft Superb Table Wines at Home Paperback – April 1, 2010
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From the Inside Flap
"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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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.
Most books for the neophyte wine maker explain what to do much like a cook book, Warrick goes into the underlying principles and theoretical underpinnings and so helps the reader better understand what is happening in the wine and precisely what certain measurements reveal and what certain processes in fact do to the maturing wine.
The book is well written, complex ideas are explained clearly and principles for calculating, for example, how much SO2 needs to be in a wine given its current acidity in order to prevent oxidation and other problems are nicely spelled out. If you are a neophyte wine maker, Warrick 's book answers many of the questions you will have.
If you are looking for a good 'How-To' reference manual, I have mixed feelings. I still use the book regularly, only because I now have enough experience to typically get by without help. But I have to believe someone has put together a more well laid out reference type book on wine making.