Articles Tagged wine books

Why We Still Need Dead Trees (August 2019 Wine Product Review Bonus Edition)

Vinted on August 16, 2019 binned in wine books, wine products
image: Amazon.com

The virtual ink is barely dry on the previous edition of a wine product review roundup, and yet I find myself compelled to offer yet another (consider it a bonus?) roundup for the month of August, with the pending release of the 8th Edition of The World Atlas of Wine (Octopus Publishing, 416 pages, about $65).

image: Amazon.com

The Atlas is, of course, the work of Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson, the former of whom I consider myself a fan-boy of, and the latter of whom I’m fortunate enough to consider an acquaintance (the first time that I met her, in Portugal, she tried to introduce herself to me, at which point I countered with something along the lines of “no, that’s not how this meeting is going to go down; you’re amazing, and I’m an insect!”… real smooth on my part). Its release is always newsworthy in the fine wine world; this is the first major revision to the tome since the 7th Edition back in 2013. it’s widely – and justifiably – considered an essential resource for anyone serious about obtaining fine wine knowledge, and it has no equal in terms of painting portraits of the best of the wine world’s terroir locations. But is it worth shelling out $60-some-odd?…

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Finding, Collecting, Drinking And… Marketing! (May 2018 Wine Product Review Round-up)

Vinted on May 30, 2019 binned in wine books, wine products

It has been quite a good long while since we did a product round-up here on 1WD, and judging by the size of the pile of wine books samples in my office, it’s now high-time that we rectify that. Either that, or I’m going to have a hospital bill in my future after tripping on all of these dead trees…

Given the personal risk of the situation described above, I’m going to defer the final entry in my Southern Rhône series to next week, so that we can get you the skinny on a handful of new wine book releases (and perhaps save me a broken toe or two).

Find Your Wine: A fun and easy guide to selecting the right wine, every time (by Kaytie Norman & Nick Johnson, Media Lab Books, 96 pages, about $17)

Find Your Wine
image: Amazon.com

Does the world need yet another how-to-select-a-wine book? Not really. But the world doesn’t really need any more cat memes, either. Both the kitties photos and Find Your Wine have places in this world, however, because both are pretty adorable. Yes, I am really saying that about a wine book. Aimed squarely at beginners (assisting them in discovering personal tastes, finding wines to match, and learning more about the major grape varieties and styles of fine wine), Find Your Wine wins in its combination of making some rather complex wine topics seem approachable (to the point that even its quoted wine expert resources have toned down the rhetoric), and presenting everything in a layout that is so easily digestible that little children could navigate it without instruction. Which will either endear it totally to its recipient, or nauseate said recipient (see, that cat meme comparison really works)…

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101 Wines, 43 Wine Regions, And 1 Rosy Picture (June 2018 Wine Product Roundup)

Vinted on June 27, 2018 binned in book reviews, wine products

101 Wines to Try Before You Die

image: Amazon.com

Welcome to the June 2018 incarnation of the ongoing series in which I review samples that aren’t in liquid form. I am so, so, sooooooooooooooooooooo far behind in penning thoughts on various tastings and wine travels, but I’m also so, so, sooooooooooooooooooooo far behind in reviewing the never-ending flood of wine book samples coming my way that I felt compelled to knock off at least a small handful for this product roundup.

First up, we have the small-but-powerful 101 Wines to Try Before You Die (Cassell, 244 pages, about $12) by former Wine Magazine editor Margaret Rand. Generally speaking, I’m not a fan of list-style books, but Rand’s clever ploy here – in which she devotes two pages each to the wines on her list, including a bottle/label shot – is not to introduce you to individual wines per se, but to get people thinking more about things like Savennières, Hunter Valley Semillon, or Bierzo.

43 Wine Regions

image: Amazon.com

Rand gets bonus points for employing a writing style that’s equal parts matter-of-fact, personal, and humorous (included with each selection’s vitals, such as trophy vintages and whether or not to chill or decant the wine, is a “What Not to Say” section; my personal favorite is probably “Is it German?” under Hugel’s Riesling Schoelhammer entry). 101 Wines to Try Before You Die is an honest and fun, if not essential, walk through some of compelling bottles.

Next, there’s   (Mascot, 144 pages, about $25) by Michael Biddick. Biddick is a sommelier with an IT background, and his upcoming book is essentially full of vignettes about some of the world’s most important wine regions, accompanied by a sort of info-graphic that displays the area’s major grapes, soils, climate, and recent vintages.

Now, at this point, you’re probably asking yourself “why the f–k did he pick 43 regions?!?” and the answer has to do with Biddick’s IT geekdom, and is the kind of thing that’s just begging for controversy…

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In Search Of… The Not-So-perfect (April 2018 Wine Products Roundup)

Vinted on April 25, 2018 binned in wine books, wine products

It’s time here on 1WD for entry in the ongoing wine product sample roundup articles series, in which I try out samples sent to me that are not directly vinous / edible in nature. Once again, I’ve tried to whittle down the pile of wine-related tomes cluttering my office floor, but I also managed to have a sort of battle with (yet another) wine opener-type-thingy…

The Search for Good Wine

image: amazon.com

First, there’s the book: The Search for Good Wine: From the Founding Fathers to the Modern Table, by John Hailman (University Press of Mississippi, 301 pages, about $29). Hailman has been a wine competition judge, has authored a couple of other books, and had a nationally syndicated wine column; The Search for Good Wine pulls from the latter, which is the both the book’s strongest asset and (for me) its greatest source of consternation. This is a compendium of Hailman’s well-written, often witty, more often informative, and always accessible column essays, organized into four main categories (people, places, tips, and humor). They are good reads. The trouble is that (too) many of the essays employ relative references (mostly regarding time), yet lack details about when they were written and published. Not a big deal, until you hit the twentieth or so relative mention, at which point the editor in me (and maybe in you) will want to scream. Anyway, it’s solid work if you can get past that possibly-not-so-minor cavil.

Finally, we have my run-in with Vineyard Elite’s “The Perfect Wine Opener” (https://theperfectwineopener.com, $69.95). With such a haughty moniker, and a price to match, you’d think that this thing would work exceptionally well. And you’d be very, very wrong (based on my usage trials, anyway)…

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