3 special books for wine lovers

3 wine books

The New York Times recently published Highlights from the 2012 Vintage in Wine Publishing, singling out three special reference books. Any of these would be a pleasurable gift to give to wine lovers who have all the basics, but want to delve more deeply into specialized areas. Specifically, the list includes:

Wine Grapes: A Complete Guide to 1,368 Vine Varieties, Including Their Origins and Flavours by Jancis Robinson. Although expensive (at $175)  Eric Asimov, the author of this article, notes "The bulk of this bulky book - almost 1,300 pages, not including charts and ampelographic illustrations - and what no doubt will be most meaningful to the vast majority of readers, are comprehensive individual entries for the 1,368 varieties of grapes that (right now at least) produce commercial quantities of wine throughout the world." Asimov does note that the book can be found discounted.

The next book, Sherry, Manzanilla and Montialla: A Guide to the Traditional Wines of Andalucía ($29.95) is by Peter Liem and Jesús Barquín. It fills a missing hole in wine literature,  "What has been lacking is an up-to-date text that puts sherry into a modern perspective." In Asimov's opinion, this book fills the void:  in "a lucid, understated, wry and subtly subversive manner,  Sherry questions much of the conventional wisdom about how the wines are made and how it should best be consumed. In this way, it functions not only as an excellent summation of what has been, but also as a wise and hopeful vision of what can be."

The third book, by Max Allen, is The History of Australian Wine: Stories From the Vineyard to the Cellar Door ($51). It sounds like a particularly fun book, "It's a story with false starts and unexpected triumphs, told partly through oral history and always with a focus on the vivid characters who have been the backbone of the industry. "


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