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Saturday, 10 January 2015

Wine Books Make Perfect Last-Minute Gifts!

A round up of some cracking reads and essential guides for wine lovers.

Oz Clarke – Pocket Wine A-Z 2015
Britain's favorite wine writer has been publishing his pocket guide since 1993 and he really does have it down to a fine art. Into 370-odd small pages (it really does fit in your pocket), he manages to cram an entire world of wine. He covers more than 7000 wines and 4500 producers, while still finding room for vintage charts, grapes, country reviews, recommendations, a guide to wine styles and a glossary. The quality of the writing and information is as good as ever and his introductory chapter is a well-crafted look at climate change and how it will impact not just producers, but consumers as well. A must-have addition to any wine library.
Available on Amazon: 11.95USD

Simon Woods – The World's Shortest Wine Book
Wine consultant Woods didn't want to write a "worthy" wine book because, he says, there are already plenty of them out there. And while it would be uncharitable in the extreme to call this book "unworthy" it certainly is a welcome relief to find a book that is concise, well worded and that doesn’t take itself at all seriously. Rather than being a guide to wine, it is instead a guide to getting more out of wine. Tips include buying decent glasses, being more adventurous and tasting as much as possible. Sure, they've all been covered by "worthy" books before, but few with the breakneck speed, élan and humor of Woods. A great stocking-filler that won't break the bank.
Available on Amazon: 7.10USD

Robert Geddes MW – Australian Wine Vintages 2015
This is the 32nd edition of the "Gold Book", a godsend for anyone with an interest in Australian wine. Geddes took over for the 2010 edition and he has tightened it up somewhat to focus on the wineries consistently producing top wines. It's not a book of one-hit wonders by any means, but it is still an impressive collection. It features more than 6000 wines from more than 300 wineries, so it's a pretty thorough guide to the upper echelons of Australian wine. There is also the obligatory glossary and a useful vintage guide for each wine entry as well. If you like Australian wine you should really buy this book. (Geddes A Drink Publications Pty Ltd) $34.95

Wine Books Make Perfect Last-Minute Gifts

R.M. Cartmel – The Richebourg Affair
Is Richebourg literally a wine to die for? That's the premise of this entertaining – if slightly clichéd – first-time novel, set in the hallowed vineyards of Burgundy. It has it all – a harried, haunted cop, drop-dead-gorgeous women, a divided family and, yep, a murder. It's an easygoing romp through countryside that will be familiar to wine lovers. As will the characters: the protagonist's first name is Charlemagne (as in Corton) and his dead brother is named Bertin, after Chambertin. That's about as deep as the characterization goes, but the plot ticks over nicely. If you like your murders more Agatha Christie than Elmore Leonard, you're in luck, as there are two more outings planned for Commandant Truchaud.
Available on Amazon: 6.90USD

Becky Sue Epstein – Brandy: A Global History 
While whiskey, vodka and gin all enjoy great popularity and media coverage, brandy, one of our more venerable spirits, can get forgotten in all the fuss. That's a shame, because it is a wonderfully versatile spirit and its best expressions – Cognac and Armagnac – can be sublime. This book is a nice reminder that brandy hasn't gone away and, in fact, is enjoying a mild renaissance of its own. The book is a history, as the title says, but it also looks at where brandy sits today and examines how this most historic of drinks is finding its niche in a crowded new world. It's well written, authoritative and, despite my best efforts, I was unable to find the almost-inevitable factual error that creeps into even the best-researched books. Lively and entertaining, it's a handy gift for anyone who loves this often-overlooked spirit.
Available on Amazon: 13.10USD

Source: http://www.wine-searcher.com/

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