Wine Books for Discerning Palates
Michael Vaughan 2004
With Christmas just two weeks away, it is count
down time and I am trying to
come up with a list of worthwhile wine books for seasonal gifting
Over the past year, I have recommended more than a dozen worthwhile new books. Many are subject-specific and belong
to the Mitchell Beazley
Classic Wine Library. They are designed to fill vinous voids of
earlier recommendation was the earth breaking 492-page
soft cover by Nicholas
Belfrage called Brunello
to Zibibbo: The Wines of Tuscany, Central and Southern Italy
at $39.95. Now hot off the press is Belfrage¹s fully updated, 383-page hardcover companion Barolo
to Valpolicella: The Wines of Northern Italy
(ISBN 0-571-17852-9) at $39.95. It is a great resource for
lovers of Italian wines.
Of course, not every revised edition is a winner.
Five pages of acknowledgements
dated June 1994 do not instill a high level of confidence
in revised, 665-page tome by Anthony
While much of what is presented is interesting, some is seriously
outdated and no longer relevant.
At $57.50 taxes included, the reader deserves more!
other new books, several specialty volumes caught my eye. Anyone
interested in organic efforts will definitely want Monty
513-page hardcover Biodynamic
Wines (ISBN 1-84000-964-0) at $50 (www.chapters.indigo.ca
offers a 30% discount on website purchases). An
increasing number of serious winemakers around the world are
methodology, including Rhone¹s renowned Michel Chapoutier and
Roussillon¹s Domaine Cazes.
a lunch last August with winemaker Christine
Saurel, husband Eric and
their three children, I was most impressed with their delicious 2000
Clos Montirius Vacqueyras ($24.95). This juicy 50-50 blend of
Syrah and Grenache is available from agent Andrew Stodart at
416-488-4922. I was astonished to discover that the
charming children sitting at the table beside me stuffed cow horns with
manure. These are strategically placed throughout the vineyards and are
essential to the Biodynamic process of capturing astral energy. It all
made me thankful that my worst chores as a child were just taking out the
trash and shoveling sidewalks.
on, for ardent Port fans, the just-updated 399-page hardcover by
Richard Mayson entitled Port
and Douro (ISBN 1-84000-943-8) at $39.95 is a
must. From detailed producer profiles and background information on different categories of Port to vintage
evaluations and qualitative
classification of producers, there is a goldmine of information.
sparkling wines tickle your fancy, check out the most detailed study ever
to unraveling the mysteries of fizz and how the bubble is born.
Published by Princeton
University Press, Gérard Liger-Belair
diminutive 152-page hardcover Uncorked:
The Science of Champagne (ISBN 0-691-11919-8) at
not for the weak of mind. It is filled with numerous graphs, diagrams and
even detailed time-sequence photographs of bubbles. The techno-talk
may drive some readers to drink, but if you wade
through it you will have earned
a more relaxed vein with colour maps and pictures is yet another new
Mitchell Beazley book by Freddy Price
- the 192 page Riesling
(ISBN 1-84000-777-X) at $50, which is bound to appeal to fans of
this grape. Price makes an admirable effort to provide
thumbnail sketches of key
Riesling producers in major wine regions. He also sneaks in
valuable info on
the yield, ripeness of grapes, alcohol levels, residual sugar and
New Zealand is one of the hottest destinations for wine lovers, the
outstanding book Wine
Atlas of New Zealand by Michael
Cooper (ISBN 1-86958-921-1) at $96.50 is beautiful to behold.
Sadly, the best annual
guide rating newly released wines 2005
Buyer's Guide to New Zealand Wines
(ISBN 1-86958-932-7), also by Michael
Cooper, is not available in bookshops. Order through Robert Ketchin at email@example.com.
to home, John Schreiner's just
released, 277-page softcover The
Wineries of British Columbia (ISBN
1-55285-603-8) at only $22.95 brings you
right up to date with 126 winery profiles - including fruit, apple
and honey wineries. While some things are conspicuously
absent, like recommended wine
prices, useful maps and vintage guidance, it is a must have for
to explore this region.
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