Thursday, 13 December 2007

Christmas Books for Wine Lovers

There are some good books on wine that would make a great Christmas present – here are a few that I know a certain person would like to find under the tree with his name on them . . .

Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book 2007: 30th Edition .

Hugh Johnson is a legend in the wine world and every year his popular pocket guide is a best seller. The Pocket Wine Book is in it’s 30th anniversary year and has been completely revised and updated, offering more current news than ever on over 6,000 wines, growers, and regions, along with up to-the minute vintage information, recommended wines (including budget options), and star ratings. A new section showcases Hugh Johnson’s special, personal choices, and there are plenty of quick reference maps, charts, and fact boxes for a little extra guidance.

Oz and James's Big Wine Adventure by Oz Clarke & James May

Nick and I really enjoyed Oz and James' expedition to France in the first series of their Big Wine Adventure and are avidly following their new series which is on at the moment. This book covers their first series to France and is an inspiring introduction to French wine with a unique travel angle. You may think it an odd combination to pair up Oz Clarke and James May but that is part of it's charm and humour. The book is divided into regions and is beautifully illustrated with over 80 landscape photographs and location shots, it is full of useful information on wine-making, wine culture, regions and tips on how to seek out the best the French vineyards have to offer.

The World Atlas of Wine By Hugh Johnson & Jancis Robinson

This book is written by the world's most authoritative wine duo and it is a great gift if you're interested in where your wine comes from as well as how it tastes. The mapping and information are unsurpassed. Each of the 200 maps has been thoroughly researched and updated.
Reflecting the happenings over the last six years in the world of wine, the pages devoted to the New World show a lot of changes. New additions include: California (Rutherford, Oakville, Stag's Leap), Australia (Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Limestone Coast), New Zealand (Central Otago, Martinborough), South Africa (Constantia). The South American section receives a complete revamp. In Europe the dynamism of the new Old World is in evidence, with Sicily, the Douro, Greece and Germany all receiving extra pages. In Spain, Toro makes an appearance and Austria's hotspots, Wachau & Kremstel, fall under the spotlight. With new illustrations and photographs throughout, this is the must-have book and reference work for all wine enthusiasts.

The Oxford Companion to Wine By Jancis Robinson

Jancis Robinson has published a new edition of her acclaimed Oxford Companion to Wine, coming as close as anybody is likely to in achieving the unachievable goal of a detailed, comprehensive, single-volume work of reference covering the whole world of wines. Just how daunting the task of keeping up with the now practically supersonic pace of development in many areas of the wine industry must be is indicated by the need, only five years after the first edition, to issue another with updated versions of about half the 3,000 entries. It is an awesome achievement.

Practically every field of human knowledge seems to have something to contribute. From geology and soil chemistry, through forestry and the nature of the different woods used for barrels and the harvesting of cork bark, to the cultivation of the vine, its training and pruning, and the techniques of fermentation; the list extends even into areas of cutting-edge science such as DNA fingerprinting, a thorough coverage of wine regions and grape varieties, the role of wine through history and its presence in art. Definitely one for the wish list.

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