Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Sep 16, 2014

Finally, Something New in the World of Wine

As far as I can tell, there is only one reason to understand the vocabulary of wine; those words and phrases that attempt to describe the experience of tasting a wine: To be able to communicate with others about the experience. Of course, that one reason is an important one since the idea of two wine lovers sitting across from each other and explaining why they like a particular wine by saying “because” isn’t really a sustainable conversation. In his…

Oct 2, 2013

Reaching for Everything In Wine: Vintage Hugh Johnson

The first edition of Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book I ever picked up was the 1987 edition. Hugh had already been writing the annual guide for ten years. This year’s 2014 edition of the ubiquitous handbook is his 37th edition. For a number of years, the Hugh Johnson Pocket Wine Book was indispensable as a quick guide to the most important wineries (along with the author’s opinions of them), the basics of the world’s varied wine regions, reports on recent…

Sep 10, 2013

The Three Most Important Wine Books You Need Now

I don’t thank anyone who wants to develop an education in wine can do so simply by tasting. It’s critical. Yes. But without including significant “book learn’in” in your wine education, you will be bereft of a real education. This should be easy to understand. If you simply taste wine, you really have only a tiny window into the world of wine. The student needs history. The student of wine wants an understanding of the background of grapes. We want…

Apr 8, 2013

A Sparkling Personal Tale of Wine and Self

There is something very idiosyncratic about Andrea Frost’s new book, “Through a Sparkling Glass”. It’s not like most wine books, yet has a structure many who imbibe in wine literature will recognize instantly. Subtitled “An A-Z of the Wonderland of Wine”, the new issue from Hardy Grant Books is nominally an encyclopedia of wine terms (or at least terms related to wine). Frost’s short sections on topics such as Gruner Veltliner, Old World-New World, Scores, Decanting and other familiar terms…

Mar 15, 2013

Examining the Mystery of Napa Valley’s Wine Culture

Culture. It is a combination of many things including facts, fictions, legends and landscapes. Take my own Napa Valley. Valley culture is built on the facts of great wealth being produced here by old hands and newcomers to the winemaking industry that is largely sustained by a foundation of working poor Mexicans. The fiction that anyone can enter and be a part of this good and expensive life simply by moving to this region is a part of the Valley’s…