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Kevin Zraly
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Oct. 1 1989
An entertaining and comprehensive wine guide which explains the many varieties and demonstrates how to judge them, from the wine director of New York's world-famous Windows on the World restaurant.

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Product Description

From Library Journal

Zraly, founder and teacher of the Windows on the World Wine School, presents the 14th update of his popular guide to the world of wine. Originally published in 1985, Zraly's book was designed for students, which is reflected in the treatment of each chapter as a class: "white wines of France," "red wines of California," and so on. A loose question-and-answer format prevails, and Zraly also provides a generous sprinkling of entertaining sidebars and informational tidbits. Even collections with Philip Seldon's The Complete Idiot's Guide to Wine (Alpha, 1996) or Ed McCarthy and Mary Ewing-Mulligan's Wine for DummiesR (IDG, 1998) should consider Zraly's bookAeach of these titles has its own strengths. Zraly offers more detail on Chilean and Argentinean wines, while the other two titles offer information on Portuguese wines not found in Zraly's book. For the restaurant owner or wine steward, Zraly also offers information on creating a wine list. Recommended for medium and large public libraries or any academic library where culinary arts titles are collected.AJohn Charles, Scottsdale P.L., AZ
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.


"If you have never bought a wine book before, start with this one. If you have a roomful of wine books, get this one anyway. It's a whole new way to look at the subject." -- Frank J. Prial, The New York Times

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Well-written beginner's primer Nov. 19 2002
If you are just starting out in the wine world, let Kevin Zraly tag along via "The Windows on the World Wine Course" and you won't go wrong. His light approach and expert analysis of all aspects of the wine world are a reassuring voice amid the din of conflicting advice out there in the wine racks.
Zraly, well-known for his superior knowledge in matching wine with food, keeps his book informative, but not overwhelming. The book is written in a breezy and easily read format, with plenty of white space on each page to keep the text, sidebars, margin info, and graphics from overwhelming the reader. And for those who like to know interesting facts about wine, each page has tidbits written in the margins that when dropped correctly during your next wine tasting will bring out the "Oohs" and "Aahs" in the guests.
The only negative to the book is that it can't have it all ways. It is clearly a beginner to intermediate book, and while it is derived from the class in wine that Zraly actually teaches around the country, it lacks the ability to serve as a comprehensive reference. For this reason, I would team this book with Karen MacNeil's "The Wine Bible" - a very comprehensive, yet still easy to understand resource.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The eternally forgotten Portuguese wines! Jan. 19 2000
Mr. Zraly's book has an excellent presentation of SOME of the world's great wine regions. Unfortunately, Mr. Zraly repeats the usual neglect found in other similar American books: besides Port wine, no other Portuguese wines are mentioned! We have been making wines for hundreds of years; we have the world's oldest demarcated wine region in the world; we have unique wines such as "vinho verde"; some of the recent Alentejo red wines are of a superb quality, easily competing with the best Chateu Lafitte's, e.g.; in a recent worldwide poll, one Portuguese wine (Quinta Noval, Douro) was rated as one of the century's 12 top wines.
It is quite unfortunate that this neglect is being perpetuated!
Manuel Mota
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wealth of Wine Info Compressed into Usable Book Nov. 20 2001
What a magnificent wealth of data on wine in this nicely laid out book.
Beginning with the planting, care and harvest of grapes, Zraly takes one through a catechism on wine. This question and answer format is followable, and presents it in a sequence that makes sense and one can take to the dining experience or wine store to utilize what one learns.
Like the section of food and wine matches and wine and cheese. Further, the "Wine Buying Strategies for Your Wine Cellar" is highly commendable and reliable.
This is great motivator to keep exploring this fascinating and always fluid enjoyment. The updated editions permit new tastings to grace the latest in the wine world.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great introductory wine book Sept. 27 1999
Kevin's book is great in that it is short and concise, yet at the same time covers practically every wine making region and wine type and also offers recommendations for wine/food combinations and good vintage years. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars was because of the fact it was published in the early 80's...it's a little outdated on recommending good vintage years (at least for my pocketbook). It also has a chapter for selecting wines for a restaurant...great if you're a restauranteur, but not very useful if you buy wine for personal consumption. Other than that, highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best Wine Book Nov. 6 2001
I have been reading this regularly published book for over ten years. Zraly makes the fundamentals of wine easy to understand and fun to read. His writing is lively and entertaining and his worldwide knowledge of wine is astounding. As an aside, I was very happy to hear that Zraly was not at Windows on the World at the time of the terrorist attack, but the wonderful restaurant lost many great employees. Windows on the World incorporated wine into dining in ways no other restaurant could match, and Zraly's expertise was the reason.
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