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Customer Reviews

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on April 22, 2002
This book is successful on several different levels. First, it is just a great book to have lying around the house. Very relaxing to sit down for a few minutes, leaf through the pages and take a look at all of the beautiful and warm areas that produce wine (especially nice on a cold winter's day!) The layout is outstanding and the photography is excellent. However, this book is more than just pretty pictures. If you want to learn something about the process of making and developing great wines, this book delivers. I cannot pretend to understand all of the technical detail dealing with soil contents, acid levels, appellations, etc., but I am trying to learn. And I know I will have many interesting nights ahead as I settle in to learn about the various grapes and the various wine growing regions of the world. One slight annoyance--there are too many sidebars dealing with the personalities in the wine world. However, this is more than made up for by keeping the foofy wine jargon ("peach undertones" or "texture like cashmere") to a minimum.
It is a very good value for the price.
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on March 18, 2002
If you're looking for a step-by-step guide to the winemaking process, or to the myriad types of wine the world offers, there's no better choice than "Exploring Wine." It's also a great resource for such arcana as the wine industry in Texas, the different estates of Pomerol or an exhaustive list of the prestige cuvees of the various champagne houses. "Exploring Wine" gives you all the minutiae of the history, business and esthetic properties of wine, without ever becoming dull. This being a production of the Culinary Institute of America, "Exploring Wine" even gives you detailed charts of recommended wine and food pairings, as well as sample menus pairing national cuisines with indigenous wines (including South Africa, South America and the Middle East as well as the different regions of France, Italy and California). There's also an informative chapter on the health benefits of wine. "Exploring Wine" is an invaluable resource for the dedicated enophile as well as the average reader with a casual, but real, interest in wine.
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on August 19, 2003
So the book might be a bit too technical-tongued sometimes, or it may contain unbalanced chapters (the one about serving wine should have been either more accurate or none at all) but by all means it is a great book. Graphics and pictures are superb. I enjoyed reading it, although, as an Italian, I found the story about Italian produce a bit modest (forgive me, it's only that we have the best wines in all the world, it's a fact...). I just need to find a wine book that tells it like it is: THE BEST WINE IS THE ONE YOU LIKE, OR THE ONE YOU DRINK WITH YOUR GREAT FRIENDS.
P.S. : my mom told me Mr. Mondavi, the prefator, is a relative of a relative. The world is small.
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on January 10, 2003
Althought this is a good book, I would not recommend it as a primary purchase (try "Wine for Dummies" or "Windows on the World Complete Wine Course") nor as a secondary purchase (try "Wine Bible" or "Oxford Companion to Wine"), but I would recommend it as a tertiary purchase. There is a decent amount of material presented in a professional and eye-pleasing manner. Be forewarned that the book is large (9"x11") and heavy -- probably not something you would read in bed. The coverage of the different areas is pretty good, but not exceptional, hence my four-star rating.
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on January 28, 2002
This is the book I've been looking for and I highly recommend it. One stop shop for the wealth of knowledge about the world's wine producing regions. Gives an excellent, and often moderately in-depth, overview of regions, appelations, producers, and key players. Also has call-out interview boxes with noted authorities. Well done. If you wanted any more detail, you would need to contact state/federal departments of agriculture. Very well done.
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on February 2, 2002
I am a Culinary Arts student enrolled in a Beverage Management course. Exploring Wines was on our list of supplemental readings. It is, in fact, more helpful and informative than the original assigned text. The format is easy to read and understand which is essential when looking at such a complex subject as wines.
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on May 14, 2002
This is a disapointing book. The writing style is verbose and akward. The information is poorly organized and too frequently incorrect. I advise others to buy the Oxford, Sotheby's, or the Atlas, before buying this book.
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