Simon and Schuster Pocket Wine Label Decoder

Rosemary George, Author Simon & Schuster $11.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-72897-7
For anyone who has stumbled through the aisles of a wine shop seeking clues to tasty and/or tasteful wares, this book will take the place of a reliable sales clerk. Few volumes in the growing library devoted to wine are as concise or as user-friendly as this slender guide. Assessing the ``authenticity, character, and status'' of a wine based on its label, George ( Chablis ) avoids giving out-and-out purchase advice, and instead steers readers to the key names, phrases, acronyms and dates on labels that will be their salvation. ``There are four essential elements that determine the taste of a wine: grape variety, the soil in which it is grown, the climate to which it is subjected each year, and finally the human factor, the winemaker,'' she reports, and advises us on how to divine each factor on a label. Red, white and rose wines are her main concerns; the author also touches on champagne, fortified and dessert wines. Successive chapters cover wine laws and survey the major wine-producing areas of the world. California winemakers may feel slighted by cursory coverage of their increasingly large business. However, this casual attitude does not diminish the utility of the tiny tome. Most newcomers to the wine cellar will find the book worth its price for glossary alone. Illustrated. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 02/04/1991
Release date: 02/01/1991
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