Making Sense of Burgundy

Matt Kramer, Author William Morrow & Company $24.95 (528p) ISBN 978-0-688-08667-1
Here, we're talking about Burgundy wines in the most precise sense: the produce, red or white, of the ``thirty-one-mile-long escarpment'' known as the Cote d'Or in northern France, based on cultivation of the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grape. Introductory chapters define terms of appreciation. While other wines may be drunk for mere enjoyment, Kramer ( Making Sense of Wine ) notes that the charge of Burgundy wine is to pay homage to special qualities of the ``minerally or stoney; chalky or earthy'' Burgundian terrain. To the extent that they bring out the ``earth'' in a wine, Kramer defends such techniques as sulfuring and chaptalization (or ``sugaring''). He evaluates site characteristics and winemaking techniques of each identifiable estate within the region's districts, conferring his findings in 400 pages of agreeably travel-guide-like text. But in evaluating Burgundies, Kramer struggles, as all wine writers must, with adjectives yearning for context. A wine may be ``thickly muscled,'' ``flabby'' or ``almost brutish in its amplitude.'' He does not cover the actual technique of tasting, how to cellar or serve Burgundies, or what to serve them with. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1990
Release date: 10/01/1990
Paperback - 978-0-688-12843-2
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