Wines of the World

Susan Keevil, Consultant DK Publishing (Dorling Kindersley) $30 (672p) ISBN 978-0-7566-0517-9
Another image-laden installment in the Eyewitness Companions series, this primer takes a worldly approach to wine sampling. Each chapter addresses a different wine-growing country or global region, incorporating pictures of lush vineyards, color-coded maps and extensive sidebars. Detailed descriptions of both the wine-growing regions and the vineyards themselves, including phone numbers and Web sites, make this book a resource for both casual drinkers and connoisseurs whose travels take them to wine country. The visual emphasis of Eyewitness guides makes for an engaging layout, with photo spreads and reference maps adroitly packaging a sweeping topic. Delightful tangents abound, many given their own photo-rich spread. The one on crafting wine casks, for example, has images illustrating each step in the barrel-making process, and the one on the art of wine labels shows labels created by American film director John Huston and Swiss painter Hans Erni for Mouton-Rothschild. ""Perfect Case"" sidebars list the top bottles from every region--a concise addendum to the maps. The book begins with an overview of wine's history and production, and concludes with reference tables on practical matters like reading a label, storing and serving, and pairing with food. Overall, this is a richly illustrated and lucidly structured primer that would move Bacchus himself to raise a toast.
Reviewed on: 10/04/2004
Release date: 10/01/2004
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