Windows on the World Complete Wine Course

Kevin Zraly, Author Sterling Publishing (NY) $24.95 (276p) ISBN 978-1-4027-2639-2
Picking out a wine book, either for yourself or as a gift, can be almost as daunting as the wine list itself. Kevin Zraly, founder of the Windows on the World Wine School, knows this, and his newly-updated twentieth anniversary edition is as indispensable as the corkscrew. Zraly starts small, with an overview of developments in the wine industry since the book's last publication, and then covers the basics of fermentation, important wine regions and how to taste wine. What really sets the book apart from its peers is Zraly's patience with the reader. The book is peppered with questions ranging from ""How long should I keep a Beaujolais?"" to strategies on creating and stocking a wine cellar. Quirky quotes, anecdotes and cocktail party trivia are scattered throughout the book's margins. The result is an eminently readable book that manages to teach while it entertains. Through it all, Zraly remains down-to-earth and free of the snootiness many newcomers associate with the daunting world of wine. Wine experts may find this book lacking, though, and might be better served by a more exhaustive, encyclopedic book, as Zraly focuses on French and domestic wine at the expense of Italian, Spanish and Australian brands. (Including Yellow Tail, an Australian wine that, according to Zraly, is the top-selling imported wine.) Still, this is an excellent introduction to the world of wine and should be warmly received by those looking for a well-structured and informative book on the subject.
Reviewed on: 09/01/2005
Release date: 09/01/2005
Genre: Nonfiction
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