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Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

The Wine Year - Book Review

by Rosalind Cooper
(Merrell Publishing Ltd., 2010)

An inspiring guide for the wine novice, The Wine Year is divided into twelve sections for each month of the year and provides useful information about how wine is made, entertaining with wine, important wine regions around the world, and interviews with key players in the wine industry. Filled with gorgeous photography of vineyards you'll undoubtedly be aching to visit, this book is a delight to ponder and a surprising page-turner.

The Wine Year by Rosalind Cooper

You'll learn all about how what happens to the grape during each month of the year, from the correct way they should be pruned, the importance of terroir, when and how to harvest the grapes from the vineyard, and right down to fermenting the wine and allowing it to mature thereafter. Beyond learning about how wine is made, you'll also become well-versed in many important aspects surrounding it. By the time you're done reading, you'll know exactly what it entails to have a wine be certified organic, what it means to be vintage-dated, the five elements used to judge wine, and why various type of grapes grow well in one region but not another. 

In addition to the essential knowledge you'll gain to help you understand, choose and critique wine, you'll also be taken to well-known and up-and-coming wineries where the wine and culture of the region is explored. From classically renowned vineyards in Tuscany and Bordeaux to relative newcomers in the wine industry in the Pacific Northwest and South Africa, you'll be taken around the world to explore the different vineyards and gain a rich understanding of what makes the vines in each of these regions distinctive and exciting. 

Perhaps the most useful part of The Wine Year is in the entertaining sections of each chapter, where you're told practical information to assist in everything related to serving and entertaining with wine. This includes enticing menus, such as “A Serious Sunday Lunch with a Spanish Twist,” advice on what wines to serve with tricky cuisines (it's not easy knowing what pairs well with curry or pad Thai!), and how exactly you should start your own wine collection. The Wine Year is not only a valuable guide to make nature's most prized drink accessible to all, but also an engaging read that will leave you thirsty for more.

Reviewed by Ashley Heinonen


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