Oz Clarke's Introducing Wine: A Complete Guide for the Modern Wine Drinker

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9780156030236: Oz Clarke's Introducing Wine: A Complete Guide for the Modern Wine Drinker

Now available in paperback, Oz Clarke's Introducing Wine is a handy beginner's guide to the world of wine. Starting with descriptions of the full spectrum of wine flavors, Clarke then provides an excellent guide to tasting, serving, and storing wine; how to order wine in a restaurant; and even what all that jargon means. Finally, he wraps up with a wide-ranging exploration of the regions, grapes, styles, and wine producers, with completely updated lists of wines to try from each region. Perfect for the new oenophile or any reader looking to review wine basics, Clarke's concise, accessible, and entertaining reference is the most complete introductory book on wine available.

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Review:

Oz Clarke, it seems, has sobered up. Maybe it was that phantom champagne shortage of New Year's Eve 1999. Maybe it was the realization that the new millennium actually began one year later. Either way, the 2001 edition of the perennially updated purse-sized portable wine reference by the prolific and unpretentious winner of both Julia Child and James Beard awards for wine and spirits writing marks a welcome return to form. Purchasers of his 2000 edition may recall his indulgence in a bit of freeform, faux-fin-de-siècle frivolity: the chapter charting a brief history of himself via bottles consumed; the crystal ball/navel-gazing predictions of both China's emergence as a wine-growing power and the repeal of France's Appellation Controlle system. He's lighthearted and entertaining no doubt, but occasionally sounding of someone dipping into the magnum of Billecart-Salmon 1990 a year early.

But with Oz Clarke's Pocket Wine Guide 2001, the author has awakened from his lampshade-wearing night before and freshly pressed his comfortably stylish strong suit to again provide readers with one of the best all-purpose alphabetical wine references available. One hesitates to recommend annual purchasing of annual wine guides; frequently, "totally revised and updated" means some bolder print here, a vintage change from "Hold" to "Drink" there. But Clarke's 2001 edition, with it's A-to-Z encompassing of the world of wine, features newly expanded and highlighted entries for, among others, the Barossa and Napa regions, making for an informative wine shop companion. It's an opinionated one, too: he'll crustily denounce "Millennium obsession" like an enophilic Andy Rooney (although his previous edition was drenched in it) while discussing up-and-coming wineries with some personal faves, though the chapter "Modern Wine Styles" is a virtual reprint from the 2000 edition. And there are some deletions. Don't bother looking up "Denominazione di Origine Controllata"; after sleeping off Y2K, even Oz wants no hair of the DOC. --Tony Mason

About the Author:

Oz Clarke is one of the world's leading wine experts. He has won all the major wine-writing awards, including the Glenfiddich (three times), the André Simon, the Wine Guild (three times), the Julia Child, and the James Beard. He lives in London.

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