Windows on the World Complete Wine Course

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9780806962733: Windows on the World Complete Wine Course

Is it necessary to pay a high price to get great-tasting Bordeaux? What foods best complement a fine Chardonnay? When is champagne ready to drink? How do you choose a good California wine? America's best-selling book on wine returns with updated recommendations, new sections, and Kevin Zraly's irreverent approach to the subject. Universally praised by wine experts and novices alike, this unbeatable course will answer all your questions and help you to become a wine connoisseur. Take a country-by-country, region-by-region "best-buy" ratings tour of the latest vintages. You'll love Zraly's lighthearted style, and you'll appreciate his glossary of wine terms, his award-winning restaurant wine lists, and his helpful and informative tips on stocking and serving wine at home, ordering it in restaurants (including the hows and whys of the "tasting ritual"), and much more. Elegant two-color printing and dozens of illustrations, ranging from labels you should know to memorable New Yorker cartoons, complement Zraly's witty commentary. Whether your prefer a vintage that's bright, earthy, mature, rich, light, or seductive, take a uniquely intoxicating trek through the world of wine that will turn you into an enthusiastic expert in no time!

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Review:

Quick, what's the correct way to open a wine bottle? Bonus round: what are the 13 grape types permitted in Chateauneuf-du-Pape?

Whatever your score on the above, you're bound to enjoy the Windows on the World Complete Wine Course. Subtitled Millennium Edition, this 14th annual update is again authored by Kevin Zraly, founder and teacher of the Wine School, begun in 1976 as an offshoot of New York's Windows on the World restaurant. On 200 colorful and clutter-free pages full of maps, wine labels, and sidebars full of facts and anecdotes, Zraly acts as your Sherpa through eight classes. Chapters 1 through 3 circumnavigate the white wines of France, the New World, and Germany; 4 through 8 explore the reds of France, California, Iberia, Australia, and South America, concluding with a section on champagne, port, and sherry.

As wine guru, Kevin Zraly is opinionated, knowledgeable, and patient. His skill at talking novice wine devotees off the ledge is especially evident in the chapters on Burgundy and Germany, with their notoriously confusing wine labels. Study Zraly's careful parsing and annotation of a German label and you'll be able to tell the region from the town from the vineyard the next time someone hands you a Mosel-Saar-Ruwer Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Spätlese.

But any book that calls itself a "Complete Wine Course" sets the Barbera pretty high--sometimes too high. Oregon and Washington States share one page while New York State rates two and a half. Certainly a millennium edition could scare up another paragraph for the red-hot Pacific Northwest. And two chapters following the classes--"Creating an Exemplary Restaurant Wine List" and "Award-Winning Wine Lists"--seem little more than padding.

But these are small quibbles about a handsome and approachable volume that will take you from Amarone to Zind-Humbrecht with confidence. Whether you're a true cork dork or someone who doesn't know their Alsace from their elbow, you could certainly do worse than pressing your nose up against these windows on the world. --Tony Mason

From the Back Cover:

"If you have never bought a wine book before, start with this one. If you have a roomful of wine books, get this one anyway. It's a whole new way to look at the subject." -- Frank J. Prial, The New York Times

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