Oz Clarke's New Encyclopedia of Wine

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9780156029407: Oz Clarke's New Encyclopedia of Wine

Now available in paperback, Oz Clarke's New Encyclopedia of Wine has been updated to reflect the latest developments in the world of wine. This A-to-Z reference includes more than 1,500 entries covering the world's leading wines, wine regions, wine producers, and grapes, and 700 color photographs, maps, wine labels, and other illustrations. As accessible for the beginner as it is informative for the expert, the New Encyclopedia demystifies today's burgeoning world of wine with all the wit and expertise Oz Clarke's readers have come to expect.

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Review:

The prolific Oz Clarke, winner of both the Julia Child and James Beard awards for wine writing, takes readers on a structured and stylish whirlwind tour of the world's wine-producing regions in Oz Clarke's New Encyclopedia of Wine, a 416-page tome full of glossy, full-color pages packed to their sturdy binding with photos, maps, and opinionated enological overview.

Early chapters summarize the making of red, white, sparkling, and fortified wines; give tips on keeping, serving, and tasting wine; and vividly detail the traits of some of the globe's grape-growing geography. Clarke's prose is full of tasty turns of phrase: tannic Merlots are full of "gum-drying toughness," oak-aged Sauvignon Blanc is a "half-way house" between Chardonnay and French Sauvignon, and lightly aged Riesling smells like "petrol." But a couple of his pronouncements are just plain infuriating: calling the political Classification of 1855--drawn up by the Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce and based on the prices the wines fetched then and still extant in this day of vineyard consolidation and ownership by insurance companies and makers of luxury luggage--generally "still a remarkably accurate guide" may strike one as oddly musty thinking, given his revisionist reviews of Chateaux d'Issan and Lynch-Bages appearing later in the book. But this is wine we're talking about here: one person's "ugh!" is another's "strange but delightful," and wine researchers and armchair sippers alike will find the latter 85 percent of the New Encyclopedia to be the real body of the work: an information-packed, browsable, alphabetical gazetteer of wines, regions, grape types, and producers written in the sometimes enraging, always engaging, wonderful words of Oz. --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 is a regular columnist for The Wine Enthusiast. He lives in London.

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