The 24-hour Wine Expert by Jancis Robinson

I somehow placed it in my amazon shopping cart, and then my wife bought it by accident – just clicked proceed to checkout, paid and got it delivered to our apartment together with all of her stuff – so I decided, now that I own it, hell, why not give it a shot.

Good, light-hearted and very instructive reading for novel wine enthusiasts, much much better than the widely available Wine Folly book by Madeline Puckette, which some mistakenly buy and believe to be a good reference guide. Less colorful charts and hellava more sense here.

Jancis Robinson, a revered wine expert and a very harsh wine critic, explains it all in short, punchy, and self-explanatory language. The bare minimum of what everyone should know about wine, its production, bottling, how to taste it, common grape varieties, major wine regions, stemware, corkscrews, Coravin, decanting, aging, useful lingo, shop and restaurant tips, all in a hundred tiny A5-like pages.

Not a bad book to recommend if you're interested in the subject, yet feel intimidated by all those long words on expensive Burgundy bottles. On the other hand, if you can name the 30+ Côte d'Or Grand Crus by heart and even name the lieux-dits they're comprised of, well, you can safely skip it.

 

Advertisements

Barolo by Matthew Gavin Frank

Man, I don't get it.

Seems like a great book, and on a most intriguing and lovely topic – yet somehow, Matthew Gavin Frank's gastronomic adventures in Barolo, stories of illegal grape picking for the venerable Luciano Sandrone, standing a shift as apprentice chef at Locanda I Cannubi, walking the same hills that I like so much – all of it made me sleepy every frigging time after just a few para's. Spent months plowing through those barely 200+ pages.

Yet, to make sure – if you're somehow into Barolo, Monforte d'Alba, Serralunga, Castiglione Falleto, la Morra, Verdunho, all this special Piemontese wine, air and culinary delights, read the book.


The Hills of Chianti by Piero Antinori

The Hills of Chinati is a simple short entertaining book, written by Piero Antinori himself, one of the original masterminds behind the Super Tuscan revolution, a true patriarch of Italian wine culture.

The book is a candid yet rather anecdotal collection of stories of how several of the well known Antinori bottles came into existence, but it is clearly a bit more than just that. It rotates about three key topics: Tuscany winemaking, love of wine and family heritage.

Mr. Antinori is a 25th generation Florentine winemaker, who learnt the trade from his father and who, lovingly, describes at what lengths he had to go to to instill and inspire the same love and devotion in his three daughters, who are now the face and the management of his company. It gives simple yet quite deep insight into how several centuries old family business goes about successful succession of the trade and the family name.

Wine wise, Antinori proudly explains how his uncle coined Sassicaia, while he was putting out Tignanello and subsequently Solaia. And more bottles like Cervaro etcetera. These are the achievements not so easy to match, huh.

And third, but not last, Tuscany. Hell, what can I add to the great man's words about Tuscany? 😉

Overall, a quick entertaining read, and, I would add, a must for wine enthusiasts. From the master to the crowds.