Understanding Wine Technology: The Science of Wine Explained (Anglais) Broché – Illustré, 20 septembre 2010
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The book delivers perfectly on that promise: it is amazingly readable and covers nearly every conceivable (general) topic regarding production. What it does *not* do is to provide detailed depth in any area (see below), cover non-production aspects such as details of individual varietals or wines, nor present a winemaking manual. It covers commercial rather than home production, although of course there is some overlap.
If you want one of the following, then the book is for you: an substantial breadth view of topics; an overview of the science; an overview of commercial wine production. On the other hand, if you want something else, it is *not* for you: detailed technical depth on chemistry (try Margalit instead); a guide to wines, regions, or wineries; a guide to wine making. For my part, I am an aficionado and home winemaker, and it has added breadth to my knowledge. It's a good "first source" to look up something before delving into more depth.
Preview pages ("see inside") are not yet posted for this volume, so I will clarify what it includes. There are 23 chapters that take up 290 pages of primary text. These include virtually every topic from vineyard to bottling. In addition to the usual topics ("in the vineyard", "producing the must", "fermentations", "clarification and fining", etc.) there are interesting and more industry-focused chapters, including a chapter on "quality control and [hazard] analysis". In other words, the topics are comprehensive, but at an average of 10 pages per topic, each topic provides only an overview of its area.
The print quality is good, heavy weight, glossy paper. A pleasant surprise was the number of interesting color photographs, taken in vineyards and wineries around the world. These help immensely to illustrate the concepts.
Finally, to clarify just how much depth there is, here is a paragraph describing cold soak processes:
"Pre-ferment maceration, otherwise known as a 'cold soak', can be used to extract more aromas from the skins, This is identical to the so-called 'skin-contact' process as used in the production of aromatic white wine (sse p. 104). During this period the must has to be cooled to somewhere between 15 and 4 degrees C in order to prevent the fermentation starting, so that the cells containing the flavour and aroma compounds can be broken. This is particularly effective with Pinot Noir, where the aromas are very valuable, but the danger of the extraction of polyphenols is minimal because of the nature of the thin skins." [p. 90]
That description took about 1/3 of a page. If you imagine that level of description multiplied across hundreds of carefully arranged and progressive topics, ending up with almost 300 pages total, you can imagine this book. I find it tremendously interesting and helpful, but again, it is an overview not a technical guide. Cheers!
Chapter 10 is entitled, "Sparkling and Fortified Processes," is a scant eleven pages. The chapter title alone, by including both, gives the reader a warning that these subjects will be given short shrift. Yes, there are other resources for this information, like Julian Jeff's $700 book on Sherry. But Bird writes so well that it seems a shame that he devotes more time to filtration than he does to these complex processes.
This volume fills in many gaps in the winemaking process that are present the standard wine references. It also made me recognize the gaps I still have in the production of Champaign, Port, and Sherry.
Texto conciso. Detalhes de processo que em outros livros não se encontram. Leitura fácil e de rápida compreensão e assimilação. Recomendado com louvor.