The World Atlas of Wine (Anglais) Relié – 7 octobre 2013
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Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson are phenomenally knowledgeable, and they have used that to produce a world-class reference work which is also a pleasure to browse in. It has beautiful, detailed maps and interesting, readable text so that opening a page at random is very enjoyable just for a browse, but there is a lot of proper expertise here with an excellent index and in-depth articles on things like the factors which affect the quality of Bordeaux wines and so on. Each country gets a proper introductory overview and detailed (in some cases like Bordeaux, micro-detailed) analysis of regions, all backed up with excellent maps, pictures of labels and the like.
Truly, anything the non-professional would ever need to know about wine is here, and it's plainly used as a reference by professionals, too. It is, therefore, a very substantial volume at nearly 400 large-format pages, and the only slightly negative thing I have to say about it is that it is heavy enough to be a challenge to the wrists after a very short time - but then extensive reference books have to be weighty, and it's fine to read on a table or your lap. I'm delighted with this book and would warmly recommend it to anyone with an interest in wine at any level: it's crammed with authoritative information and a pleasure to read and to look at.
The introduction is just that, a quick overview of wine. I love their bluntness: the subtitle to their paragraph on chardonnay reads "Broad, versatile, inoffensive - unless over-oaked".
But this is an atlas, and about 300 pages are devoted to a whirlwind tour of wine around the world. While well done, the top level treatment leaves you realizing just how big the world of wine is today. They could have written ten times as many pages, and still not covered everything going on in wine today.
So take this as an overview. Nearly any region of interest has books--often many, many books--devoted to it. But most people can't spend all their time reading about wine, and this book provides a good overview for deciding where you want to focus on.
Hugh and Janice are the best. Anyone who wants to LEARN more about wine has to have this book.