Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Will This Book Help?

I asked this question last month (January 01, 2013) and now attempt to elaborate.

If anyone expects step-by-step instructions leading them to fuller 'tastings' they will be disappointed. The groundwork is there - also a framework and substantive instruction for any level of tasting, with wine and/or food. The bricks and mortar are included. So what's missing?

YOU!  You're to be the architect with plans for infusing at a personal level the essentials start through finish for 'tasting'. Words alone don't make it happen - however, you'll be better prepared to take it the extra step through the Practice sessions that supplement the Theory in each of the Chapters. The objective being to fulfill your enjoyment of tasting with wine as a focus - to recognize the nuances, the mystery and often dynamic interactions of today's world of wines.

I would begin this book at pg 198, wine and words - glossary. Reading each of the 177 terms starts the imprinting process, ie. gluing one word definitions to your vocabulary before they are tossed at you in the preceding Chapters. This preparation introduces new, corrects many being used inaccurately and erases those misapplied before reading them in proper context. This realigns some terms while not necessarily throwing out those that have worked for you in the past. Now, when one of the glossary terms appears, as they often do throughout the pages, your interpretation is consistent with the author's, in fact, the interpretation is the author's.

Each Chapter is organized as Theory and Practice sessions, pairings for each discussion point of that Chapter. For example the first Chapter on Learning to taste contains: How little we know/Theory/Practice followed by The importance of the nose/Theory/Practice, Sweetness in wine/Theory/Practice etc. until all twelve (or so) elements of the Chapter are covered.

The second Chapter, appropriately called Practical Matters pulls a tasting together in all its forms by describing event timing, the mood, the social and personal 'auras', the environment, wine temperatures, decanting, glasses, taking notes, spitting and ends with aspects of a Formal Tasting.

Having established the basics the remaining Chapters focus on 'the stars of the show': White grapes, Red grapes, Strong and Sparkling wines while the last Chapter, Wine/Food/Fun picks up any remaining fragments.
Summing it up:
Tackling the entire set of Theory & Practice pairs of each Chapter is too ambitious in my view. Taken a few at a time to fit budget and interests is more practical (and likely intended). Also transposing what is possible in the Western world controlled by our monopoly versus Jancis' professional, euro-centric world could be impractical. But you don't know without trying... reading the book is the first step!

My opinion, Ww

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