Actor and wine expert Julian Curry has devised a unique audiobook guide to wine which takes the listener to the heart of winemaking and wine drinking in a clear but light-hearted manner. However rich and complex the subject of wine may be, he insists it is also hugely rewarding and great fun.
Curry's informative and entertaining program begins with a description of work in the vineyard and cellar. It outlines the many choices faced by grape-grower and winemaker, resulting in the variety of different styles of wine produced. It continues with wine's journey from winery to gullet, with advice on cellaring, buying, serving food-matching and tasting. And it concludes with a lengthy section devoted to all the major wine regions, in the Old World and the New.
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This audiobook exceeded my expectations. The author provides a comprehensive overview of wine in a lively and entertaining manner. I enjoy wine but had always been intimidated by the many winemakers and varieties. I know have a much better understanding of how wine is classified and what to look for in selecting wine. I'll listen to this book again and again.
A great addition - if you are reading this, author - is to provide maps of major wine regions that can be downloaded to accompany the audio.
Don't let anyone dissuade you from purchasing this book based on the fact that it has a lot of information to absorb. Of course it does, isn't that what we are paying for? I have read at least 4 books on wine from the Dummy series to the more complex resources, and I must say that this audiobook can hold its own next to them all. If you are finding that there is too much to remember, read a few books about wine before you listen. I like to take this along with me on my dog walks. It is brilliantly read and wildly entertaining. This book is a wonderful resource for those who would like to learn about wine as well as those who know a fair amount and just want a relaxing review. Nice job, Julian Curry!!
This is an excellent overview of a very complex topic. It begins with an explanation of how wine is made and goes on to discuss grapes and regions, and the anti-snob snobbery is great. Throw in a few mildly snide comments about the French (all in good fun) and you have a tremendously useful overview.
Is there too much information here? Well, if you do not enjoy listening to non-fiction or if you do not really "learn by listening" then maybe so, but I did not have this reaction AT ALL. There were times when I stopped the narrative to back up and listen again, and I'm pretty sure I will listen from beginning to end at least one more time, but because of the quality of the information and not because there is just too much of it. Wine is a complex topic, and if you could learn all there is to know by listening to a single book (no matter how complete or delightful), then there would be no need in this world for wine stewards or sommeliers! I thought this was more than worth the price for both the content and the droll reading which I personally found to be delightful.
This isn't the end-all guide to everything wine. It isn't going to improve your pallate and heighten your senses.
It is a funny book that gives a great overview of the world of wine, from production, to tasting, food pairing, and a little information on some of the popular varietals and wine regions. For anyone who is new to wine, it is a great launching off point. And it is fun to listen to. He has a fun style of writing, and is easy to listen to. I highly recommend it.
This is definitely the best wine guide out there. The author is knowledgeable, clear, and clearly enjoys his work.
The topic is laid out in a clear and engaging style which is ideal for both the novice and the expert. It is a very good education on the subject. It starts with the process of wine-making from the vineyard to the store and then discusses varietals and regions. A WONDERFUL AUDIBLE PURCHASE.
This book was a lot of fun to listen to, but there was way too much information for an audiobook. The charisma of the author is unbeatable and creates a fabulous energy for most listeners to be enthusiastic about. Although I did take up a few pointers and really enjoyed the book, there was WAY too much information to be absorbed and would probably benefit the audience as a physical reference book instead of an audio book.
If I had the hard copy of this book, I may give it 4.5-5 stars.
I found the amount of information in this audiobook to be simply overwhelming for a beginner. Part of the problem is the audio format: listening to brief descriptions of many different types of wines makes it almost impossible to retain any of that information, whereas if I had a book in front of me, I could highlight, reread, and easily refer back to certain sections.
Some of the information is interesting, but downright useless for the average wine drinker--sure, if I can't get the cork out of my old port, I'll just pull out my red hot tongs to heat the bottle neck to that I can then cool it and break the neck off. Right.
Some of the views the author expresses seem pretentious, as well. For example, he seems to think that there is an absolute correlation between wine quality and price, which I would disagree with.
I wouldn't recommend the audio version of this book, especially to a beginner.
Exceptional, eloquent, Humorous
I am looking forward to the next book by Julian Curry due to his easy to follow prose, outstanding narration and thorough coverage of the subject of Wine.
His remarks concerning how to get the best out of a Sommelier were both amusing and usefule: "let him have his moment".
The narration was smooth enough that sitting and listening to it in one setting sounds inviting, but to be honest, I would recommend against it. I found myself listening to a couple chapters twice over, or sometimes more, simply because of the sheer amount of information covered.
This book provides the perfect amount of information that anyone would need to start appreciating wine. The book is well organized and allows the gradual building of a wine oriented vocabulary. Although the amount of time given to tasting wine is limited, there is a wonderful explanation of various popular grape varieties. This section may go quickly for some, but it is a good way to get acquainted with some basic facts about grapes. I believe that the section devoted to wine regions greatly added to the quality of this book. It provides a country by country comparison of wine and the quality of various grapes. The author seems to enjoy the subject but does not take wine too seriously. This seems like an excellent first book on wine.
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