This audiobook explains everything an oenophile needs to know, including the creation and naming of wines, wine cellars, presentation and glassware, pairing wine with food, and much more.
Kramer reminds us that wine is an expression of the earth that reveals the site and conditions under which it is cultivated. He explores connoisseurship through the practical devices of "thinking wine" and "drinking wine," making for a most enjoyable and engrossing journey through one of life's most dependable pleasures.
©2003 Matt Kramer; (P)2003 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"Pop a cork, pour a glass and enjoy listening to this book....should fascinate both the novice and the oenophile....Davidson's reading and pronunciation are impeccable." (AudioFile)
"While much wine writing verges on pedantry, columnist Kramer brings a disciplined reporter's ear to his job, along with wit and intelligence to spare." (Publishers Weekly)
"[A] perspective that combines common sense with scientific fact....The point of view taken is refreshingly free of dogma." (Library Journal)
First off I would say that this is NOT a bad book. It is a reasonable guide to wine and will give you some basic facts. My main complaint is that while the book gives you a comprehensive overview of wine regions, storing wine, and pairing wine, it barely touches on grape varieties and actually tasting wine. It would be a very good book for an aspiring connoisseur, who wishes to go above and beyond simple tasting. For those who wish to receive a basic understanding of main grape/wine varieties and how to taste/classify wines, there are much better books available. The book has some very useful knowledge and discusses the intriguing topic of connoisseurship, but lacks the essential background information for anyone starting out in the wine world.
The narrator is a bit stuffy, but matches the overall tone of the book.
This is a wonderful book with historical information that will be a bonus to people who know nothing about wine as well as those of us who know quite a lot. Another reviewer did not care for the narrator, but I think those complaints are silly. The narrator is awesome, and yes, the highbrow tones are a bit ironic in comparison to the content, but the narration fits the topic and theme and is also just delightful to listen to. The wine info is excellent and this is a classic book of its type. Quite good.
As has been noted by others the performance is a little one note, didn't bother me terribly. The material was a tad dry but seemed to cover the basics. I wish there had been a little more about types of wine and their characteristics. Overall, I'm glad I listened and I'm looking forward to learning more from other sources.
I tried very hard not to be annoyed by Frederick Davidson's narration. I mean, a stereotypical British accent with the affectation of the upper class should be perfect for a book on wine right? Not to this listener. Early on Matt Kramer writes about this book not being for "snobs" (my interpretation) and yet with every syllable uttered it screamed snobbery. His pronunciation of French wines and foods may be impeccable, but I could scarcely understand any of it. Such a shame too since this book is full of interesting and useful information. In fact I often came off appearing snobbish when making comments about wine which I gleaned from the book. This one is better read than listened to.
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