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Understanding the World of Wine

Narrated by: Brian Wheaton
Length: 14 hrs and 7 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (92 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Gain the wine know-how you’ve always wanted in this comprehensive course. 

With thousands of wines on sale in the US today, choosing just the right one for each occasion can be a challenge even for the experienced. To help you master that challenge and deepen your appreciation of wine and its inexpressibly rich lore, Master of Wine Brian Wheaton recorded Understanding the World of Wine.

Whether you're a seasoned oenophile or a beginner, you will discover new insights in this set of 36 easy-to-use audio lectures. You'll explore the rich history of winemaking, learn how wine is created today, and understand what makes each of the world’s great grape varieties special. In the course, you will journey through winemaking regions across the globe, from classic areas like Bordeaux, Burgundy, and the Rhone Valley to New World vineyards in the US, Chile, Argentina, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. 

You will find practical tips and advice. Can wine improve your health? How is wine best matched with food? What are the biggest pitfalls to avoid? What is the essential wine vocabulary? What are the best ways to shop for wine? 

You can enjoy these lively lectures while you commute, run errands, or exercise - wherever and whenever you want. Each lecture runs about 25 minutes and fits handily into your daily routine without straining your schedule by a minute. 

Discover the wonderful world of wine today.

©2009 Now You Know Media, Inc. (P)2009 Now You Know Media, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A brief history of wine

This was a fantastic way to skim the surface of the world of wine.
the author climbs into history of regions and each type of wine.

I actually ended up trying a few new wine thanks to his audio book.

I'd recommend this to anyone that enjoys history, science, and of course... wine.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Li
  • Taipei City, Taiwan
  • 07-26-18

Informative

Some people complain about the reading, but the reader is also the writer, who is a master of wine. I listen to this book as if I was in a classroom listening to a lecture. In this way the occasional cough doesn't bother me one bit.

There is a lot of information in this book and I highly recommend it!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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good historical overview

pros: good overview from an expert about the significant wine growing regions, technics and styles of the world.
cons:
-the last 15 years are missing, since it is an older book, and there are relevant changes in styles, trends, rising regions l, etc.
-old fashioned view of the author: e.g. the wine cellar starts with Bordeaux, Burgundy and Port.

conclusion: worth it

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Robbie
  • Seattle, WA, United States
  • 06-27-18

Very good overview of the world wine industry.

This is a very comprehensive overview of the world of wine, how wine came to be (and now comes to be) and the many, many varieties in which it we encounter and enjoy it. Exceptional narration.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A very thorough wine guide.

I love it, but I'd say it's probably not for beginners. Couldn't get everything understood so I would definitely listen to it over and over again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Interesting listen but misses key facts.

I enjoyed listening to the narration but couldn't get past Bordeaux. He describes how the glaciers and the rivers brought the famous gravel down to the Medoc yet seems to say that the streams that separate St. Estephe, Pauillac, St. Julien, etc. were cut by the glaciers. No mention of the fact that the Medoc didn't exist as anything but swamp land until the Dutch drained it in the 1600's, and that those streams are actually drainage channels. This is a pretty big item to omit about arguably the most famous wine region in the world, and leaves one thinking about what else might be missing.

7 of 12 people found this review helpful

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did not like. author was all over

did not like the book. struggling to listen. very dry. author was very distracted. thank

1 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Van Dieu
  • 09-10-18

Informative but needs a LOT of editing

Oh dear. Ploughing through this book is rather heavy going at the best of times. The author is also the narrator, and on this occasion it really doesn't work very well, as it sounds like he is proof-reading his work rather than professionally narrating his work with any authority.

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  • Blejowski
  • 08-02-18

Comprehensive and full of useful info.

Covers just about every aspect of wine you'd want to know about, in a detailed but approachable way. My main criticism is that too much time was spent on going through the many wine regions, without always having much of substance to say. It sometimes felt like a tedious geography lesson as he catalogues region after region, often with little to say about the wines themselves other than 'the wines here are good; the wines there are mediocre.'

I also sometimes felt that he sometimes (understandably) had limited knowledge of certain more fringe wine regions or grapes. For example, in the section about South Africa he recommended people avoid Pinotages as he found them to be harsh or too tannic. I don't presume to have half the skilled palette he does, but I really think that he just hadn't tried many, or had a couple of bad bottles. When I was in South Africa, I drank a lot of Pinotage, and whatever else you might criticise it for, being harsh or tannic just doesn't seem right. It frequently has notes of banana or chocolate - hardly harsh qualities - and one of the reasons I drank it so much is because I found it less harsh and tannic than cabernet sauvignon, which I often dislike for that reason (but which he praises, as of course most wine lovers do). This makes me less confident about what he has to say about other lesser-known regions.

So I wish he had taken a less completionist approach, but spent more time on those regions he really knew a lot about. His chapters about France, for example, were excellent. I also would have liked more depth about the various grapes. He devotes just one chapter to them, and ends up whizzing through them a bit.

Overall though, I really enjoyed it and learnt a lot. Yes, as another reviewer mentioned, his mic picks up a lot of mouth noises, but it didn't really bother me, and I actually tend to be hypersensitive to things like that. Listen to the sample and if you can handle that, you'll have no problem. He actually has a very pleasant demeanour, and I found him very likeable indeed. Definitely recommended.