Grapes and Wine: A Comprehensive Guide to Varieties and Flavours by Oz Clarke and Margaret Rand


A comprehensive guide to varieties and flavours is exactly what it is. An excellent reference book. Nicely divided into Classic grapes, Major grapes, and other grapes. The Classic grapes, the most significant varieties globally, have several pages dedicated to them. These pages include some nice pictures, maps and graphs showing distribution of major plantings around the world, maturity charts for the key wines of the variety, and there’s producer recommendations for various price points, regions, reputation, and styles. The Major grapes have a page or two and also some nice pictures and producer recommendations. The other grapes can have anywhere from several lines to several paragraphs (and only the occasional nice picture).

Why the book is good for improving tasting: there’s lots of good descriptors about the taste, flavour, and structure of wines from the various grape varieties. For the classic and major grapes differences in how they taste around the world are well discussed.

Who would want this book: anyone interested in wine from enthusiastic beginner to wine professionals and highly engaged consumers.

Why you would buy: great reference book; varieties and regional differences; great recommendation for wines to try; easy to read; great pictures; and, some good stats (although getting dated now)

Why you wouldn’t buy: the only reason not to buy this book would be if you’ve got absolutely no interest in wine. Some information and statistics, particularly volume of production by country, is starting to get a bit dated.

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