Thursday, April 30, 2009

April Wine Book Club: The Science of Wine

Welcome to the wrap up for the April edition of the Wine Book Club--this month known as Kori and Deb's Wine Club. We were the only two to crack the covers of Jamie Goode's The Science of Wine: From Vine to Glass. If I somehow missed your post please let me know.

Both Kori of the Wine Peeps blog and I had the same reactions to this book. First off, we both applauded the author for his remarkable clarity. If you want someone to explain (as clearly and comprehensively as possible) everything from the science of cork taint to the reasons why oak influences the taste of wine, this is your book. My favorite parts were about pruning and trellising--perhaps because as an amateur gardener I really enjoyed the discussion of exactly how vines are trained. Kori was interested in the discussions of terroir, of climate change, and sulphur dioxide. If you are a science buff, you will also probably enjoy this book, because it really does talk about wine from a scientific standpoint and in so doing, explores just what can be scientifically verified when it comes to wine taste and what can't (or can't yet, like biodynamics).

But it's not for everybody. Readers with little scientific background may find, like me, that this is one for the reference shelves. As Kori put it, this was "not the easiest read." Kori cautioned the book was "way too complex for beginners or people who don’t really care about some of the factors that affect the taste and quality of wine," but did recommend it to people " in the wine business or studying for a wine certification."

Next month we will be reading Sergio Esposito's Passion on the Vine: A Memoir of Food, Wine, and Family in the Heart of Italy. I'll have more information on the book on Tuesday, and hope that more of you will join us as we go traveling this summer.

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