August 30, 2004

How To Taste

How To Taste
Jancis Robinson


(August 30, 2004)

A delightfully solid, sensible discussion of why you might want to pay attention to the taste of wine, and how one might do this. Robinson is at pains to avoid the mythology and mysticism that encrusts so much writing about wine, without ever being trivial or silly. Much of this is elementary but extremely useful. "Green", she explains, is what people call wine that is a bit too acid, and it's just an arbitrary word. "Body" is just alcohol content. And so forth,

The book is well furnished with practical exercises, usually comparing two related kinds of wine so you can pin the difference. I especially like to confidence Robinson shows in winemakers and merchants. I usually hate reading about wines, because the wine on the page is almost always unavailable or out-of-reach at the store. Robinson just says, "get a Chablis that's at least six years old and any fairly-expensive California chardonnay"