The New Wine Book Thread

Discussion in 'UK Wine Forum' started by David Crossley, Jun 25, 2019.

  1. I am sure there was a thread on wine books etc once but I can't find thought I'd start a new one. Main reason, I'll be in Foyles tomorrow at some point, and they usually have more wine books than most.

    I've recently finished Anthony Rose's "Sake and the Wines of Japan" (Infinite Ideas Classic Wine Library). I thought it was excellent, pretty essential, packed with info and easy to read. Of course I love Japan and have been trying to get to grips with sake for some time. I've just reviewed it if anyone is really interested.

    My observations here are first, that it looks like a textbook but doesn't read like one. Academic writers are never as enthusiastic as Rose is. Secondly, I was worried there were only ninety pages on wine, but that seems to be enough for an introductory section and profiles of the main wineries/producers.

    As for the main part, on sake, I learnt many times more from Rose than from any of the books I've looked at before. I liked his learn by heart glossary, and the recommendations of bars and restaurants in Tokyo where you can taste good sake and Japanese wine.

    I will read "Godforsaken Grapes" by Jason Wilson soon (after a book on's not all wine). I'd allowed this to pass me by. Maybe the title put me off, I'm not sure, but then an American friend strongly recommended it. There are few people whose philosophy of wine tallies with mine quite so closely as hers, so I had to buy it. I'm not sure it will have the effect that the back cover blurb says..."will make you live more adventurously and drink more curiously - and never order another pinot noir again", but it does look interesting.

    My partly selfish reason for starting the thread is to get any strong recommendations. I'm thinking of buying (or ordering) Alice Feiring's book on Georgia, "For the Love of Wine". Anyone read it. Steve S? Did I see a review of it on your blog? Anything else I may have missed.
  2. David Crossley likes this.
  3. I know it’s been discussed before & I have been intending to post a review, but this year’s must be for anyone interested in German wine is The Book by VDP.
    It is an in depth insightful exploration of Grosse Lage, Notwithstanding, the vineyard porn pics are too small, it is repetitive & written in American English, excludes non VDP producers worth the money. HJ was very positive in a recent Decanter column.
  4. As you know, I came across this at the big Ripley Soho Tasting. Thought it looked good, though not ordered it.
  5. You might well have done, because there is one. I found it an enjoyable read, but it is perhaps more about Alice and her views than the wines of Georgia.

    If you want just one book to learn more about the artisanal, qvevri and natural wine producers, the excellent book "Tasting Georgia" by Carla Capalbo is by far your best bet. It also covers food, and seems to capture the spirit of the country, with good quality text and beautiful and evocative photography

    For broader coverage of Georgian wine, "Georgia - a guide to the cradle of wine" by Miquel Hudin and Daria Kholodilina is really your only option at the moment.

    I gather from a comment on FB that Lisa Granik has a Georgia book in the pipeline, but I don't know where the focus of that one will be.
  6. This one may be a bit specialist and by no means new, but I am currently devouring Gillian Pearkes “Growing Grapes in Britain” with a glass of home made 2017 kerner
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2019
    David Crossley likes this.
  7. Thanks Steve. I have a few free hours before a Tasting tomorrow afternoon and a list of about five or six shops (music, books, wine, slippers and Jeans top the list) so I'll take a peek. Prefer book shops to "A" as a first stop.
  8. First published nearly 40 years ago - In 1982! I picked up an ex-public-library copy a few years ago from Oxfam.
  9. That ought to be really interesting, historically. Varietal mix has changed beyond recognition (bar a few dinosaur or tourist producers) since then.
  10. I bet no one could guess the 3 vines recommended by the EEC Commission in 1974 for wine production in Britain: Auxerrois, Müller Thurgau and Wrotham Pinot. Whatever happened to Wrotham Pinot? Even the book from 1982 doesn't bother discussing it much.

    However, the list of authorized vines from the same source looks a lot more like the usual suspects you hear about today: mainly the results of crossing-experiments in Germany, but including Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
    Leon Marks and David Crossley like this.
  11. One of the curiosities of the 1974 list is that auxerrois, although planted, hadn’t been produced commercially yet by anyone. Today, Will Davenport makes a notable sparkling varietal in Sussex but I don’t know of any other examples unless it’s hidden in one or other of the supermarket blends.

    As for Wrotham Pinot, worth checking out The Winemaker by colourful California pioneer Richard G. Peterson who took cuttings from the source vine in Kent back to Napa and established two vineyards there.

    The fascinating ampelography section of Gillian Pearkes’ book lists dozens of also-ran German crossings with some examples of inadvertently amusing nomenclature. Deckrot, anyone? I opened a most attractive but undeniably slightly flabby scheurebe from Pfalz at the weekend and was haunted by thoughts of its potential in our longer, cooler growing season if it could just be persuaded to ripen a teeny bit more reliably.
    David Crossley likes this.
  12. Scheurebe is a variety I remember well in Pfalz wines of the 80s, usually labelled Beerenauslese. They seem to have ripened it but failed, mostly, to extract more than 20% of Riesling’s potential.

    I’m sure there is s some still left in the UK. Trying to recall whether Ben Walgate has some at Tillingham, or perhaps bought some in for a blend?

    On the subject of Davenport, totally underrated IMO. I mean among the wider wine community here. Making some excellent and innovative wines.
    Dan Vyvyan likes this.
  13. It’s good to know that you rate Davenport. I would certainly put him in the highest echelon. He has been doing his own thing for a long time and doing it very well. Sort of like Peter Hall at Breaky Bottom. And a tip bloke too. A fund of helpful advice when I decided a while back to plant a few vines in my garden for fun.

    Tillingham is a major gap in my knowledge of English wine I mean to rectify soon.
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2019
  14. Tillingham is pretty much on the outer fringes. Creativity and experimentation as Ben increasingly finds his feet. I think Tillingham is really important for English wine. Why? Because whilst people think they know what English wine is, Ben is looking outside the box. At least for now.

    Who else do I like? Well aside from Will Davenport (and here I must mention his petnat) I like Ancre Hill for their fun wines as well as their sparklers (and for the best label in U.K. wine, the Welsh Bonnet variation on A Clockwork Orange for their skin contact wine).

    Also a big fan of Black Chalk (Jacob Leadley), but this has drifted into an English Wine thread, which I guess deserves a thread of its own.
    Dan Vyvyan likes this.
  15. More thread drift. Black Chalk '15 may well be my sparkler of 2019. If I can be bothered to nominate it.
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2019
    David Crossley likes this.
  16. Isn't there more of it growing now in England than ever?

    As I recall it's a synonym for Pinot Meunier....

    (Many years ago I wanted to visit the original Wrotham Pinot vine and I got in touch with someone there from the local history group that said he would send me all the information he had and show me the vine. When I later enquired about never receiving his email he got cross, said he'd sent it and didn't have a copy, wouldn't have anything more to do with me and that was it)
  17. We had a Scheurebe at my U£A group's tasting last month and it was VG, third favourite of the group, first of the whites.

    Weingut Muller-Catoir Scheurebe 2017
    VDP Haardt, Germany
    (From TWS)
  18. I'm pretty sure the book says it is a progeny of Pinor Noir, and that is what people thought. But later DNA analysis showed it to be Pinot - presumably a mutation of Pinot Noir.
  19. We recently drank a Muller Catoir Haardter Mandelring Scheurebe Spatlese 1999, Peter, and it was excellent. Oddbins was a good source of M-C wines in the glory days, and Howard Ripley used to stock them more recently although not for a few years now. We also recently drank Dr Becker Deinheimer Scheurebe Kabinett 2003 (I found it forgotten about in the cellar; it had been bought from TWS), which was really lovely. I also like the fully dry Iphofer Kronsberg and Iphofer Kalb scheurebes of Dr Wirsching in Franken, sometimes available from TWS or Wine Barn (no connection with any of these suppliers).
    Adrian Wood and Dan Vyvyan like this.
  20. 1982 is a very, very, VERY long way from being 40.
  21. :)
    Would "mid-30s years ago" be acceptable?
    Graeme Gee likes this.
  22. I was looking for any recommendations and thought this seemed to be the logical place to ask... Especially anything relatively recent and relatively technical!
  23. Any word on Jasper Morris's progress on the revised “Inside Burgundy?” It’s getting a bit long in the tooth, but it is still the best out there, IMHO.
  24. Who wouldn't you bother? :)

Share This Page