The New Sotheby's Wine Encyclopedia by Tom Stevenson
Published by National Geographic ISBN 9781426221415
Hardcover, $75, 794 pages
If you have started thinking about holiday gifts and have someone on your list who is an oneophile- a connoisseur of wines- The New Sotheby's Wine Encyclopedia is the perfect gift.
This is the first new edition in ten years and it couldn't have come at a better time. With the pandemic keeping us close to home, many people have turned to cultivating an interest in wines. (I know that my husband and I have done so.)
The book does a very deep dive in to all things wine. From which types of soil are suited to the different varieties of wine to the life cycle of the vine to an anatomy of wineries and vineyards, you will find everything you ever wanted to know about wines.
The book is divided into three parts- Taste and Quality, Wine Through the Ages, and A World of Wine.
There are fantastic photos and detailed illustrations (how white wine is made, for example), a guide to the various tastes and aromas you should look for when tasting wines, and classic food and wine pairings.
Some of the more interesting things that I found included a discussion of orange wine, something new that I was not familiar with (and am not sure I want to be). The photo of a porrón, a traditional wine decanter/drinking vessel found in Catalunya, Spain, made me smile as our daughter-in-law's parents gifted us one and we have yet to master it.
A large portion of the book is A World of Wine, which goes around the globe from the traditional places like France and Italy to the lesser known ones like Mexico, Australia and China. Each country's different wine regions are discussed, and a list of the great wine producers is included.
This comprehensive and beautiful coffee table book would be a wonderful addition to any oneophile's collection, and at nearly 800 pages, it will give them pleasure for years to come. I highly recommend it.