It’s been a long time since I’ve written a book report. I mean, I have an English degree, and I still don’t think I’ve written anything resembling a book report in more than 15 years, so when I was approached about looking at a pair of wine-related books and sharing my thoughts on this site, I was certainly interested in the idea of writing about wine without actually drinking any.
Of the two books (there’s another book review to come down the line, be patient), I decided to start with Kevin Zraly’sÂ Windows on the World Complete Wine Course. The book caught my eye immediately since it featured what looked like a QR code on the cover (it’s actually a Microsoft Tag, which is really just their version of a QR code). Thumbing through the book showed numerous other Tags on pages. That’s right, this book is digital.
Ok, maybe digital isn’t the right way to phrase it, but it does have these Tags to add a digital component for those of us with smartphones (and seriously, who doesn’t have one of those anymore?). The Tags do everything from take you to the website of a winery that Mr. Zraly mentions to offering up pronunciations of different varietals that some of us may or may not be familiar with.
The book is broken up into eight different classes, ranging in topics from The White Wines of France (Class 1), to The Red Wines of California (Class 6) and Champagne, Sherry, and Port (Class 8). After the classes are sections focusing on topics such as Understanding Your Own Sense of Taste (page 273) and Matching Wine with Food with Andrea Robinson (page 250).
The back cover of the book offers up Tags for each class that have pronunciations that pertain to each chapter, making it simple to have the lesson pulled up on your phone or computer (there’s Bit.ly URLs listed beneath each Tag that you can input into your browser if you prefer that method which I thought was a nice touch) and hear how certain words are meant to be said as you work your way through.
I won’t claim to have gone through this book cover to cover because quite frankly there’s so much information that it’s just too much to go through in a reasonable amount of time and still share my thoughts on here. What I will say is that I do in fact plan on working my way through this book cover to cover, and I recommend that no matter what your wine knowledge level you check this book out. It’s a great way to expand your knowledge of wines that you’re unfamiliar with and to learn new things about wines you regularly enjoy.
You can find the book at many major book retailers including Barnes & Noble and Amazon. The book’s listed price is $19.95, but both retailers have it listed for less at this writing, so take advantage while you can.
Editor’s Note: I received this book as a free sample.