If you want to learn about wines of the world and advance your comprehension of wine production, grape varieties, appellations, and individual wineries, understand the factors (such as location, soil, climate, and methods of viticulture) that affect the taste and nose, and visit your wine shop with a list of quality wines to explore, Tom Stevenson is the man to read. Author of 12 books (including Champagne and The Millennium Champagne & Sparkling Wine Guide), three-time winner of the Wine Writer of the Year award, and columnist for Wine magazine, Stevenson has the gift of taking vast quantities of knowledge and experience and translating them into lucid, sparkling prose, easily graspable by the novice, yet still interesting and instructive to the connoisseur.
Arranged geographically, with nearly 100 maps, profiles on top producers, and valuable Author's Choice charts for each region, the Wine Encyclopedia covers the wines of Europe (from Great Britain and Switzerland to Southeast Europe, Greece, and the Levant), as well as wines from North and South Africa, North and South America, Australia, New Zealand, and Asia. In addition, there's a guide to wine and food (pairing fois gras with a Champagne or Sauterne, for example, and claret or Cabernet Sauvignon with beef), a guide to wine flavors (making sense of descriptors such as fig, gooseberry, violet, and hay), a list of good vintages, and a glossary of tasting and technical terms, distinguishing "cheesy" and "chewy" from "creamy" and "corked." Enhanced by beautiful pictures of vineyards, wine labels, and Stevenson himself demonstrating the art of wine tasting, from examining and nosing the wine to spitting it out, this a visually beautiful as well as an informative volume. As sumptuous as an elegant Tuscan Barolo, as rewarding as a Sarget de Gruaud-Larose from Bordeaux, as pleasing as a Ferreira port, the Sotheby Wine Encyclopedia is a remarkable tome of oenological erudition. --Stephanie Gold
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...one of the most ambitious illustrated wine references to be written in the past 20 years. (Restaurant magazine )