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Sunday, November 20, 2011


1. AUTHENTIC WINE; toward natural and sustainable winemaking
(University of California Press, 2011, 260 pages, ISBN 978-0-520-26563-
9, $29.95 US hard covers) is by Jamie Goode (wine writer for the Sunday
Express and owner of and Sam Harrop, MW, with log
rolling by Tim Atkin MW and the eclectic Randall Grahm (Bonny Doon
wines). The biggest trend in wines today is the concept of
"naturalness" and "sustainability", plus the use of organic or
biodynamic grapes. Other issues involve "green" production such as
lighter bottles, screw caps, lower or greener transportation costs, and
other factors. The industry (both Old World and New World) is keen on
wineries that are locally owned and operated, using grapes from family
farms which employ sustainable agriculture to protect the environment.
The packaging should be "earth-friendly", exhibit carbon neutrality,
and use solar power wherever possible. All of this is possible at no or
modest increase in prices. Goode and Harrop explore all the parameters,
including proper terroir and grafted vines, chemical and physical
manipulation when necessary, wild yeasts and cultured yeasts, and other
matters. There is an interesting chapter on wine faults, and how
natural wines can be prey to reduction, oxidation, brett, and volatile
acidity. The usual reaction has been to add sulphur, but you cannot do
that to natural or organic wines. The authors propose some solutions,
but also suggest that more work needs to be done here. The book is
illustrated with black and white photos, and some graphs and charts.
Some of the material had been previously published as periodical
Audience and level of use: wine readers, hospitality programs,
winemaker schools, wineries.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: "People have a hunger for
the authentic."
The downside to this book: it has a fair number of anecdotal sources,
and lacks footnote/bibliography/glossary material.
The upside to this book: this is probably the first of many such books.
Quality/Price Rating: 91.

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