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Monday, February 18, 2013


1. THE FINEST WINES OF GERMANY; a regional guide to the best producers
and their wines (University of California Pr., 2012,
272 pages, ISBN 978-0-520-27322-1, $39.95 US paper covers) is by
Stephan Reinhardt, former editor of the German-Swiss wine magazine
Weinwisser and a regular writer on German wines. The book actually is
one of an illustrated series created by The World of Fine Wine
magazine. These are guides to the classic regions and their producers,
vineyards and vintages. As Hugh Johnson, one of the editorial team,
would say "These are the wines most worth talking about". Thus far, the
company Fine Wine Editions has looked at Champagne, Tuscany,
California, Rioja, Cote d'Or, and Bordeaux. This book is co-published
with Quarto Group in the UK. The format for all the books in the series
is pretty straight-forward at this point, with Hugh Johnson giving many
of the forewords their lustre. There's material in about 50 pages on
history, culture and geography, along with winemaking, grapes, and
viticulture. Next, there is the biggest section: producers and their
wines, sub-arranged by region. The 230 pages here cover 10 regions, and
include Rheingau, Rheinhessen, Mosel, and Pfalz. Grapes covered include
Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, and Pinot Noir, among others. He
profiles 70 producers whose philosophies and winemaking skills
represent the contemporary German wine scene. Then, there is a final 10
pages on glossary, bibliography, and indexes. The photography is mainly
centred on the producers, so there are lots of portraits and pictures
of walls and gates. Overall, it's an excellent guide to the country,
and it is sure to please many lovers of German wines,
Audience and level of use:  the serious wine lover who also loves to
read, reference libraries and wine schools.
Some interesting or unusual facts: Schloss Schonborn still seems to
dominate the Rheingau, while for Mosel it's Markus Molitor, Egon
Muller, Dr. Loosen, J.J. Prum, Zilliken, and Urbans-Hof.
The downside to this book: the binding makes the gutters seem a little
The upside to this book: there is a ribbon bookmark for the craft book
Quality/Price Rating: 90.

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