Friday, September 21, 2012

"Windows on the World Complete Wine Course" by Kevin Zraly --Sponsored Book Review by (PB)

When I was asked if was willing to review this book I sighed a bit because my first thought with most new non-fiction works is, "C'mon it's been said and done a hundred times over already..." But.............I resigned myself to doing it and I'm glad I did.

This is a comprehensive wine "course" set out in 8 classes that are wonderfully illustrated, eminently practical and set up to make you a wine expert--depending on your retention of the information. The only thing it lacks is the years of tasting experience which can only be garnered over a long period of time and money. (smile)

From the beginning of explaining the phenomenon of taste it takes you through--do it yourself--exercises which will help you understand the different "tastes" and textures of wine. The appendix also includes wine paring suggestions that are actually helpful!

But here is where this book stands apart from all other books I have in my library: It incorporates the technology of the day utilizing your smartphone and Microsoft tag codes (think, QR-like codes) which you scan with your phone and it takes you to an appropriate video with the author teaching and showing right before your eyes.

At the end of the book there is an appendix which has a library of these codes which when scanned give the proper pronunciation of all kinds of foreign words. I was most excited about this feature and most disappointed when it didn't work on my iPhone. After trying to find out why, Microsoft discovered that "someone" didn't follow instructions properly and so while they work with Android and Samsung smart phones, iPhone does not support these particular codes. Note--the video work well with my iPhone; the vocabulary pronunciation does not.

I have numerous books on my shelf about wine and I have been studying wine for over 30 years yet this is a great addition to my resources. Now to get an updated version which supports the iPhone for ALL the tag codes!

This book is available on Amazon for $10 soft cover and less than $20 for hard! If you have a wine lover who is interested in more than just drinking, this is one book they really need!

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