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Featured Publication
for week ending 29th November 1998

Australian Wine - from the vine to the glass

By Patrick Iland and Peter Gago

Wine Book Cover When some recently converted wine buffs asked me what book would be a useful starting point for some one who wants to learn about wine, I had just the book to recommend.

'Australian Wine - from the vine to the glass' by Patrick Iland and Peter Gago is a comprehensive educational guide to understanding wine.

The authors have excellent credentials. Patrick lectures in Viticulture and Oenology at the University of Adelaide and Peter Gago has an extended winemaking role for Australian giant, Southcorp.

I bought the book's predecessor, "discovering australian wine - a taster's guide" when I was in Australia in 1995, and it became my bible for the planning of the Wine Appreciation courses I was teaching at that time. It has comprehensive chapters on

Old Wine Book Cover
  • what wine is
  • how to taste
  • the vineyard
  • the winery
  • how wine is made
  • sparking wine
  • dry white table wines and grape varieties
  • semi-sweet and sweet white wines
  • dry red table wines and grape varieties
  • fortified wines
  • viticulture

The book is easy to read and has lots of photographs and diagrams. So I wondered what was in the new book that would convince me to switch.

For start there's an extra forty pages which includes chapters on

  • vineyards and wineries of Australia
  • choosing, cellaring, serving and enjoying wine
  • wine with food
  • wine and health

There's new graphics, including photographs of a bunch of grapes with their vine leaf of each of the main grape varieties, plus a description of the varieties characteristics on the vine.

The wines extensive character descriptions stand out on their respective pages, with the white wine descriptions placed on a buff coloured background and the red wine descriptions placed on a rose coloured background.

Merlot picture

However all the excellent features of the original book are preserved and updated where necessary.

Although "Australian" is in the title, I find the book perfectly suited to New Zealand. Our vineyard and winery practices are the same, and while New Zealand has a cooler climate than most Australian regions, many other factors are similar. Until recently there were not many winemaking or viticultural courses taught here, so many of our winemakers have trained in Australia. And of course Aussie wine is readily available here.

This is a well thought out, well laid out and well written educational wine book that will be enjoyed by beginners and experts alike.

Australian Wine - from the vine to the glass (ISBN 0646 31885 1) is published by Patrick Iland Wine Promotions, PO Box 131, Campbelltown, Adelaide, South Australia 5074, Australia.

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