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I’ve been following Wine Folly, the deservedly popular wine website for several years now. After their first book was published in 2015, it quickly became my go-to reference for tasting wines. The rich illustrations that helped make Wine Folly well-known was transferred successfully to paper, making Wine Folly: The Essential Guide to Wine full of great information presented in a user-friendly fashion. When I found out that the folks at Wine Folly had a bigger and more comprehensive Magnum Edition of their book in the works, it quickly went onto my Amazon wish list.
Wine Folly: Magnum Edition: The Master Guide begins with several chapters that cover wine basics; including the wine making process, characteristics of wine, wine tasting tips, and how to store and serve wine. This Wine Basics section is a good primer for those who might be new to wine, but self-proclaimed wine enthusiasts are likely to learn a few things as well. The subsequent chapter is on food and wine pairing, covering some often suggested pairing. What I found to be more interesting was some pairing strategies and tips that will help readers make good pairing decisions on the fly. There is also info on cooking with wine, perfect for the home cook that wants to expand his or her usage of wine in the kitchen.
One of the meatier sections of the book is Grapes & Wine, which presents information about 100 common grapes, varietal wines, and blends. This is an expanded selection of what is found in the first Wine Folly book. Each entry includes the wine/grape characteristics, typical flavors and aromas, where it is grown and made, serving info, and average price for a good bottle. Some of the grape varieties being used more in Texas are not household names, yet. It is sometimes difficult to find accessible info about grapes and wines like Cinsaut, Piquepoul Blanc, and Roussanne. I found lots of great info about these grape varieties and others that are growing in Texas. There’s even an entry for Sagrantino!
I found the large Wine Regions section one of the most interesting parts of the book, which covers many grape growing and winemaking regions throughout the world. The maps are excellent as one might expect, with lots of details while being easily readable. I found myself flipping from the Wines to Explore, which is provided for each region, back to the Grapes and Wines section to help pull it all together. Yes, for those who are wondering, the Texas High Plains and Texas Hill Country are on the United States map along with a bonus entry for the Escondido Valley in west Texas.
I think that I found my new go-to wine reference. I can see myself re-reading the Cabernet Sauvignon info while enjoying a High Plains Cab, then digging deeper in the book to see how it compares to the characteristics of Cabernet Sauvignon wines made in other wine regions. I might even make this a habit while enjoying other Texas wines. Wine Folly: Magnum Edition: The Master Guide can be used to not only help one explore the big world of wine, but to better understand how Texas wines fit into this world.
Title: Wine Folly: Magnum Edition: The Master Guide
Authors: Madeline Puckette and Justin Hammack
Release Date: September 25th, 2018
320 pages, hardcover
Suggested Retail Price: Paperback – $35.00