An International Guide by Brian St. Pierre
Photographs by Deborah Jones
The most important thing about wine, says acclaimed wine writer Brian St. Pierre, has little to do with sniffing and swirling but everything to do with flavor. In his newest book, A Perfect Glass of Wine: Choosing, Serving, and Enjoying (Chronicle Books; December 3, 1996; $24.95), St. Pierre reveals how truly easy it is to relax and savor the fruit of the vine.
Practical and elegant, A Perfect Glass of Wine is an unintimidating guide to wine that does away with much of the jargon and many of the technical terms that are for most wine-drinkers unnecessary and unwanted. As St. Pierre explains, one need not be a professional versed in all the intricate details of wine production to enjoy wine. "A large part of the enjoyment of wine," he writes, "is hedonistic, subjective, simply a pleasure."
In his lively and informative introduction, St. Pierre explains that although the many flavors of wine may seem infinite, it's not at all that complex. "A few dozen grapes," he notes, "provide the flavors for thousands of different wines around the world, and once those keys are understood, the doors are forever opened." Likening wine to a symphony, St. Pierre keenly observes, "You can get a lot of enjoyment out of wine without knowing any science, just as you can enjoy a symphony without being able to read music."
With sixty full-color photographs and eight maps showing major wine producing regions around the world, A Perfect Glass of Wine includes understandable information on how wine is made, how to taste, serve, and store wine, how and when to chill wine, and perhaps most importantly, how to enjoy wine. It also answers these and other commonly asked questions: How important is the type of glass when drinking different varieties of wine? What should I look for when inspecting the cork? Why is wine swirled? What is the best way to store leftover wine? Is it true that only white wine should be served with fish and only red with beef?
In addition to chapters on each individual grape variety, A Perfect Glass of Wine devotes an entire section to pairing wine with food. Here, St. Pierre offers suggestions for various matchups, but also asserts, "A lot of different wines make reasonable matches with a lot of different foods-[discovering them is] a big part of the pleasure." St. Pierre provides food matchups following each individual chapter, noting for example that Champagne and oysters are a match made in heaven as are Zinfandel and barbecued ribs. A final section includes useful tips on choosing and using accessories, from corkscrews to decanters.
Full of helpful suggestions and sage advice, this lavishly illustrated volume is an invaluable resource and a wonderful gift for anyone who wants to understand, appreciate, and, above all, fully enjoy a perfect glass of wine.
Brian St. Pierre is the author of six books, mostly on wine and food. He is also a regular contributor to Decanter magazine and the San Francisco Chronicle, as well as Gourmet. For thirteen years, he was on the staff of the Wine Institute, and during that time published articles in every wine magazine in America and edited a wine cookbook. A Perfect Glass of Wine combines St. Pierre's extensive knowledge and appreciation of wine with his down-to-earth and humorous approach.
Deborah Jones is an IACP award-winning food photographer. Her other Chronicle books include The Vegetarian Table: Italy, The Vegetarian Table: Mexico, and The Vegetarian Table: North Africa. She lives and works in San Francisco.
A Perfect Glass of Wine:
Choosing, Serving, and Enjoying
An International Guide
by Brian St. Pierre
Photographs by Deborah Jones
Price: $24.95, hardcover
ISBN: 0-81 18-1295-2
Information above provided by the publisher.
A Perfect Glass of Wine
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