Sunday, December 13, 2009

Holiday Wine Book: A Keeper by Kevin Zraly

Go beyond the sensory pleasures of the vine with a literary treat for your wine pals this holiday season. Gift books are sure to bring barrels of pleasure to the wine lovers on your list. Besides those already listed on this blog, Kevin Zraly's latest book, Windows on the World Complete Wine Course 25th Anniversary Edition (Sterling, 2009) is one that belongs on every wine lover's shelf. Like a favorite bottle of wine, readers will want to keep going back for more.

Zraly was cellar master at Windows on the World, the iconic restaurant on the 107th floor of Tower One at New York's World Trade Center. Today, the master wine educator continues the wine school he founded at Windows in Times Square at the Marriott Marquis Hotel.

The 338-page hardcover anniversary edition gives structure to the world of wine. Novices and wine sophisticates alike will enjoy its lively pace and juicy sidebars packed with entertaining and betcha-didn't-know nuggets of wine information.

Region-focused chapters spirit readers off on a condensed tour of regional history, terroir, major grapes, producers and specific wines that are Zraly favorites or benchmarks. For a DIY experience, the author suggests wines readers can choose to taste along the way to train their palates and understand defining characteristics. Chapters end with questions that simulate a wine course but no angst necessary – Zraly gives reference pages for the answers. Color illustrations include regional maps, wine labels, tables and those fun sidebars that make review a challenge and the book a pleasure to read.

Tips, FAQs and wine-buying strategies round out the last few chapters. The book ends with the author's personal history of the landmark Windows, tragically gone but never forgotten.

We've added this book to our favorites and hope you will too. For only $27.95, this book will bring a world of wine pleasure to wine lovers on your holiday list. Watch this blog for more gift-giving ideas coming soon.

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