This new edition has been enlarged (32 new / 20% more pages, and over 80 new images), and much has changed. It has been redesigned, and updated throughout, with the central section on Grapes and Their Wines having been substantially rewritten and now, sensibly, in alphabetical order.
Completely new are a number of Essays, many on issues pertinent now in a way they were not 20 years ago: Climate Change, Organics, Biodynamics, Natural Winemaking, Closures, Alcohol levels; plus Wine Gadgets, Scores, Carbon Dioxide, Aromas as Complexity, and Comparative Tasting Technique. And there is a sizeable new section on Blind Tasting.
The DIY Tastings section has been made more complete, with the addition of preparatory reading suggestions from the book, plus subsequent check-and-reinforce questions; and there is a new, higher level, final tasting on Quality Calibration. Also new, on the site, are specific recommendations for each of the book’s tastings, from Waitrose, and The Wine Society.
Essential Winetasting is based on my teaching and my courses.The first edition (Mitchell Beazley 2000) won all three major British wine book awards for the Best Drink Book 2000: The Andre Simon, Glenfiddich and the Prix du Champagne Lanson awards – the only occasion on which one book has won all three. It is a unique combination of Teach Yourself Tasting Manual, and Wine Reference Book. It has sections on Tasting (of course!), Wine Language and Values, Viticulture, Winemaking, Grapes and their Wines, Wine and Food, Wine Maps, and a substantial, carefully designed DIY Tasting Course. In the new edition you can use the Tasting Course in conjunction with ‘Ideal Wines’, from The Wine Society and/or Waitrose, recommended (with direct links) on the website. The book also has a cross reference section on most of the spreads, taking you to other sections of the book for further information / clarification on particular subjects, thus making it a powerful learning tool.
What others have said
“A brilliant book by a brilliant teacher.”
Steven Spurrier, Decanter
“The most effective winetasting manual ever written”
Bill Nesto MW, Beverage Business USA
“Schuster is the perfect wine connoisseur: open-minded, cultured, thoughtful, receptive and calmly articulate. Use his book as a DIY wine course, a work of reference, or simply as stimulating, intelligent wine entertainment. His wine descriptions are succinct and accurate, and his understanding of the aesthetics of appreciation a model of unfussy sanity.”
Andrew Jefford, London Evening Standard
“A new wine primer that raises the bar …. A beautifully designed and intelligently organised wine primer: every design element makes sense …. seldom expressed with such clarity.”
Stephen Meuse, The Boston Globe
“Explains the mechanics of taste and tasting better than any book I’ve seen. It is one of those rare books that serves beginners and experts alike – I can’t think of a better guide.”
Richard Ehrlich, The Independent on Sunday
“Schuster has taken considerable pains to present his ideas in a way which is really useful. Aimed as an introductory guide, but even seasoned professionals may find a great deal of stimulating information in it.”
Jasper Morris MW, The Vine
“Quite brilliant in the clarity with which it unravels some complex and nuanced aspects of wine through text and illustration.”
Tom Cannavan, wine-pages.com