Thursday, November 5, 2015

BOOK REVIEW | WINE FOLLY The Essential Guide to Wine

It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words; describing wine maybe even more so. 

Madeleine Puckett and Justin Hammock of fame have uncorked the bottle full throttle with their infographic based wine book Wine Folly - The Essential Guide to Wine. The twenty-eight chapter, two hundred and thirty page soft back, is the ideal wine book for both the novice and seasoned professional. Wine Folly covers the Fundamentals of wine; tasting, handling, and food pairing, along with wine styles covering fifty-five of the most recognizable varietals, and twelve main wine growing regions which accounts for just over eighty percent of the global production. 

The four steps How to Taste; covering look, smell, taste, and conclusion are well explained for the novice. The descriptors for wine faults and colours are spot on.  The chapter on food and wine pairing covers the basics of complementing or contrasting wine and food pairings very much like you would see from Tim Hanni or Andrea Immer. The wine and food pairing flow charts are little harder to read and maybe an issue for someone who is colour blind. 

The main focus of the book is the Styles of Wine section. Wines are divided into nine styles from sparkling to dessert with sub divisions of light, medium, and full-bodied. Each of the fifty-five grape varieties is given a two page visual overview. Grape profiles are point rated for fruit, body, tannin, acidity, and alcohol, along with five dominant flavours and a flavour wheel of "possible flavours". The second page covers global production in acres and hectares along with where it is grown, ageing potential, suggested serving temperatures, and average price point. Additional information on regional styles, winemaking, or ageing are visually represented. A sliding scale infographic covers the flavours developed in cool to warm climate wine growing regions. It would have been nice to have a brief food pairing suggestion which each variety; but that is lost when more wine style information is required to explain appellation or regional production rules. 

Wine Folly is a great addition to the authors outstanding website with sidebar links to the site. Despite many of my industry peers frowning on QR codes I think a QR code link back to their website on each page would be a great addition for a future release. A few  wine regions have been overlooked including Eastern Europe, Canada, and Greece; all regions to watch in my opinion. 

I throughly enjoyed this visual journey of wine styles, regions, and tastes and highly recommend a purchase for yourself or a wine lover. Buy the book and a few bottles of wine for  the ideal Christmas gift. 

Wine Folly The Essential Guide to Wine is available at leading Canadian book shops and on line at

This book was purchased by me on Amazon at a re-release price.