Anyone who starts to get involved with wine never stops. It's not just about individual preferences and taste experiences - knowledge about wine is also an inexhaustible source of ambiguity, questions and curiosity. After all, it is made up of tradition, regional influences and the changing findings of science. These three aspects fill the small but rather comprehensive book "Wein Guide für Kenner" by André Dominé. The Hamburg author, who lives in the South of France, is known for his years of work on the 20-kilogram wine knowledge tome with the simple title "Wine".
Dominé's guide for connoisseurs comprises 220 pages in DIN A5 format, which keeps the complex subject matter manageable. It deals with cultivation and ageing, the differences in production in the growing regions worldwide, special topics: malolactic fermentation, carbonic acid maceration, the difference between natural and pure-bred yeasts, the subtleties of the barrique as well as the complexity of its production and use, the vineyard work throughout the year - and just about everything that wine lovers encounter in their curiosity. Together with his two co-authors Hélène Jaeger and Hartwig Holst - both of whom are also members of the author team of "Wein" - he conveys the complex topics in a concise and very focused manner.
The small book is not a substitute for a scientific work, but rather a journalistic educational work. Dominé tries to work out the different positions of the approach to a production process, for example, without taking a personal position. For example, he writes a double page on organic viticulture, as much as on biodynamics. This is brief, but presented in a good and coherently reduced way. Questions remain unanswered - but that is not otherwise possible in this concept at this price.
The structure of the book is very simple and quickly accessible: in the vineyard, in the wine cellar, in the wine countries. The description of the regions in the countries of the world, however, is only a concise enumeration of terroirs and wine types; the special features, for example, in the ageing process, are only very briefly dealt with. For those who already own their "wine" compendium or another reference book, this chapter is less useful.
For all other "connoisseurs" to whom the book is addressed, it is an exciting and useful read. The language is pleasantly un stilted, the sentences are formulated logically and comprehensibly. Anyone who is asked a difficult technical question in a circle of friends or at a tasting, which they can only explain evasively, will find a competent answer here in very many cases. This is proof of connoisseurship - and so the title becomes a "self-fulfilling prophecy". By the way, the book has also been published as an e-book - digital reference suits this title perfectly, and the electronic edition is already included in the purchase of the printed one. It's just a pity that the publisher let the book get away with a horrible editing error in the title: For "Wine Guide" is Denglish. The English "Wine Guide" is correctly called "Weinguide" in German - or would we also write "Wein Führer"?
Wine Guide for Connoisseurs
H.F. Ullmann Publishing, Potsdam