by Hugh Johnson
Call it technology. Call it science: these days we live with it. As a scientific illiterate I was not exactly the most willing participant (and never took an exam). But that is not a viable position any more: you would simply miss too much of the action. We all need a grounding in wine technology to understand what's going on, and those in wine professionally don't get to first base without it.
I'm not sure whether to call this book a primer, a memory-jogger or a lifesaver. Which it is depends on the reader. For WSET students it is essentially the first, then the second. For people like me it is the third - than rather belatedly the first. What we all need is a crisp exposition of how wine is made and why, easy to refer to when a funny smell appears but going beyond Stinks (do they still call Chemistry that?) to cover the physics, natural history, legislation and finally the appreciation of wine.
David's first edition has been my stand-by for years. I have my Peynaud, my Amerine & Joslyn, my Michael Schuster for going deeper where necessary, but it is always good to have Bird in the hand. This third edition adds a valuable insight into the production of the principal styles of the wines of the world, making it equally interesting for those who are simply lovers of wine and for those who are serious students of the Master of Wine examination. The detailed explanation of the mysteries of Hazard Analysis make this book particularly useful for wineries that are faced with the problems of modern food safety legislation. Essentially, though, it updates the second and makes it available once more to ease the pangs of students young and old.