The New Zealand Wine-lover's Companion is the perfect book for anyone who's enthusiastic about wine but intimidated by the esoteric language that often surrounds it. Assuming no prior knowledge, it takes every puzzling reference that a casual wine drinker might encounter in wine articles and reviews, in wine shops or wineries, on labels or in conversation and explains it in simple, but not condescending, language. From grape varieties and winemaking techniques to the terminology used to articulate the subtle attributes of wines, this handy primer will demystify the language of wine and enhance the experience of wine-drinking. Although written for a New Zealand audience, it is international in scope, covering other wine countries and their significant wine styles. Entertaining as well as informative, it includes offbeat anecdotes such as the entry for Bond, James, which explains why he switched from Taittinger to Bollinger. The New Zealand Wine-lover's Companion is a compact reference, a good read and an ideal gift.
Karl du Fresne has been a wine columnist for New Zealand House & Garden, Wellington's Evening Post and the Sunday Star-Times colour magazine. He has also written on wine for Cuisine, the Dominion Post and National Business Review. At one time editor of the Dominion, Karl du Fresne now works as a freelance journalist from his home in the Wairarapa.