Wines of the World: A Connoisseurs' Guide by Pete De Villiers - Read Online
Wines of the World
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“The fastest & easiest way to know everything there is to know about wines----including what wines to drink, whether you’re eating an appetizer, pasta, fruit or a 10-pound steak”

Do you wish to know:

Learn everything there is to know about wines---without having to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars and months of your time in a class?

Discover the basic differences between red, white, & sparkling wine---and what foods to eat with them?

Understand the differences between sweet and dry wine?

Transform yourself into a virtual expert on the subject of wine in record time—even if you know absolutely nothing about wine right now?

Yes? Then we have good news for you, because right now, we’re giving you exclusive access to what’s been voted the best course to know everything there is to know about wines.

And once you do, you’ll know things like:

Red low alcohol wine goes great with foods that include Italian pasta and red sauce, beef and chocolate. Red wines, such as Pinot Noir, go great with pork.

White wine is perfect for poultry and Asian food & seafood, such as shellfish.

Sparkling wines go great with desserts and fruit and are perfect for after dinner.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg!

Here’s a Sneak-Peak at what you’ll get and learn in this amazing course

Winemaking - Viticulture / Quality Factors / Vinification / Wine Tasting / Correct Storage Procedures (Temperatures) etc....

Understanding Different Grapes.

Food and Wine Pairings / French Regions Part 1.

French Regions Part 2 / the wine regions of Germany and Spain.

The wine regions of Italy and South America.

The wine regions of the New World; (USA / South Africa / Australia / New Zealand.

Champagne / Sparkling Wines, Dessert Wines (inc. Sherry and Port).

And much more!

Published: M&S Direct Publishing on
ISBN: 9781465849502
List price: $9.99
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Welcome to our exclusively commissioned M&S Comprehensive Guide to Wine. To show our appreciation for your continued patronage, we would like you to receive this 7-part series which will become an easy to read yet comprehensive guide to all you need to know about choosing, tasting, evaluating and storing excellent wines.

We will introduce you to the wine making process, from the vine through harvesting to fermentation and bottling. Learn the art of wine tasting; understand the grapes and how they produce different wines in different areas, and finally enjoy our informative section on food and wine pairing. Whether your preference is for red, rosé or white wine, we cover all the facts including a section on Champagne and Sparkling Wines, Fortified Wines, Dessert wines and Ice wines. With your new-found knowledge we hope you will be able to always pick out the best value wines from any selection to suit your taste buds without having to pay top prices.

The M&S Comprehensive Guide to Wine will take you on a voyage of discovery all around the world, touching on all the main players in the wine industry from France to New Zealand. Whether you are a novice to quality wine or an experienced connoisseur, there is always something new to be learned. So sit back, glass in hand and savour this splendid Guide to Wine, brought to you courtesy of M&S Direct Publishing.

Santé! Your health!

We sincerely hope that you enjoy reading and learning about wine and enjoy exploring the different countries of the world and their unique contribution to the world’s wines. With a deeper knowledge of the different grapes and the ageing processes of wine, it should be easy to make a discerning choice when buying and drinking wine.

With our handy guide as reference, food and wine pairings should now be comfortable and easy to do with confidence. The knowledge you will acquire from this wine guide, which can be a continued source of reference, puts you well on the way to being a true wine connoisseur.

Above all, wine is about personal preference and taste, and the only way to really know what you enjoy is by experience and taste. We hope this guide will inspire you to try new grapes from different countries in order to develop an ongoing pleasure in wine. One of the most delightful ways to enjoy new wines is at a wine festival. They are held throughout the summer and autumn across Europe, America, Canada and the New World and are fun, entertaining and educational. We hope that with your newly acquired knowledge, wine will become an integral pleasure in your long and healthy life.


This comprehensive guide to Wine has been commissioned and brought to you by M&S Direct Publishing.

Wine is bottled poetry…………Robert Louis Stevenson

Wine is sunlight, held together by water………Galileo

Table of Contents


PART I – Winemaking

PART II – Understanding the different grapes

PART III – Food and Wine Pairings / The Wine Regions of France (Part 1)

PART IV – The Wine Regions of France (Part 2) / The Wine regions of Germany / The Wine Regions of Spain.

PART V – The Wine Regions of Italy / The Wine Regions of Argentina / The Wine regions of Chile

PART VI - The Wine Regions of the United States / The Wine Regions of South Africa / The Wine regions of Australia / The Wine Regions of New Zealand

PART VII – Champagne and Sparkling Wines, Dessert Wines including Sherry and Port


A Connoisseur’s Guide to Wine Enjoyment


Wine is quite simply fermented grape juice. The natural yeasts that are found on the grape skins convert the sugar in the juice to alcohol. Although the basic chemistry is simple, making fine complex wines is much more involved and there are significant differences in how wines are made when different styles are the ultimate aim. These involve such basics as the ripeness of the fruit when picked, whether there will be a secondary fermentation and whether the wine is aged in new or used oak barrels and for how long, or whether it is aged in oak at all.

The concept of fine wine begins with the most basic decision: what kind of grapes and where to plant them. Great wines all start in the vineyards. Factors which influence the health of the vine include the soils texture, depth, drainage and colour. Areas that receive massive rainfall benefit from rocky soils that are easily drained. Cool areas benefit from soils that collect and hold heat. Exposures influence how much or how little sun a vine receives: a north facing vineyard receives less sunlight than a south facing one. All of these factors are taken into consideration when producing top quality wines.

While some grape varieties will flourish in a wide variety of soils and climates, the fine wine grapes need fairly specific soils and climatic conditions to excel. When grape and soil are properly matched, the resulting wines reflect the place where they are grown, what the French call terroir. Terroir expresses the interaction of many factors with the grapevines; temperatures by day and night, rainfall distribution by season and year, exposure to sun, soil acidity, soil depth, soil composition and proximity to water – basically anything natural that influences the growth of the grape. This is perhaps the most important trend in wine growing today, namely matching the right grape to the right soil and climate.


The making of wines falls into two parts: the growing of the grapes (viticulture) and the turning of the grapes into wine (vinification). As we go through the wine making process, we must begin with the rootstock and vine. We are only going to concern ourselves with one species of grape vine, the vitus vinifera (literally translated as "wine vine').

The Vine

Every drop of wine you drink is rain recovered from the ground by the mechanism of the plant that bears the grapes, the vine. For the first three to four years of its life, a young vine is too busy creating a root system and building a strong woody stalk to bear more than a few grapes.

Better quality grapes grow on a vine that is regularly cut back to a very limited number of buds. This annual pruning is done in mid winter, when the dormant plant will lose the least sap from its wounds. As a vine grows older, its principle roots grow deeper into the ground. A vine is in its prime from 12 to 40 years old. Obviously a more mature vine is more valuable than a young one, and the French use the description of vielles vignes (translated as old vines) on their labels just as the Californian growers use old vine on their labels.

There are basic parts to every vine. The vitus vinifera scion, which in time forms the vine’s trunk, is the visible part of the vine with the graft (scion) usually just above ground. Shoots grow from this scion which then mature over the winter and become canes. A cane will have between 8 and 15 buds, each of which will form a shoot. The vine’s flowers, which later become fruit, will develop on the shoots. If a cane is pruned short, to only two or three buds, it is referred to as a cane. By the end of the next year, the canes and spurs are old wood and are often removed at pruning with new replacement canes or spurs having been allowed to grow.

The training of the vine varies greatly according to climate, vineyard and required yield. There are three basic systems currently in place for training vines.

Bush system or head pruned. This spur-pruned system is used in the warmer vineyard regions such as those of Beaujolais, the Rhone valley, the south of France and Spain. As air circulation is poor, this is not suitable for damp regions where rot could be a problem. The vines are free standing and there are normally four to five spurs left around the head of the trunk

Replacement cane system. This training system includes the Guyot and is practiced in Burgundy and Bordeaux. Here canes are trained along lateral wires with new producing canes being used each year.

Cordon spurs system. This method is most often used in vineyards fully adapted for mechanization. The trunk of the vine is developed horizontally with a number of spurs left along its length.


Vineyard Management

Trellising systems influence how vigorous a grapevine becomes and how much sun exposure it receives: factors which in turn influence how grape berries and clusters ripen. Vigorous rootstock can lead to vines that are very productive, for areas where five to ten tons of grapes per acre is the desired yield and ordinary table wines are the end result. Conversely, devigorating rootstock leads to less vigorous vines and is preferred by vintners seeking a smaller crop with superior quality.

The basic fact to keep in mind is this: crop yield is crucial to wine’s quality. The lower the grape yield per acre the more concentrated the juice will be. This is an important factor which governs the overall cost of the wine. A vine tries to ripen all its berries, if the vine is bearing too many grapes it may not fully mature, resulting in wines which have an unripe flavour. Therefore many high quality producers are in the vineyards pruning leaves to allow more sunlight to reach the grape