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Women of the Vine: Inside the world of women who make, taste, and enjoy wine (March 19, 2007)

book review
by Dean Tudor

Women of the Vine: Inside the world of women who make, taste, and enjoy wine (Wiley Publishing, 2007, 242 pages, ISBN 0-470-06801-9, $19.99 paper covers) is by Deborah Brenner, a wine negociant and owner of Women of the Vine Cellars. The book is written from a female viewpoint, and covers winemakers, academics (e.g. Dr. Ann Noble of aroma wheel fame), some wine writers (such as Leslie Sbrocco and Andrea Immer Robinson), sommeliers, wine groups, and one winery PR person (which seems to be the normal role for women in most industries).

But of course they are all American, and mostly Californian at that. So the title of the book could have been California Women of the Vine. This lack of international scope precludes many European and other New World winemakers, and it precludes writers such as Jancis Robinson in the UK and Natalie MacLean in Canada. And their books are not listed in the bibliography. But too, the New York City writer Mary Ewing-Mulligan is not profiled either, yet her book is cited in the bibliography. So the title is misleading and inconsistent.

Nevertheless, Brenner does a good job in profiling 20 women, with about 10 pages for each plus a black-and-white photo. Sidebars provide generic advice on how to read a wine list, how to select wine accessories, and how to place wine in a store. There is a concluding bibliography and glossary.

Audience and level of use: Those who like reading about wine, women readers, libraries.

Some interesting or unusual facts: Women are wines' largest consumers, or at least, they buy more wine than do men.

The downside to this book: Occasional sloppy editing, including misspelling Jancis' first name (it is not Janice) – her website is also misspelled.

The upside to this book: Enthusiastic writing style.

Quality/Price Rating: 88.

 

 

 

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