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The Frugal Oenophile's Lexicon of Wine Tasting Terms
Reviewed by Dean Tudor
 (September 4, 2003)

The Frugal Oenophile's Lexicon of Wine Tasting Terms (Chester Press, Suite 1415, 1011 Upper Middle Road, Oakville L6H 5Z9, 2003, 120 pages, ISBN 0-9685046-5-5, $9.95 paper covers) has been compiled by Richard Best, known as the "Frugal Oenophile." He writes newsletters. conducts tastings, and operates his website, www.frugal-wine.com (Declaration of conflict: Richard Best is a Wine Writers' Circle of Canada colleague of mine). Living in Oakville, he has easy access to the GTA and its wealth of wine tastings.

This reference book is a basic-basic. It deals with describing some 650 alphabetically arranged terms and definitions specific to the language of wine. Best originally compiled the work to assist himself and his students in identifying winespeak. Most of the terms are in English, as are all of the definitions. Some pronounciation guides are included.

At the end of the lexicon there is a quote from Jancis Robinson: "In practice, applying words to wine is a complete free-for-all"...Now he tells us, at the end of the book....

Of course, there are many more words that could have been identified, but this is a good beginning. For example, while he has such terms as "apple," "citrus," "tobacco," "cassis," and "berries," he doesn't relate such aromas or tastes to all the grapes themselves. And, of course, he could have added more of the common aromas, such as pineapple, peach and apricot, to the grape varietal. Maybe in the next edition.

What I don't like about this book: too short; more terms could have been added.
What I do like about this book: handy size, large type for older eyes and dark rooms.
Quality-to-price rating: 89.

 

 

 

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