Unusual Wines is a unique book that explores a lot of intriguing aspects of winemaking, and provides rare information.
The photography in this book displays extraordinary artistry.
Presented in eight chapters full of interesting and valuable information ranging from uncommon climates, off-the-radar terroirs, amazing grape varieties, work in the vineyard, unconventional fermentation techniques, curious wine colours, extraordinary aging methods, and striking packaging.
The reader learns in the first chapter that even tropical countries such as Taiwan, and Bali (Indonesia), grow grapes for winemaking. In Taiwan and Bali two to two-and-a half crops per annum are grown by human intervention.
On the other hand Quebec, where frigid winter temperatures as low as – 25 C and below are common, ice wine is produced from solid-frozen grapes.
Even in Paris a few bottles of wine are produced.
The work in the vineyard involved, explanations of organic and biodynamic wines that are produced and winemakers who seriously think about their wines and analyse them critically, contemplating how they can improve.
While most large wineries branded wines use cultivated yeasts to maintain consistency and reduce extra labour, others rely on indigenous yeasts.
Stainless steel is now widely used for fermentation, yet in Georgia and Armenia most winemakers still specially designed clay containers called quevri. This method and its advantages are explained in detail. Now a few European and North American winemakers have started using quevri-type fermentation vessels.
The author also mentions many other techniques home winemakers can employ.
Rose wines have become quite popular in the past few years. The author lists various rose production techniques that any reader can use to select better quality.
Unusual Wines deserves the attention of all wine enthusiasts and would help distinguish good from bad, and mediocre from extraordinary.