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Windows on the World Complete Wine Course: 2007 Edition

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  533 ratings  ·  65 reviews
The Windows on the World Complete Wine Course is simply the bestselling wine book in the United States—it’s a classic. And this new edition contains an additional 16 wonderful pages, including a featured supplement about the olfactory system and how it deepens our enjoyment of wine. Written in a question-and-answer format, the section is coauthored with Wendy Dubit, an exp ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published September 28th 2006 by Sterling (first published December 31st 1985)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,082)
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Tim Wake
My first foray into wine education, this is an attempt to do justice to the necessary complexity of wine while still being a relatively "simple" wine book. I've been advised that this is roughly the minimum amount I need to know about wine to be able survive, and after reading it, it's demystified a great deal for me.

Unfortunately, to properly internalize the information, another pass, much note taking, and the consumption of several hundred bottles of wine are in order. And this is a simple win
Purely bought for research. Had a hard time getting through the chapters on wine areas, although I love the little trivia about wine :)

I understand more about it now, such as how it's made, where it's made, which countries produce wine the most, flavor and scents, how to taste wine, and what a sommelier does.. also get to look at different wine labels, and skim through useful FAQs.

Wine lovers will definitely enjoy this book, put it in their library or coffee tables.
A bit on the basic side, but a useful quick & dirty overview of the world of wine. The paragraph headings are topical and relevant to the industry of the moment, but if keeping up with trends and changes appeals, it would make more sense to invest in a good monthly wine rag and build a library of classic wine reference materials.
Crystal Chapman
I recently took a wine course as a part of my current curriculum. My teacher Mr. Ragouzeos - a well known NC teacher/connoisseur - rocked! His knowledge coupled with this book made the class a "tipsy" pleasure - smile. Although I do not drink (and plugged my nose to swallow most of the wines during the tastings), I left with a grand appreciation for not only the art of wine, wine making, the appellations, food pairing, but for this history as well as biblical knowledge drawn from it. Who knew? T ...more
Mar 26, 2010 Wendy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: wine snob wanna-bes
You could learn a lot from this book if you really used it as a coursebook. I just did some skimming and still picked up a few things.

Relevant to me (a big Riesling fan) is some info on German wines:

Tafelwein: "table wine", lowest designation of German wine
Qualitatswein: "quality wine" can be QbA (from one of the 13 regions) or Praedikatswein (quality wine with distinction, the good stuff, no sugar added!)

Praedikatswein breaks down further:
Kabinett - light semi-dry wines
Spatlese - "late pickin
Rafal Cebula
A dense and illuminating book. The wines suggested can add up over time, but are well worth it. Most people will probably not need even this much information, but this is a great reference volume for those with a strong general interest in wine.
If you enjoy wine and have not read a copy of this book since it's first publication way back in the 70s, go find a copy now! Kevin takes you through all the areas of the wine world, covers reds/whites/Roses/Ports/Sparklers/Desserts, covers info on food pairings, and gives you the opportunity (with no small investment) to reproduce his wine course yourself. The book closes with a history of the restaurant Windows on the World, which sadly, is no longer around as well as some of her staff who per ...more
Tim Gannon
This is the text for the Windows on the World Wine School. Started as a club activity for a private lunch club at the Windows on the World restaurant atop the World Trade Center. The response was so great, they opened their first class for consumers in 1980. Apparently, more than 18,000 people have taken this course.

Gives a brief overview of winemaking. It even has a chapter on sensation and wine tasting. It goes through wines of France, US, Germany, Spain, Italy and even brief mentions of Austr
Super helpful, informative, and, most importantly, approachable wine book. Interesting read without being too overwhelming for the novice wine lover.
Don't go for this one if you are a beginner, it's a bit confusing; I found the style inaccessible outside of the classroom setting. This book might work well for a group of people who used it as a text book for their own wine course, but as an at home read I found it difficult to follow. I also found Zraly's style to be a bit stuffy, especially in comparison to Oz Clarke who writes about wine with an understanding that different people experience wines differently. He gives you context. Zraly se ...more
A comprehensive book that walks you through various wine-making areas in eight "classes." The back of the book includes the listing of wines that the author actually uses in his classes, as well as additional information. A great overview with references to additional books for many types of wine if you want more in-depth knowledge.

The author was the head sommelier at Windows on the World, the restaurant at the top of the WTC.
This was an absolute encylopedia. There is so much information in here - on the different regions, different varieties etc. It's definitely on of those books you need to keep on hand to go back and refer to when needed. If there's something you want to know about wine, I'm sure it's in here and if not I'm sure you will find it in the list of recommended further reading on each topic that the author gives.
Tracey Williams
Make no mistake, this is a textbook. There are no protagonists, antagonists, plots or sub-plots. Just the grapes and the land. That being said, it was a good resource to really learn more about wine. My knowledge was a mix of hearsay & Wikipedia so this book was a welcome guide. The author's background story is really interesting. On the whole, not bad for a Barnes & Noble bargain book!
Nov 07, 2007 Erin rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: other winos/oenophiles
As a wine diva, (my official title) I must be able to discuss el vino intelligently and at length, especially when I'm pouring for a wine tasting! Zraly keeps it interesting - there's geography, history,his recommended food pairings, and much more. It's utterly unpretentious for a wine guide and I'm quite pleased I was able to learn so much for the low cost of $7.99. (thanks, Frugal Muse!)
short but densely informative read. i feel as this is the only book on wine that i will ever have to read and yet it makes me want to learn more about wine as well.

i read an older edition of this book & the German section only has a map of West Germany i thought that was funny. i also thought the little sidebar section about champagne pet peeves was both funny & informative.
Mike Crawford
A very large book about wine, very informative and a good read. It mixes litlle blurbs of interest in the margins that add to an overall enjoyment of the book. It is not nearly complete however but instead looks at major wine producing areas of the world. This is most understandable because it would take several volumes and more than one auther to cover such a vast subject.
A quick and easy read that provides a lot of interesting and helpful information on wine for someone such as me who is little more than a beginner on the subject. It describes the various types, where they are grown, how to understand the differences in quality, how to select which to buy, etc. I was fully satified with it!
Nov 29, 2007 Alexandra rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants to study wine on their own at their own pace
Shelves: wine
A classic! Updated every year as a tribute to the author's colleagues who tragically died in the Windows on the World restaurant at New York's World trade Center on 9/11.

Excellent graphic presentation facilitates learning. Open a bottle of your new favorite, sit back with this book, and enjoy!
Really good content covering all aspects of wine appreciation and education. After reading it I realized I've picked up a few tidbits over the years. It's a bit like a travel book though, since it's seven years old it felt a bit dated when talking specific wines. But most of the info is solid.
First book on wine that I've actually been able to understand. I got this from the library but will probably end up purchasing a copy for my personal library. Very informative on the basics (and intermediate) concepts behind wine, wine productions, locations, taste, grape varietals, etc.
Jackie Davis
This is the best book on wine I've ever seen. It's easy to navigate for reference purposes, extremely thorough, & filled with fun facts. Tons of great information on all aspects of the world of wine; tasting, pairing, regions, varietals, and history.
I might actually have the 2006 Edition..not sure, but I doubt there's a huge difference. Anyway, this book is very informative, & written so that anyone can understand it. Well, maybe not a 5th-grader, but what do they need to know about wine?
Dec 27, 2011 KC rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in the wine industry
The only book you'll need to know about wines of the world from A - Z. A fantastic and comprehensive wine course that you will want to take from the shelf to read again and again. In the viticulture industry, this is "the Bible".
I liked how the information in the text was structured, and it's a great guide for people like me who are into wine education and setting up tastings for friends. Has the best presentation of how to read wine labels that I've seen.
Terrence Jones
Full of information and dense with plenty of triva. However the book feels like a basic overview of each wine growing region and varietal. It is not yet providing the in depth details that I had hoped for.
This is propbably the best wine book i have ever read. If you are interested at all, this is the place to start. It's layout is excellent and it's language is relaxed. I would recomend it to anyone.
Wendy Jackson
This is a really nice book that I still use as a reference on a regular basis. It has great pictures and divides the wines up by regions of the world making it easy to look up your favorite whenever you like.
Aug 30, 2007 Sara rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves wine
Shelves: foodwine
Kevin Zraly has been teaching wine courses for over thirty years. If you are interested in learning about wine, Zraly has a mastered approach in this interesting and comprehensive 20th edition.
This is the best introduction -- and general wine reference -- that I've picked up. With more the 20 years of testing the content and format, the author has polished this work quite well!
this book is great for anyone who wants to learn about wine, with its clear and consice writing and its descriptions, it is a book that i will no doubt keep at my table to read a few times
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