The Wine Manual


380 pages
Contains Photos, Maps, Index
ISBN 0-7715-5118-5
DDC 641.2'2




Reviewed by Martha Wilson

Martha Wilson is Canadian correspondent for the Japan Times (Tokyo) and
a Toronto-based freelance editor and writer.


Intended as the first wine book written specifically for the restaurant
trade, The Wine Manual is serviceable enough, even if it misses the mark
a number of times. It has useful sections on how to take a wine order,
how to pour, how to intervene with charm when patrons make terrible wine
pairings, and so forth. The mini-glossaries at the start of each chapter
are a nice touch. However, some of the advice is overenthu-siastic. How
many waiters can be expected, as part of the job, to study up on soil
types? Even sillier is this admonition: “The job extends beyond
regular serving hours. You should arrive early to ensure that all wine
glasses are spotless.”

The book comes up short in other areas. It does not include a list of
good and bad years for various areas of production, or even a list of
solid producers or wines that can be relied on year after year. The
writing occasionally takes some astonishing twists, as in this example:
“The southwestern part of Spain, bordering Portugal, is a scantily
populated area of high sierras where dark-skinned wild pigs and goats
roam freely in deep forests.”

Konrad Ejbich, a hearteningly sensible wine writer, had a hand in this
book. Judging by his newspaper columns, he could have improved the
project vastly if given free rein. That said, The Wine Manual would make
a good textbook for a hospitality course.


Marie, Jacques, Shari Darling, and Konrad Ejbich., “The Wine Manual,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 22, 2024,