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Book Review

Brian Leverett's Winemaking Month by Month

A more readable emulation of Berry's "First Steps in Winemaking" than Berry's version.

Leverett, Brian. Winemaking Month by Month. 3rd Ed., Prism Press, Nashville, TN, 1994.

(Reviewed for Amazon.com by Jack Keller, The Winemaking Home Page)

This book is similar in format to C.J.J. Berry's "First Steps in Winemaking," but costs less, is more modern in language and technique and is perhaps an easier read. They are not, however, equal books, and I rated "Winemaking Month by Month" one star less than I rated "First Steps...." I think I would have rated it the same even if I had never read Berry.

As I stated in my review of "First Steps...," the format is not universally appropriate. The book begins with a primer on winemaking, which is okay. The recipes, however, are divided by calendar- months corresponding to the month in which the primary ingredients are locally harvested in Britain. For winemakers in the southern hemisphere, these harvests are off by as much as six months.

Nor do I understand why, in the age of modern shipping and refrigeration, the availability of ingredients should be limited to particular months. When Berry wrote "First Steps in Winemaking" this was the case. When Brian Leverett wrote "Winemaking Month by Month" the era of local crop dependency had nearly past.

Finally, by grouping recipes under calendar-months instead of by alphabetical ascension, the reader must utilize the index to find almost any recipe. This is a minor but real irritation.

Still, the book contains both essential instructions and an ample supply of recipes. It is well suited as an introduction to home winemaking and a good source for 134 recipes and almost as many variations. Its strength lies in its readability.

It's affordability makes it a good value.

Order Brian Leverett's Winemaking Month by Month from AMAZON.COM now!

Last update was November 3rd, 2000.

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