Calling this a handbook stretches the meaning of the word. In truth, it's an anthology of articles, many of which are quite technical but nonetheless good. By the same token, there is enough here to contribute to most readers' education and make him or her a better winemaker. You may learn things you don't need to know in the process, but knowledge should be its own reward.
Frankly, I enjoyed this book. Much of what is written elsewhere on the subject is for the beginner, and is all too ofter the same basics as were in the previous dozen books on the subject. It's nice to read (and learn) something new for a change. Just as -- if not more -- importantly, it's nice to learn why something you knew to be so is, in fact, so.
If you simply don't understand the nuances of acidity -- and many people don't -- or just want to learn the finer points of blending, this book will pay for itself with better wines in the future. What more could you ask for?
Even in paperback, Amazon.com's discount on this book makes it especially attractive as a gift -- to yourself or to another.