Beverage Basics Understanding and Appreciating Wine, Beer,and Spirits

  • Rating: 5
  • Value: 7

Buy it for the wine sections only,virtually nothing on beer or spirits of substance

TITLE: Beverage Basics
SUBTITLE: Understanding and Appreciating Wine, Beer, and Spirits
AUTHORS: Small and Coutier
PUBLISHER: Wiley   462pages, Illustrated
COST: $65.00 US
TYPE: Reference
REVIEWED BY: Chris Carlsson,


A very nicely laid out tome of a book designed as a reference text for students in the hospitality industry and so therefore lays out all it’s information in the format one finds in most well written in depth textbooks on a subject. While possibly not the most engaging or entertaining of formats, unlike the bulk of my textbooks, I would not have sold this one off for drink.

The wine section is quite well detailed and a delight to read. Possibly one of the best texts on the subject around for most people. The beer section and the spirits sections fall flat.

Only about 25 pages for each  of what I consider to be the most cursory of information on beer and spirits almost makes the title a fraud. I think they really should have either expanded it or left it out- it is far to little to justify or defend the title or implying they really cover beer or spirits.

But again, as a wine reference it is quite admirable, quite solid, informative and easy to learn and reference. However the other two elements in the title get very short shift or treatment, bordering on poor for beer and useless for spirits so therefore the overall score suffers a bit.

Buy this book for the wine section and buy real, dedicated references on beer and spirits if you want to learn about them to the same level that they address wine in htis book.



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