The Sommelier Prep Course by Michael Gibson is fantastic reading whether you’re preparing to be a sommelier or if you simply want a deeper understanding about wine and where it comes from.
In this book Gibson provides an overview of the history of wine and the arts of both viticulture and viniculture. He details some of the most common grape varieties, takes the reader through a quick tasting and sensory analysis course, and gives helpful information about wine and food pairing.
All of this great information precedes what to me was the gold mine in The Sommerlier Prep Course in which Gibson delves into the wines of the major wine-producing countries of both the Old and New World. Each chapter here goes in depth into a country’s wine history, climate zones, wine laws, top regions, grapes specific to each region and more. Aided by charts and ‘how to read a wine label’ illustrations these are great chapters.
The Sommelier Prep Course is not an accidental title for the book. The end of each chapter includes a quiz to test how well you absorbed the knowledge. Gibson also doesn’t stop with just wine. The book includes chapters on beer, brewing, sake, mead, cider, spirits, alcohol service, and handling. This is a full service sommelier prep course book.
Of the wine education books I’ve read this has been a favorite and I know I will continue to use it as a reference for a good long time.