Drinking wine is an experience, to drink for the purposes of becoming drunk is not what drinking wine is all about. Wine is food. Just like the delight which comes from eating your most favorite food, wine, as food can provide similar enchantment. Unfortunately drinking wine has somehow also entered into the realm of snobbery. This is a shame for it can (and does) prevent many from getting in on the enjoyment of this marvelous product of nature. For that reason, I have undertaken to prepare this guide, not as a wine expert (which I am most assuredly not), but as an average drinker of relatively good wine.

My aim here is to try and explain about wine in a way that is understandable. If I'm wrong about the facts, please let me know. Remember, as with anything else in this world, you don't have to look at it!

To the correspondent who wishes to let me know that I clearly know nothing about wine and was merely copying the work of others, I think he misses the point. First, except where stated, so far as I know, I have copied nothing. Any new book or article contains the ideas of author, especially if he or she comes to the subject with enthusiasm. While I am no expert, I definely have some ideas about the subject, especially when it comes to breaking down the mystery and mystique that some seem to want to bring to the subject.

Because of the sheer volume of information, I am not following the question and answer FAQ format. A Table of Contents and a comprehensive Index are provided instead. The choice of what to include was made up from the questions I have had about wine, suggestions from others, and from watching the Usenet groups on the subject. Suggestions, comments, criticism and whatever are welcome. While this already seems like a book to me, I've actually tried to cut down on the verbiage. It will probably get even longer through time.

Since the making, drinking and enjoyment of wine is a huge subject (and I certainly don't know all the answers), I've been necessarily superficial in my answers. This can lead to argument about the validity of what I have had to say. Since this isn't meant to be an encyclopedia, some sort of brevity is important. As I've said, I have received comments that say some of the portions are too long. Many feel that specific great wines of the world have been overlooked. This is true, not just because this --so far--isn't a book, but because I have made a conscious decision to not go too far out on a limb in incorporating information about things about which I truly know nothing and can't adequately satisfy for myself that the information sent to me is correct. With this as with everything, caveat emptor--"Let the buyer beware."

I would like to acknowledge those who have provided contributions and special assistance, all of it was necessary and appreciated!

We hope you get some use and enjoyment out of our project.
Bradford Brown
November, 1996