The Sommelier Prep Course: An Introduction to the Wines, Beers, and Spirits of the World
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More About This Title The Sommelier Prep Course: An Introduction to the Wines, Beers, and Spirits of the World


A comprehensive, must-have guide to beverage service including wine, beer, and spirits

The Sommelier Prep Course is the ultimate resource for any aspiring sommelier, bartender, or serious wine lover. It includes sections on viniculture and viticulture, Old World and New World wines, beer and other fermented beverages, and all varieties of spirits. Review questions, key terms, a pronunciation guide, maps, and even sample wine labels provide invaluable test prep information for acing the major sommelier certification exams.

For each type of beverage, author Michael Gibson covers the essential history, manufacturing information, varieties available, and tasting and pairing information. He also includes sections on service, storage, and wine list preparation for a full understanding of every aspect of beverage service.
•    An ideal test prep resource for anyone studying for certification by The Court of Master Sommeliers, The Society of Wine Educators, or The International Sommelier Guild
•    An excellent introduction to wine and beverages for bartenders, beverage enthusiasts, and students
•    Based on education materials developed by the author for his culinary and hospitality students at the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Scottsdale

With concise, accessible information from an expert sommelier, this is the most complete guide available to all the wines, beers, and spirits of the world.


MICHAEL GIBSON is lead instructor for wine and spirits at the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Scottsdale. He is a certified specialist of wine with the Society of Wine Educators and a certified sommelier with the American Chapter of the Court of Master Sommeliers. He also works in the beverage industry as the director of operations for a wine and spirits distributor.


Preface vii

1 Wine Basics: Fermentation, Grapes, and the Flavor of Wine 1

2 A Short History of Wine 13

3 Viticulture: The Art and Science of Growing Grapes 29

4 Viniculture: The Art and Science of Making Wine 45

5 Wine Grape Varieties 65

6 Food and Wine Pairing 83

7 Wine Tasting and Sensory Analysis 91

8 Applying Wine Analysis 111

9 The Wines of France 119

10 The Wines of Italy 169

11 The Wines of Spain 199

12 The Wines of Germany 219

13 The Wines of Portugal 235

14 The Wines of Austria, Hungary, Greece, and Other European Regions 249

15 The Old World and the New World of Wine 265

16 The Wines of the United States 271

17 The Wines of Australia 301

18 The Wines of New Zealand 315

19 The Wines of South Africa 323

20 The Wines of Chile 331

21 The Wines of Argentina 339

22 Emerging Wine Regions Around the World 345

23 Beer and the Brewing Process 353

24 Ales, Lagers, and Beer Styles 361

25 Saké, Mead, and Cider 371

26 Spirits and Distillation 379

27 Important Styles of Spirits 385

28 Beverage Service and Storage 405

29 Beverage Sales and Wine Lists 421


A Answer Key 431

B Pronunciation Guide 435

C Important Spirit Brands/Distillers 449

D Additional Resources 451

Index 453