This week, I received a copy of Coffee and Wine, a new book that offers a fascinating perspective on wine, which is especially valuable for professionals - and in particular for MW students.
It was written by Morten Scholer, who was for many years a senior advisor for coffee projects within the UN, and who also has a lifelong interest in wine. His book is the first of its kind to compare and contrast the two drinks - covering everything from history to production to trade structures to packaging to consumption.
While it has the format of a textbook, the writing style is lucid and easy to read, accompanied by around 200 tables, illustrations and boxouts that are crammed with graphs, statistics and maps.
Scholer’s career has evidently provided great expertise in coffee, as well as the fastidious attention to detail needed to achieve the depth of research offered in this book. (Disclosure: In 2017 I was paid to check and edit much of the wine content in the book, but I have no other financial interest in it.)
There are several reasons I think this is such a useful book for wine lovers - quite apart from whether you have any interest in coffee.
It is a great reference for all the basics of wine - from global vineyard hectarage to lists of major pests and diseases to overviews of production, including plenty of useful financial detail
It is crammed full of #mwstudyfacts - especially because it often compares wine with coffee, giving the sort of comparative context which is invaluable for MW studies.
As an outsider, Scholer is able to give a dispassionate analysis of the world of wine, as well as some entertaining opinions on some of the wine world’s more offbeat habits, including scoring, descriptors and concepts of terroir.
Here are some examples of the sort of content included:
Because it is a project I worked on, I am obviously biased - but I am also very familiar with the level of detail and accuracy that has been involved in the making of Coffee and Wine, headed by Scholer but with the help of many prestigious contributors - and I really believe it is a worthwhile addition to any wine bookshelf.
The cover price is £30 but you can currently buy it for £24 direct from the publisher or even less from some other online retailers.