A Celebration of English Wine by Liz Sagues
Those of us who attended the Wine GB tasting at the end of April may have spotted Liz Sagues modestly selling her book. She was doing so at the expense of going round tasting from the 30 odd exhibitors, sacrificing the chance of tasting up to 200 English and Welsh wines. But she’s been there, done that, got the T-shirt and written the book.
I was unaware that she had written what turns out to be the definitive guide on wines from GB and its industry, and speaking to other winos it seems I’m not the only one. With an English tasting coming up, I thought I’d better buy a copy to ensure that my knowledge was up-to-date especially as things have been moving at an alarmingly but excitingly speedy rate.
The title suggests that this is a book, as every good wine book should be, as much suited to the enthusiastic amateur as the professional. It deals with the history and the terroir and the dodgy climate keeping the vine-growers on their toes, but most importantly it’s about the people. More than anywhere else in the world Liz Sagues’ words, ‘People make wine’ are true. She goes on to say, ‘The final liquid reflects most of all the individual personality of the person who makes it.’
Her writing is easy and informative; enthusiastic without being gushing. It’s a book you can dip in and out of, with well laid out chapters and sub-titled paragraphs. It’s a vital book for those who want to know more about this burgeoning business of English* wine and immensely useful for those of us who present tastings on the subject both of which, I suspect, are a fast-growing number. The photographs are plentiful and beautiful, and if it weren’t for the jumpers, shawls and gloves of some of the subjects, you might easily believe they were stolen from a wine book on France or Italy.
*Liz explains that this term includes Welsh wine and distinguishes English from British wine.
The RRP is £16.99 but it is a little less on Amazon.