Saturday, May 24, 2008

2008 Penin Guide

The 2008 Penin Guide To Spanish Wine has recently been released in the US. It is considered one of the most definitive books on Spanish wine. The Penin Guide is is a trade-sized paperback book and has only been available in English for a few years. I have copies of the 2006 and 2007 guides and think they are excellent books.

The 2008 Penin Guide is smaller than the previous two editions. The previous editions had about 175 pages at the start of the book that formed an educational section on wine in general, with some specifics on Spanish wines and their history. That was largely omitted from the 2008 edition. This omission does diminish some of the value of this book, especially if you are relatively new to wine.

The rest of the book consists of thousands of wine reviews and listings for the wines and wineries of Spain. It also provides information of the current vintage in Spain and specific information on each D.O. In these areas, the 2008 edition is larger. It contains about 600 more wines that were tasted, about 160 more wineries, and almost 3000 more brands reviewed.

The price of the 2008 edition has also risen. The 2007 edition was $36 but the 2008 edition retails for $45. You can buy it though online at Barnes & Nobles for only $36, and more if you have a membership there.

It is getting pricier so the casual wine lover probably would not want or need this guide. But, if you really love Spanish wines and want more specific information about Spain and its wineries, then this guide might be worthwhile to you.

1 comment:

Gabriella Opaz said...

I think you bring us a very good point Richard, that I too want to emphasis. After talking with Penin in Portugal last January, from my understanding, the educational section has been left out because there are plenty of other resources that provide similar information. Although that is very true, there is no shortage of insufficient or poor information, and Penin has been a respected wine writer for years, so why not include well-respected and comprehensive information on Spanish wine?! It is a concept that completely alludes me, especially when finding a simple tool like an accurate map of the DOs is a treasure to come by. Either way, as you mentioned, if you are a die hard Spanish wine fan, I would highly suggest it.