Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Book Review: Staudt’s Weinkalender 2013 – Staudt’s Pocket Wine Calender 2013

I am one of those who use a pocket calendar to go through the year. My daughter Cornelia is not “old fashioned” - as she calls me - and uses her iPod as calendar. In contrast, my daughter Katharina is old fashioned like me and uses a pocket calendar.

I have been using a standard pocket calendar all my life, but I met wine educator, wine journalist and wine book authorWolfgang Staudt recently at a wine tasting in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, and he told me about (and sent me a copy of) his new Staudt’s Weinkalender.

Staudt's Weinkalender 2013

Basically, Staudt’s Weinkalender is a pocket calendar for wine lovers.

With its slim, leather-like design and burgundy color, it looks very classy. As I like it, Staudt’s Weinkalender includes 2-page-per-week planning pages and fits easily into my jacket.

Traditional pocket calendars come with additional, general information, like school holidays, measurement conversion tables, etc. Staudt’s Weinkalender does not have that. Instead, it comes with additional, specific information, tailored to wine aficionados.

Most importantly, as a far as I am concerned, it has already printed in the dates of important wine events, like the Vinitaly in Verona and Prowein in Duesseldorf. Staudt's Weinkalender contains a sizeable number of such dates, but could be more. Perhaps Wolfgang Staudt did not want to overload the calendar but as far as I am concerned I would not mind to have more dates there.

Then, every seven days or so, the Staudt's Weinkalender contains a little wine tip, like what wine goes with asparagus, or a “did you know” question, like: Did you know that Recioto is a sweet wine made in Italy from dried grapes?

More substantial are 12 short essays on a double page on subjects like the world class Pinot Noirs from Oregon or What is a Grosses Gewaechs? In a number of cases, Wolfgang Staudt has supplemented his views with that of a prominent expert on the subject, like a quote from the President of the VDP, Steffen Christmann, on Erste Lage and Grosses Gewaechs wines.

At the end of the calendar you find additional wine-specific information.

Very useful is a matrix with vintage ratings for the major wine regions of Germany and of the world, using the 100 points system. The table also includes recommendations whether a wine is ready to be opened (B), still too young (A), or over its peak (C). For example, Rheingau/2005 got 90 points and a B from Wolfgang Staudt: a very good wine ("herausragend"), ready for consumption.  

Wolfgang Staudt also provides some handles for “tasting a wine like a professional” and a list of the most important flavors in a wine glass, with a link to the grape variety where you most likely find them. If you taste or smell grapefruit, for example, the odds are that you have a Gruener Veltliner or a Semillon Blanc in the glass.

At the end there are several pages for private tasting notes and two pages of "useful addresses".

To sum up: I - somebody who uses pocket calendars, loves wine and speaks German - am very happy that Staudt's Weinkalender is on the market. I am sure, my daughter Katharina concurs.

Wolfgang Staudt

Dr. Wolfgang Staudt is a wine educator, wine journalist and wine book author. He holds a "Diploma in Wine and Spirits".

Wolfgang Staudt has published 3 wine books: "50 einfache Dinge, die Sie ueber Wein wissen sollten" (50 Simple Things you should know about Wine); "50 Deutsche Wine, die Sie kennen sollten" (50 German wines you should know) and "50 Rotweine, die Sie kennen sollten" (50 red wines you should know).

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