This is a wonderful book, both in terms of visual and aesthetic appeal, and from the substantive aspect. It is not for the casual wine drinker who desires a five minute introduction to oenology/ wine-tasting, or for the dilettante who suddenly discovers that wine drinking is chic, especially in the post-'Sideways' world. (IMHO- Sideways was a great film, but I digress) This is a large-format book that really demands to be read, in detail, and over a period of months, or even years. The language is good, and the text has a flowing, easy-to-read style. There is even a glossary at the end of the book. I disagree with one of the other reviewers about the poor translation.\nThe authors have taken great pains to describe the various wine growing areas, the concept of terroir, wine making techniques, grape varieties/varietals, and wine-food pairings. A very useful feature is the listing, under each wine growing region, of the most prominent producers of those wines. Obviously, the book focuses more on French wines, since, in my opinion, France is the mothership whence all wines emerged. However, the book does equal justice to other areas/ countries, like Germany & Italy and also has a detailed section on New World wines, including some glowing tributes to certain American & Australian wines.\nThe book is at least as good as 'The Larousse Encyclopedia of Wine', which is a classic, with the added benefit of stunning pictures, for those readers who wish to have a lavishly illustrated tome. But please do not buy this merely as a coffee-table adornement, since that would detract from the purpose of this magnificent book.