"The ancient Greek philosophers called them elixirs of the gods. The Roman emperors used them to celebrate their victories. Kings and queens cherished them as they did their riches. And for wine lovers, the fine wines of today are still to be treasured and enjoyed. How and why these wines reach their zenith in colour, flavour and value is the focus of this beautifully illustrated book by wine connoisseur Baudouin Neirynck. The book first looks at the activities of growing grapes and making wine. Each process is explained in detail so that you can understand the painstaking steps required to turn grapes into fine wines. This is followed by a discussion of the twenty most popular white and black grapes responsible for great wines. Here you will find everything you need to know about white grapes such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Gris and Viognier; and black grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Sangiovese. In addition, the grape classification system is explained, optimal soils and climates are discussed and the world's wine production regions are explored. Also included are chapters on investing in wines, storing and serving wines, matching wines with foods, reading wine labels and even the health benefits of wine. Throughout, beautiful color photographs and illustrations bring the text to life. Whether you are a wine expert or simply someone who enjoys an occasional glass of wine with your meals, THE GRAPES OF WINE isas mesmerizing as a glass of the finest Cabernet Sauvignon. Beyond the basics of wine appreciation, it offers a unique look at how great wines are made and, perhaps most important, it guides you to the best and most sought-after wines available. "