Wines of South America: The Essential Guide

It was a pleasant surprise, in reading Wines of South America, to find out that both author Evan Goldstein and I share a weakness for pig’s trotters at Colo Colo, near Curicó in Chile. This is the sort of place only locals would know—and an example of the level of research Goldstein undertook for this book. Goldstein, a Master Sommelier and wine educator based in San Francisco, has travelled to South America regularly in the past decade, going far beyond the well-known regions of Argentina and Chile to visit every wine-producing country on the continent. He covers them all here—even those with an almost imperceptible presence on the world market, like Paraguay and Bolivia. When it comes to Argentina and Chile, the sections include detailed information on regions just beginning to be known in the world, like Gualtallary in Mendoza and Itata in the southern Chile. Writing with enthusiasm and detail, his coverage of places like the mountainous and foggy vineyards of Boyacá in Colombia, or the chardonnay growing on the limestone hills of Guayas, o the coast of Ecuador, might provoke a visit. Of course, it goes without saying that the food section is superb, with great recommendations for new restaurants in places like Mendoza, Sao Paulo, Lima and Santiago.

by Evan Goldstein, MS (University of California Press; $40)

Reviewed in W&S June 2015.