The Wine Lover's Guide to Auctions: The Art & Science of Buying and
Ursula Hermacinski. Square One, $17.95 paper (256p) ISBN 978-0-757-00275-5
foreword by wine guru Michael Broadbent intimates that this book is a serious authority on its subject-and it is.
Hermacinski, who's been a wine auctioneer for more than 20 years (most of them at Christie's), presents a guide to the wine
auction experience that even the most studied oenophile can learn from. The first 48 pages include an entertaining history
of wine, auctions and, of course, wine auctions. There's also a solid overview of wine basics, covering grape varieties, regions,
bottle shapes and sizes, storage, serving, glasses and food pairing, because understanding wine fundamentals, the author explains,
is "an integral key to your success at wine auctions." Though the topic is narrow, anyone with a strong interest
in wine might find it worth exploring, because auctions allow buyers to "acquire wines that are not available elsewhere
because they are very old or very rare." This book takes readers through auctions' pros and cons, terminology and process.
Hermacinski wraps up with information on wine collections and furthering one's wine education. Throughout are tidbits of wine-related
trivia and an engaging, unpretentious writing style that makes the potentially intimidating world of wine auctions accessible.