By Michel Bettane & Thierry Desseauve, Stewart, Tabori & Chang, $35.00,831 pages

10“We obviously would prefer to see a different ending, one that finishes with a better understanding and appreciation of the balanced, harmonious wines we recommend in this guide, and of all the other similarly balanced wines of the world.”

The authors have created this guide on French wines for the oenephiles of the world. The scoring system is of two parts, a producer rating and a wine rating. They have only included wines that they rated above 84 on a 100 point scale. The wines are presented by region, with a map of the region. A brief commentary on each producer is followed by the list of wines with scores. As an encyclopedia, this book serves as a reference rather than be read from cover to cover. Wine experts may find it beneficial to peruse this hefty guide before their next trip to France, but become a member of the subscription only website for quick reference during the trip.

Reviewed by Janet Wright