“It is basically the A–Z of Italian wine regions in a nutshell, and anyone wanting to learn about Italy simply could not do better than have this book to hand.” This highly complimentary new review from jancisrobinson.com gave everyone at Mamma Jumbo Shrimp great cause to celebrate. Italian Wine Unplugged 2.0 received the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) Award for 2023, an achievement that thrilled and humbled Stevie Kim and her team earlier this year. Tamlyn Currin and Tara Q Thomas’ recent review brings the book straight to the forefront of all recent books on Italian wine.
Mamma Jumbo Shrimp is humbled by praise for Italian Wine Unplugged 2.0
In the five intervening years since the publication of the first edition of Italian Wine Unplugged, the Mamma Jumbo Shrimp team and a group of certified Italian Wine Ambassadors from around the world strove to find ways to improve the book, make it more compelling and more useful for users. The result was a community effort, driven by a dedicated team of editors, contributors, graphic designers, faculty members and Professor Attilio Scienza himself, putting their heads together to create a 2.0 edition that is, in the words of the reviewers, “a textbook, reference book, and the book that every single Italian-wine lover should have to hand. If you have just one book on Italy, it should be this one.”
Stevie Kim, founder of Mamma Jumbo Shrimp, said:
“We are deeply grateful for this generous review which overlooks our flaws and failings, to see our unassailable commitment to providing serious tools for the rigorous study of Italian wine. Our community of certified Italian Wine Ambassadors at large gave generously of their time and expertise, demonstrating their dedication to our global network and producing a book that truly represents a labor of love. We aim to combine complicated topics with an honest, open approach that appeals to all Italian wine lovers and this book is the culmination of all our efforts to bring science, history, classifications and tasting together in one approachable place.”
The review appeared online Monday 11 December 2023, an early holiday gift for the Mamma Jumbo Shrimp team. Carried by jancisrobinson.com the full review is available online.
Referring to Italian Wine Unplugged 2.0 as “your new go-to reference for Italian wine,” reviewers Currin and Thomas praise the new book for being “one of the most well-written pieces [we] have read on this subject, helped enormously by beautifully designed, colorful, clean and crystal-clear infographics, spider diagrams, Venn diagrams, charts and maps.” They also enjoyed the fact that the books is “cleverly and usefully divided into three groups [of native grapes]: ‘Must-know’, ‘Lesser-known’, and Rare,” and they remark that, while “‘complete’ and ‘comprehensive’ are words that simply cannot be used in the context of Italy’s wines. But somehow this book comes as close as dammit without filling a library shelf’s worth of space.”
Sarah Heller MW and Henry Davar IWE received particular praise for their contributions to the book, with the reviewers commenting that “the book begins with a chapter on how to taste Italian wine, written by Sarah Heller MW, and this chapter alone is worth pausing for. (…) Her tasting system focuses more on texture, bitterness, herbs and flowers, and ‘non-edible’ flavour characteristics. It’s a very interesting read, and [we] can’t do it justice here” in their review.
Of Davar, the reviewers quote his words, “‘We encourage our students to think outside the traditional “quality” variables when assessing wines. Drinkability and usefulness can be two important considerations that are often forgotten in traditional assessments. And what about more ephemeral, intangible and personal assessments such as deliciousness?” The reviewers’ opinion? “[We] read that and wanted to cheer!”
Professor Attilio Scienza’s enormous contribution of extensive scientific material to Italian Wine Unplugged 2.0 did not go overlooked in the review. “The section on etymology is fascinating (as well as useful in terms of memory prompts for students), as is the untangling of the complex relationships between the different varieties. The richness of this chapter comes directly from Scienza’s conviction in the importance of the multi- and interdisciplinary approach to science. (…) It’s vital to our understanding that we draw on anthropology, linguistics, archaeology, myths, literature and spirituality. His chapter draws on all of these strands, presenting a layered and nuanced view.”
Italian Wine Unplugged 2.0 is available from Académie du Vin Library, the largest wine book publisher in the world, Amazon and Mamma Jumbo Shrimp.