Like a glass of fine wine, this magnificent work is meant to be read and savored. I cannot too highly recommend it. It will be source of joy to all oenophiles. As one of the two primary purposes of drinking wine is to accompany food, there is no better reference than this one as it is written by the leading US Culinary Institute. In addition to extensive resource material, it includes references to many of the leading wineries in each of the world's major wine regions.
Exploring wine has basically four "competitors":
First, the OXFORD COMPANION TO WINE by Jancis Robinson. While authoritative, it is as much fun to read as the Encyclopedia Britannica. This may be better read digitally. In contrast, EXPLORING WINE is not only as, if not even more comprehensive, but it also can be opened on almost any page and give pleasure as well as knowledge and insight.
Next is the WORLD ATLAS OF WINE by Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson. This is a close second, and is outstanding on the historical aspects of wine. However, both for food and wine as well as recommended vineyards, I prefer EXPLORING WINE.
Oz Clarke's NEW ENCYCLOPEDIA OF WINE is another fine work but doesn't offer the depth or breath of its competitors.
Finally, there is another favorite of mine, the WINE BIBLE by Karen McNeil. This is my second choice for a wine reference book. This is an excellent work and its paperback version is also the least expensive. I recommend it to all students of wine. If you ONLY drink everyday wines, you may be happy with JUST owning the Wine Bible. But if you aspire to more as a wine lover, or wish to become one, or wish to gift one, nothing tops EXPLORING WINE. Moreover, you will find your guests suitably impressed should you let it lie on your coffee table!