Book Review: The Perfect Wine Cellar: The Ultimate Guide for Great Wine Collectors by Chiara Giannotti – 98 Points









Book Review: The Perfect Wine Cellar: The Ultimate Guide for Great Wine Collectors by Chiara Giannotti

Hardcover: 10 ¼ x 13 ¼ 224 pages / $100 USD, ISB 978-8-89-181804-1 – 5.4 lbs – Publisher: Rizzoli International Publications


I love books.  I love wine.  I love wine books.  

The art of the wine book is something that I think I might tire and yet I keep finding great views and ways of thinking about wine from thoughtful writers. For me writing is a necessity and reading is a luxury.  So reading about wine and is a rare moment and each time I get the rare chance to read I am glad I take that moment.

Chiara Giannoti’s book is a luxuriant view of some of the world’s most iconic labels.  There are many well known and beloved labels that one could highlight and I personally would be struggling with which wines to keep in this book and what to take out.  Giannoti selects logical choices and it is easy to concur with the wines she highlights.

Chiara’s book expresses a full sense of confidence in highlighted producers. There are no pitfalls in terms of using language that is hyperbolic but there is a framing for each producer that is fitting and with a sense of freshness and relevance and excitement.

Giannoti sketches the awe inspiring qualities of producers like SalonChampagne Salon Cuvée ‘S’ Le Mesnil Blanc de Blancs where only 50,000 bottles are released annually of their wine.  50,000 bottles available annually is an amazing fact and yet this producer who is nearing it’s 100th birthday.  Salon has not been around hundreds of years but innovation of Eugène Aimé Salon who was a leather merchant who visioned to create vintage chardonnay-only wines with considerable finesse, elegance and beauty.  Champagne is a sparkling wine region that is a region of continuous improvement and Salon along with other producers demonstrate how unique this region is not just amongst sparkling wine regions but all wine regions.

Battista Rinaldi who in 1890 launched his last namesake wine is a venerable label today of Barolo Riserva DOCG wine and the most sought after is Brunate.  The vinification is a long maceration and equally important are the large barrels of Slavonia oak.  Rinaldi wines are expensive with an extensive following and much anticipated the northern Italian beauty of Nebbiolo.  When I do get a Rinaldi wine bottle or two I plan to either buy an older vintage or buy a newer vintage and let’s it do it’s magic in my cellar.

So not all producers are mentioned in this book and I like that Chiara Giannoti does give a sketch of a wine nations like Italy talking about regions north and south and in between to give a thoughtful comments in terms of history, grapes and specific regions.


Wine books are needed now more than ever.  The quips of just solely online articles doesn’t fill the gap on the book shelf even if that book shelf is on your phone.  Wine books offer focus and highlight, and an opportunity of beauty in image as well as words. The Perfect Wine Cellar: The Ultimate Guide for Great Wine Collectors by Chiara Giannotti is a beautiful book of stunning photography backed up by equally beautiful writing.  The focus here in this book is looking at historic and well known wines…. I sometimes take for granted that great wines will always be there.  While great wines are a given for some–I take great and good things with cautious and a healthy dose of reverence.  I just need to say that phrase “Notre-Dame.”  I was guilty of this–this treasure is something that would always be there and in agonizing hours of 15-April so much was destroyed.  Hence a renewed and ever quest of consciousness towards great things like wine is for me to not take it for granted.

I do take good things seriously–great wine, great writing and so many other things as well.  I had to re-examine my wine cellar and I was once again re-assured why I have a cellar.  I want to taste nicely aged wines in my cellar and yes take the chance they will over time age well.  I also was inspired by this book that I will add these wines to my cellar–also wine collecting just doesn’t happen by snapping one’s fingers–but buying one bottle at a time. 

There is no such thing as a coffee table book that is not meant to be viewed–this is one to be on a coffee table but opened by anyone in front of it–and maybe… just maybe…this smart book will impart some wine knowledge even if it is quickly scanned.  The weight and beauty of this book inspires me and this presents itself as a present for someone even if that someone is you.

This book deserves to be read! 

And you like me will be inspired to get these wines into your cellar–most are approachable on some level and just a few stratospheric in terms of price.  I do think it is important to cellar and equally important to drink what you lay down.  

Wine is important and certainly wine books are important and so is this book: The Perfect Wine Cellar: The Ultimate Guide for Great Wine Collectors. 

Salute and Santé,


James the Wine Guy

Demystifying Wine…One Bottle at a Time from all wine regions around the world.

Product in this review are courtesy of publisher.

© 2019 James Melendez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, drawings, art work, graphs, photographs, logo, brand name, rating, rating, taxonomy, graphic and award and designs of James the Wine Guy.  James the Wine Guy is also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

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About James Melendez

II love wine and business. I am obsessed with the subject, the art, the history, the sciences, organization management, and making things less complex I have been a former national wine marketing manager for a large off-premise food and wine retailer (280+ retail locations in 30 US States); the love for wine taught me the good practice of using the best methodologies to right side a business which unto itself is complex. Further complexity is wine. Wine simple to enjoy and yet profoundly complex because of many factors: Many grape varieties States of wine: sparkling, still and fortified wines Vintage Blends Regions/AVAs/DOCs etc. Many producer styles Many producers Limited supply Limited and often restricted distribution My experience is still a lot of intimidation with respect to wine. Wine means many things to many people; status, fear, success, ‘you’ve arrived’, enjoyment, good times, tradition and even ceremony. I have consulted with wine producers and association. I have spoken on Wine and Social Media, Wine and Video and The Business of Wine in conferences in the United States and Europe. Beer and spirits do have the same dynamics–there are many producers but compared to wine there is no other consumer product like it. I have been writing about since November 2006 on my site and I have over 2,890 wine videos on my YouTube channel talking about general wine subject matter as well as specific educational topics on wine and reviews. I have been a wine judge and have traveled to many wine countries in the new and old world. Wine has taken me to great places. Life is tough for most of us and it is nice to celebrate life with those near and even far. What wine is really about is sitting around a table with family and friends raising your wine glass and saying—to life! I love to write about travel, food, technology and business–please subscribe! Salute, *** A plethora of wine reviews from wines regions around the world. Read more of my wine © 2020, 2018, 2017, 2010 James P. Melendez – All Rights Reserved.
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