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The Aesthetics of Wine

ISBN: 978-1-4443-3766-2
240 pages
August 2012, Wiley-Blackwell
The Aesthetics of Wine (1444337661) cover image
The Aesthetics of Wine shows that discussing wine within the framework of aesthetics both benefits our understanding of wine as a phenomenon, while also challenging some of the basic assumptions of the tradition of aesthetics.

  • Analyzes the appreciation of wine as an aesthetic practice.
  • Tackles prejudices against bodily senses, showing how they distort traditional aesthetic theory
  • Represents the beginnings of a reformulation of general aesthetics
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Acknowledgments viii

Introduction 1

1 Basic Concepts 8

2 Wine as a Vague and Rich Object 35

3 Wine and Cognition 64

4 Aesthetic Attributes in Wine 97

5 Taste and Expertise in Wine 140

6 The Wineworld 176

References 211

Index 220

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Ole Martin Skilleås is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Bergen. He is the author of Philosophy and Literature (2001); several articles on philosophy, aesthetics, and literature; and is a regular contributor to Vinforum, a Norwegian wine magazine. 

Douglas Burnham is Professor and Personal Chair of Philosophy at Staffordshire University. He has written extensively on the philosophy of Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Nietzsche and philosophy's relation to the arts.

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“Despite the quibbles registered above, cheers to the authors for a fascinating and stimulating book!  (Kent Bach, The Journal of Aesthetics & Art Criticism, November 2013)

"...rarely does one locate as informative and ingenious analysis of [wine's] aesthetic qualities as this recent volume by Burnham and Skilleas.

...the authors do every student of philosophical aesthetics a welcome service by outfitting their comprehensive argument with one of the clearest expositions of applied aesthetics and its critical use of cultivated practices, sensory competencies, and intersubjective norms for grounding judgements of taste that this reviewer as yet encountered." (Choice, 1 March 2013)

"Summing Up: Highly recommended.  Lower-level undergraduates and above; general readers.”   (Choice, 1 March 2013)

"Fascinating and extremely well informed" --Jancis Robinson

This is an important addition to the wine literature. As well as being a serious academic study of the aesthetics of wine appreciation, it's also clearly written and surprisingly accessible - a must read for any curious drinker.

Jamie Goode

Wines inspire us. Not just as sources of intoxicating pleasure, but as objects of aesthetic appreciation. Here, in rich and satisfying detail, is a full-length study by philosophers of the subtle factors that influence our tasting judgments and bestow values on wines, both in the glass and beyond.

Barry C. Smith, Director of the Institute of Philosophy

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