This week, four bloggers were inspired to talk about the things they love the most...beer, cheese, bread and wine. Really what is not to like? Then we decided that we sounded like a pub crawl in the making. Here is the lineup earlier this week:
Beer: Kathy at Bermudaonion
Cheese: Jill at Rhapsody in Books
Bread: JoAnn at Lakeside Musings
I was happy to take wine duty.
In fact I thought this was the perfect opportunity to showcase a book I got at SIBA last fall. It was the end of the show and the publishers on the floor were tearing things down. I had spotted this book and asked if I could have it for review. I got a stink-eye from the guy, and he muttered under his breath that it was probably for my husband. I was offended. Really? Only guys take wine seriously? Girls just drink the pink crap? We just giggle and slam back the house wine? He had no idea who he was talking to. Still, this book is SO GOOD that it must be discussed, whether or not the rep was a chauvinist.
There are many wine bibles out there. You know, where they tell you about grapes, growing regions, vintages, ideal storage temperatures, etc. This is not a wine bible. It is loving homage to God's juice.
For almost 40 years, there has existed a wine column in the New York Times, written by some of the world's most respected wine experts. Within the pages of Book of Wine, 125 of the paper's best articles have been accumulated, offering informative and chatty essays on topics ranging from wine bottle openers, the vague (and often humiliating) area of wine tasting, after dinner wines, cult winemaking, the "Judgement of Paris" (when American wines beat the French at a blind tasting in 1976), the emergence and popularity of screw tops, and even the controversy of appreciating wine in front of the kids.
I would almost bet that even if you are not a wine-o, you would find this book highly entertaining. It is the furthest thing from snobbery.
How about matching wine with Chinese food? Normally I'd grab a beer, but some experts stepped up to the challenge and actually found that many wines went well with Chinese. The only dish that stumped them was a dish with Sechuan peppercorns.
We hear about an experience of tasting wines from 1846 and 1865, that had been sitting in the bowels of a French chateau. Good Lord, I would think it was pure sludge! But in fact they must have been stored properly because they inspired awe.
How about some scandal? Did you know that some sommeliers NUKE REDS IN A MICROWAVE to take the chill off before serving? This is one of those dirty secrets! Or the award-winning porn star that also has turned out an Italian red wine that won a rating of 91? I can't even begin to explain THAT article. You'd have to read it to believe it.
Reading this book was pure joy. It is like a collection of short stories that are so individually unique and entertaining, every page is a new experience and full of facts that made me want to share with anyone who would listen.
So if you know someone that is moderately interested in wine or is obsessed with it, you need look no further for the next perfect gift.