Friday, August 2, 2013

A Moveable Virtual Blogger Pub Crawl: The New York Times Book of Wine

 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. 


16 comments:

rhapsodyinbooks said...

Wow, can't believe what happened with that marketing guy. Wait, yes I can. LOL

Beth F said...

Oh thanks for the heads-up. I hadn't heard of this book!

JoAnn said...

Sommeliers that nuke reds?? Are you kidding me???

This book definitely belongs in our collection - both my husband and I will love it. Now do I get it for his birthday or wait until Christmas...

bermudaonion said...

Some people have that same attitude about beer but Carl and Vance have plenty of female customers who know their stuff when it comes to hops. This book sounds terrific - I bet my mom would love it!

Heather @ Book Addiction said...

Ha! I remember when you grabbed that book. :) This looks awesome, you know how much I love my wine!!

Tasha Brandstatter said...

Oooh, I'm intrigued. Microwaving wine? Crazy talk!

(Diane) bookchickdi said...

What a great review: I know someone who would love this as a Christmas gift, thanks for sharing this.

Vicki said...

Nuking wine? Oh me!!
This sounds like a book to be enjoyed for many different reasons. I don't drink wine, but I'd love to read it for the learning experience.
Here's My Weekend Cooking

Janel Gradowski said...

I bet some of the stories are great in this book. I'm definitely a wine novice, but I can certainly appreciate this book anyway. I love learning about anything food and drink-related.

Carole said...

You got the pick of the bunch! Such fun

Col (Col Reads) said...

What a fun book -- I might have walked right past it without your review, but I know at least one Christmas list this is going on!

caite said...

once, I thought I should learn about wine...than I gave up and just drink the beer I prefer.

Joy said...

Oh, thanks for this. It will make the perfect birthday present for my nephew who is in wine sales.

Joy's Book Blog

Tina said...

We like Chinese takeaway for Friday evenings here and there. We also like either Pinot Noir or a Riesling to pair, depending on wat we pick as a main dish.

Nice book, will check it out.

Julie P. said...

I was thinking, as I read your review, that this book would be the perfect gift for winos!

stacybuckeye said...

LOL! "It is loving homage to God's juice."
As a fellow wine appreciator I think I need to find this book. I don't like to think of my wine having been nuked though. That just seems wrong.