So maybe it’s not following the generally accepted protocol to review a book before the would-be reviewer has even read through to the last page, but I’m making an exception in this case. Because this is a seriously entertaining and informative book. I will admit that the writing can be a bit stilted, but the story itself will keep you turning the page far past your bedtime. Basically, the title says it all: “Wine and War” relates the story of the French wine industry during World War II, how the winemakers themselves weathered the war, and how the greatest bottles in the country were often saved by good old-fashioned ingenuity, bravery, and an appreciation for how much they meant to the beleaguered country. And as you might assume, the book is best enjoyed alongside a nice glass of wine. French, of course.
Eric Arnold is in love.
Not simply with wine, or New Zealand wines, or the people who grow and create those wines. No, Eric is in love with the whole damn mess of it all.
First Big Crush is a book about a man with a lot of passion, not necessarily a lot of sense, and a whole year to give in to his obsession in hot pursuit of experience and a love affair that he will certainly never forget. (more…)
A couple years ago, I reviewed Eric Arnold’s First Big Crush, Eric’s recounting of his year in New Zealand learning about wine. Since that time, Eric has become an editor at Forbes and a good friend of the school’s. Decanter now reports that New Zealand filmmakers are going to turn Eric’s book into a movie. I wonder who will be playing Eric…
Paul Rudd? Andy Sandberg? McLovin?
Congratulations Eric! Couldn’t have happened to a better guy!
Notes on a Cellar-Book, by George Saintsbury. Originally published in 1920, Saintsbury’s book is still considered one of the best books on drink and drinking in wine literature. Tasting notes and Saintsbury’s opinions throughout.
Au Revoir To All That: Food, Wine, and the End of France, by Michael Steinberger. Slate‘s wine columnist reflects on France’s declining gastronomic culture. Chef Marco Pierre White regards this as “one of the greatest books” he’s read.
In Search of Bacchus:Wanderings in the Wonderful World of Wine Tourism, by George M. Taber. The author of Judgement of Paris wanders the globe and visits the land, peoples, and grapes of 12 of the most fascinating wine regions in the world.
Back Lane Wineries of Sonoma, by Tilar Mazzeo. The author of the thoroughly delightful The Widow Cliquot has written the perfect travel and wine book for anyone who adores the wines of Sonoma as well as those just starting out.
Wine Politics: How Governments, Environmentalists, Mobsters, and Critics Influence the Wines We Drink, by Tyler Colman. The author of the wonderful DrVino.com takes wine politics to task in this engaging and thought-provoking book.
From Demon to Darling: A Legal History of Wine in America, by Richard Mendelson. Mendelson chronicles the history of wine in the United States through the lens of the law – from early support, through Prohibition, to the governmental controls still in existence today.
Fine Wines: The Best Vintages Since 1900, by Michel Dovaz. A tribute to legendary wines – bottles which are increasingly coveted – accompanied by amazing photos and knowledgeable discussions.
Per The New York Times Book Review (Sunday, May 17, 2009), Benjamin Wallace’s excellent The Billionaire’s Vinegar: The Mystery of the World’s Most Expensive Bottle of Wine is out in paperback. As I wrote here, Wallace’s book is entertaining, insightful, and definitely a worthwhile read. I recommend adding it to your summer reading list.
Benjamin Wallace – author of The Billionaire’s Vinegar – will be appearing at the Free Library of Philadelphia on Sunday, May 18, 3:00 PM for a talk and book signing.
Writer Wallace took six years to track down the players in this Byzantine story surrounding the world’s most expensive bottle of wine: the 1787 Chateau Lafite Bordeaux that sold at auction (1985) for $156,000. Everyone from Thomas Jefferson to Robert Parker get drawn into this facinating tale of deception and high-stakes wine collecting.
The story made news in both the Wall Street Journal and The New Yorker, but those tellings only scratched the surface. We haven’t had a chance to review the book yet, but its getting some great press already.