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Book 'em Danno!

Posted by guest, Jun 4, 2008.

I moved this past weekend. Sometimes, it takes a move to bring to focus the blur that exists in the everyday surroundings we call home. The professional can pack up and ship out in a hurry. The sentimentalist will linger over each and every item as if it were the fingerprints on the hospital index card of their first born. I won't bore you with my moving classification, but I will follow Philip's post on Monday, where he reviewed a cheeky little wine book . However, I will simply state what is on my bookshelf, in hopes to bring to light some new source material or refresh your memory like each of these books did when they were placed in a cardboard, Larkmead case box.

(In no particular order of importance. Also note that wine reading can be enjoyable as wine drinking.... sometimes.)

Ralph Steadman: "The Grapes of Ralph" and "Untrodden Grapes." Gonzo education and excitement for the wine lover, fully equipped with fabulous pictures.

Jay McInerney: "Bacchus and Me" and "Hedonist in the Cellar." Compilations of Bright Lights, Big City Jay's writing from his monthly column(s) in now defunct House & Garden magazine.

Michael Broadbent: "Vintage Wine." The sub-title says it best: Fifty years of tasting three centuries of wine.

Clive Coates: "The Wines of Burgundy," Revised Edition, 2008. Love him or hate him, the Englishman has lived in Burgundy for more years than I have been drinking wine.

Andrew Jefford: "The New France." A bible on France in short form. Also check out Jefford's "Peat Smoke and Spirit," the definitive book on the Whiskeys of Islay.

Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson: "The World Atlas of Wine." Maps, maps and more maps.

Hugh Johnson and James Halliday: "The Vintner's Art." I'll change the subtitle a bit - How great wines are made, or at least explained how they are made to the amateur up to semi-pro wine drinker.

Hugh Johnson: "A Life Uncorked." Worth reading just for his contempt for America's own Robert Parker.

Robert Parker: "Bordeaux." Bordeaux by the man who built the market for these wines in the United States.

William Echikson: "Noble Rot: A Bordeaux Wine Revolution." The back story to Parker's tasting notes.

Elin McCoy: "The Emperor of Wine." Subtitle: The rise of Robert Parker and the reign of American taste.

Daniele Cernilli and Marco Sabellico: "The New Italy." As "France" above, check out Italy through the eyes and mouths of the editors of Gambero Rosso magazine.

George Taber: "The Judgment of Paris." On the morning of May 24, 1976 no one cared about American wines. A few hours later in Paris, American wines turned the (wine) world upside down.

Jamie Goode: "The Science of Wine." For the wine geek, chemist in you.

Donald Kladstrup and Petie Kladstrup: "Wine and War: The French, the Nazis, and the Battle for France's Greatest Treasure." Also check out "Champaign" by this duo.

Kermit Lynch: "Adventures on the Wine Route." The Importer details his early days.

Lawrence Osborne: "The Accidental Connoisseur." Like Steadman and McInerney, less serious, therefore more enjoyable.

Let us know what wine books are on your shelf....

Dan Petroski is Assistant Winemaker at Larkmead Vineyards in Napa Valley. Dan has an MBA from New York University and worked as an Ad Exec in New York for several years, before switching it up and trading his suit for a move out west.


Blog comment by Natalie MacLean, Jun 5, 2008.

Great reading suggestions here for the summer Dan!


Editor of Nat Decants Free Wine Newsletter

Author of Red, White and Drunk All Over

Reply by oceank8, Jun 5, 2008.

After reading, and really enjoying "The House of Mondavi" I am looking for something else. I am reading Wine for Dummies but can only take in a few pages at a time, otherwise I am on overload and forget everything I just read. I want a book that explains how Robert Parker got to be top of the rating list in America. It sounds like maybe "The Emperor of WIne" is what I am looking for, what do you think? Does it read like a book rather than a manual?

Blog comment by CNSmith, Jun 5, 2008.

Just finished Taber's "To Cork or Not To Cork"

More recs:
Mayle's "A Good Year" - much better than the movie.
Wilson's "Terroir"

I hear nice words on Feiring's "Battle For Wine and Love..."

Blog comment by Dan, Jun 5, 2008.

@ Natalie: thanks for the comment and most definitely will read your book on my summer vacation

@ Oceank8: Yes, "The Emperor" will give you your fix, in book form.

@Cnsmith: Thanks for the rec's, another novel wine book I forgot to mention is The Secret of Santa Vittoria. Set in Italy during WWII, a small town tries to save its only asset - a million bottles of wine - from the invading Germans. Robert Crichton is the author.

Blog comment by CNSmith, Jun 5, 2008.

I forgot Kladstrup's "Wine and War..."

Reply by Philip James, Jun 5, 2008.

I just finished Vintage Humor for Wine Lovers (reviewed on snooth a few days ago).

The House of Mondavi is excellent.

Am currently listening to A Tale of Two Valleys (Napa and Sonoma surprisingly) on audiobook.

Would like to read the Science of Wine book that Dan recommends, and Natalie's as well.

Reply by Mark Angelillo, Jun 5, 2008.

Looking forward to checking out the less serious ones for sure -- Steadman, McInerney and Osborne. Thanks, Dan!

Reply by John Andrews, Jun 8, 2008.

@Natalie ... Good to see you here. I have read Natalie's book and very much enjoyed it. It is definitely worth a read and I'm not just saying that because she is Canadian like me. :-)

I'd also recommend (as Dan did) Bacchus and Me by Jay McInerney. I found it very entertaining.

Reply by Kirstin, Jun 10, 2008.

Jay McInernery, yes. Also "The Accidental Connoisseur" book by Lawrence Osborne, who writes now for men's (gasp) Vogue. I've also been browsing through Ruth Reichel's edited vertion of "history in a Glass: Sixty Years of Wine Writing from Gourmet"- pretty cool, in this there are writers discussing prohibition's impact on wine from the field and why we should call Cali Pinot Noir "Pinot Noir" and not Burgundy.

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