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Snooth User: Philip James

Book Review: Vintage Humor for Wine Lovers

Posted by Philip James, Jun 2, 2008.

On the pointlessness of dinner parties: "After all, what is your hosts' purpose in having a party? Surely not for you to enjoy yourself; if that were their sole purpose, they'd have simply sent Champagne and women over to your place by taxi." P.J. O'Rourke.

Vintage Humor for Wine Lovers by Malcolm Kushner is an eclectic collection of jokes, snippets, quotes, stories, lists and other aggregations from around the world of wine. I'm not sure how often this phrase is used in the US, but to me this is perfect bathroom reading - an easy read, short vignettes and a book you can pick up and read a few pages of at any time.

Malcolm's book draws from a lot of sources and its not uncommon to see a quote from Oscar Wilde in the vicinity of a mention of Marilyn Monroe. As such it can be pretty disorientating, but its clearly a treasure trove of party material. Who wouldn't be impressed if you were to whip out this Champagne related quote by Napoleon:

"In victory, you deserve Champagne; in defeat, you need it." -- Napoleon

Malcolm clearly has a thing against wine critics and bashes them at every opportunity. There's also an abundance of drunk driving, sex and regurgitation related jokes. Although to be fair, its been a long time since I heard a funny soil type joke, so you have to play to the crowd. Personally, I was most partial to the quotes, funny news stories and other factual information.

Its a quick read, but there's a lifetime of material. Malcolm has done a good job of separating the material into chapters, and a commendable job of pulling such a disparate array of material together, yet still retaining its readability.

With Vintage Humor for Wine Lovers, the material's there, the comic delivery, however, is still down to you.


Reply by Mark Angelillo, Jun 3, 2008.

I saw a documentary about Waterloo at some point which went pretty in depth into how the battle went. Funny, they didn't mention the post battle Champagne at all. I'm going to have to remember that particular coping mechanism!

I'll have to check this one out Philip, thanks. Any chance I can borrow? Ha.

Reply by Philip James, Jun 4, 2008.

Good news - it looks like the author of the book, Malcolm Kushner, will be a guest blogger on Snooth.

Looking forward to it!

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