Anatomy of the Wine Trade: Abe's Sardines and Other Stories

Simon Loftus, Author, Jancis Robinson, Foreword by HarperCollins Publishers $15.95 (179p) ISBN 978-0-06-015785-2
These generally diverting but occasionally tedious short essays probe the business of making and marketing wine. The opening pieces, profiling diverse vineyardsmodest, tradition-steeped wineries in Northern Italy and Burgundy, grand estates in Bordeaux and modernized operations in California's Napa Valleycontrast the ""regional chauvinism that typifies many of the viticultural backwaters of France'' and the high-tech West Coast approach to environmental control. While prominent British wine merchant Loftus offers memorable images, such as one of the driven Burgundy grower Aubert de Villaine dispatching pickers ``armed with tweezers'' to salvage the grapes after a hailstorm, his personal reminiscences wax mundane and self-indulgent. The writing is livelier when Loftus examines the increasing professionalism of European dealers, the high stakes of the Bordeaux commodities market and competition among British auction houses, ending with witty sketches of critics and oenophiles. (October)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1987
Release date: 10/01/1987
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