McInerney (A Hedonist in the Cellar) has just the right swagger—a reader of Hemingway, an ’80s slacker reputation earned from his first novel, Bright Lights, Big City, four marriages, sly allusions to Coldplay—to inspire oenological pursuits in a less rarefied, more “like us” crowd. This latest collection of his wine columns from his first gig, House & Garden (before it folded in 2007), and, more recently, the Wall Street Journal, demonstrates a bracing frankness that instills confidence in his vinous choices, such as promoting lower-priced American brands next to Old World masters and his blitheful ability to correct past biases, namely regarding pinot grigio. McInerney is a bit of a name dropper, and one senses he does not bother much about journalistic virtue when visiting vignerons in seductive far-flung locales: Dominique Lafon in Meursault; Ann Colgin in the Napa Valley; Angelo Gaja of Barolo; or the former elBulli’s sensational, changeable chef Ferran Adrià on the hard-to-reach Costa Brava. Still, one of the longest chapters is a sober salute to the innovations of the late Robert Mondavi. Overall, McInerney’s encounters with wines are deeply quirky, thus memorable—his first 1991 Clos Erasmus was a “wonderful hippogriff of a wine... a sort of thinking man’s fruit bomb with lots of structure”—an oenological exegesis entailing a first kiss and lots of personality. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/09/2012 Release date: 05/08/2012 Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 177 pages - 978-0-307-95753-5
Paperback - 284 pages - 978-0-307-94805-2
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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