Waiter, There's a Horse in My Wine: A Treasury of Entertainment, Exploration and Education by America's Wittiest Wine Critic

Menno Schilthuizen, Author, Gary Hovland, Illustrator Dauphin Press $14.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-9763170-0-5
Those who can overlook this book's uber-cheesy title and awful cartoon cover art (featuring a horse lounging in a cup of wine) will be treated to an entertaining collection of columns from Rosen, a wine journalist with an irreverent sense of humor. Witticisms crowd every page of this compilation, which is littered with column names like ""Don't Blame the Grape"" and ""When Good Wines Go Bad."" Rosen's ""mission"" is to snuff out wine snobbery and make understanding vino easy, even for the neophyte imbiber. She freely lampoons the types of highbrow topics industry insiders like the Wine Spectator routinely cover (this publication is jokingly renamed Wine Expectorator and Wine Emasculator by turns) in a bid to underscore the absurd exclusivity of such an old boy's club wine cognoscenti. Many of these selections are part travelogue, part populist rant, and it is great fun to join Rosen as she crisscrosses the globe as an ""embedded journalist,"" exposing wine fact and fallacy at every turn. (When addressing ""Front label tricks,"" for instance, Rosen points out that label laws vary, so much so that a 1997 Sonoma Zinfandel doesn't have to consist of 100% Zinfandel grapes or be 100% from Sonoma.) The book's corny illustrations add little to the text, but readers will find a great deal of practical information for choosing everyday table wines nestled amongst Rosen's tantalizing tales of tasting and testing ""in the field.""
Reviewed on: 05/30/2005
Release date: 06/01/2005
Genre: Nonfiction
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