The Battle for Wine and Love: Or, How I Saved the World from Parkerization
Alice Feiring, . . Harcourt, $23 (271pp) ISBN 978-0-15-101286-2
In this entertaining oenological salvo, wine blogger and journalist Feiring makes an argument for wine authenticity through adherence to old techniques. She's against what she calls “Big Wine”—viticulture as business and technology—and blames the shrinking appreciation for hand-vinified, long-aged “Old World” wines (like the Barolo that eventually led to her career) on, among other things, the UC–Davis School of Enology and Viticulture and the wine writings of critic Robert M. Parker Jr. (of the book's title). But what sets her sprightly polemic apart is that her argument is pinned to a personal narrative of wine tours through Europe and California. Rounding out the Syrah-and-the-City parallels are several female characters who receive noms de vin like “Honey-Sugar” and the air-kissing “Skinny,” and most entertainingly of all, the author's Carrie-like relationships. Parker looms like Mr. Big over all Feiring's oenological relationships; they finally have a couple of phone dates that distill the differences between them down to quantifying (Parker) versus qualifying (Feiring). The author, who already has fans through her blog and other journalism, can count on new ones with this publication.
Reviewed on: 03/24/2008
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