Blog Archives

Champagne in “The Idiot” by Elif Batuman

Have you ever been reading a book and dreading the ending? Not that you’re worried it’s going to turn out super corny or hackneyed, but because you never want to finish the novel due to its compelling nature. This is the case with The Idiot by Elif Batuman. I’m on page 370 of 423. Our [More]

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Unexpected Wine and Food Match in James Salter’s Novel “Light Years”

Sometimes when you least expect it, expect it. That’s how wine sneaks up on me. Not like a bottle quietly tiptoeing behind me and then, “SURPRISE!” More of a coming across mentions of it while reading and thinking about the author’s experience with wine. Such is the case of the novel Light Years by James [More]

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The Novel “New York 2140” and Wine

I’m in the middle of reading New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson, which I bought at the excellent bookstore, WORD, in my neighborhood of Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The plot? As the sea levels rose, every street became a canal. Every skyscraper an island. For the residents of one apartment building in Madison Square, however, New York [More]

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Where, When, How It’s Made: How Much More Do We Care About Food Than Wine?

Over on Grape Collective I reviewed a book called Wine and Identity: Branding, heritage, terroir. I was struck by this assertion in the introduction: “Unlike milk, flour, fruit or vegetables, consumers seek information about where, when and how wine is made, and this is a major factor in their purchase decisions.” My response? “I see [More]

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Can a Scratch and Sniff Book Help You Become a Wine Expert?

Most wine books are so damn serious. Do you want to read a 500 page book on Bordeaux? One that’s hefty, ponderous, and staid? (Full disclosure: I probably would, but it’s what I do for a living. It’s like studying to be an engineer and having loads of non-sexy prerequisite texts. If you want to [More]

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2013: Reviewing My Year in Wine and Food Books

Taking a look back at all the blogging I did this year, I sure plowed through some thoughtful and thought-provoking books about both wine and food. And non-eating/drinking related books also inspired me indirectly and even directly. Let’s take a stroll down memory lane: I enjoyed Graham Greene’s sweaty, atmospheric The Power and the Glory [More]

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Considering Champagne in Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises

I’ve been pondering this passage from Ernest Hemingway’s seminal Lost Generation novel, The Sun Also Rises. Here are my thoughts: “I say that is wine.” Thank you, Brett. For many, Champagne exists in a separate category from wine. People think of it as a special outlier. You can listen to my conversation with David Speer, [More]

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Complete Wine Selector by Katherine Cole Has Fierce Freshness

I wish I had come up with the phrase “fierce freshness“. But I have to give credit to Katherine Cole, author of the new book, Complete Wine Selector. (I first heard about her latest book when she was a guest on my podcast.) This alliterative duo is deployed in the first section of book, which [More]

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