Wine Books: The Intriguing Future
What wine literature is on its way?
There is always a new wine book set to arrive on the wood and digital shelves as it appears committed wine lovers can’t help themselves. They must write about their passion. I’ve chosen here a selection of soon-to-be-released books that caught my eye and appear to me either because of their subject matter or their author or both to be significant interest.
NOSE: A Novel
By James Conaway
Few journalists have rankled the sensibilities of the Napa wine community the way James Conaway did when he released is best-selling “Napa” and “Far Side of Eden”. But Conaway is a muckraker. He is a writer. NOSE is Conaway’s fictional look at the California wine industry complete with world-famous wine critics, wine bloggers, nose-in-the-air vintners, sex, mystery and, yes, wine. I’ve read excerpts of Nose and am highly anticipating reading it. I suspect a fun parlor game will emerge from this book: of the characters, people, wines and places that make appearances in the book, what was the real-life inspiration?
Release Date: March 12, 2013
A MAN AND HIS MOUNTAIN
By Edward Humes
The tale of Jess Jackson, one of the California wine industry’s legendary figures and great entrepreneurs probably needs to be told. Jackson’s recent death left a hole in the industry that a variety of folks are trying to fill: The big personality, big monied, empire builder. It’s unknown what approach this work will take. Humes is a very well-respected, Pulitzer Prize winning reporter who has tacked a number of subjects. This is one to look for
Release Date: October 22, 2013
WINE: A GLOBAL HISTORY
By Marc Millon
Histories of wine or the wine industry or wine drinking are not easy to pull off well. In the case of this coming addition to the wine history genre, a global perspective is being taken. The author is an experienced and well-published writer about wine, particularly from the perspective of the wine tourist. The book is described as being written for both the novice and the experienced looking for an engaging chronicle. I’ll be very curious to see them pull off this trick.
Release Date: April 15, 2013
BORDEAUX LEGENDS: THE 1855 FIRST GROWTHS OF HAUT-BRION, LAFITE-ROTHSCHILD, MARGAUX, LATOUR AND MOUTON ROTHSCHILD
By Jane Anson
I read that Bordeaux isn’t the E-ticket attraction is used to be; that wine drinkers (younger ones in particular) are ignoring the wines from this classic region of France. That may be. But here’s what I can promise you: Among those young people who are drinking wine now, who eventually become a wine geek and who eventually accumulate large sums of case, they will eventually dive deep not only into Bordeaux but into the five wineries that are the subject matter for this coming book. Bordeaux legends will attempt to tell the history and explain the significance of these 5 First Growth estates. The organizing principle of this book makes perfect sense doesn’t it. It will be interesting to see if the results are simply fawning or if a critical eye is cast upon the subject matter.
Release Date: April 2, 2013
CELEBRITY VINEYARDS: FROM NAPA TO TUSCANY IN SEARCH OF GREAT WINE
By Nick Wise
What motivates the rich and famous to buy and run a vineyard and winery? Personally, I can guess and I bet my guess will come pretty close to the mark. There is a certain amount of disdain shown for the celebrity vineyard, particularly when they are viewed alongside those we view as artisan winemakers who are believed to simply love the grape, the ground and wine, while the celebrity is believed to simply love the idea of loving the grape, the ground and wine. This could be an interesting book if the motivations of its subjects is examined closely. Some of those subjects include: Dan Ackroyd, Antonio Bandaras, Mario Andretti, Francis Ford Coppola and Dick Vermeil.
Release Date: March 26
THE PLEASANTNESS OF WINE: THE METHOD OF TASTING
By Luca Maroni
The Italian wine personality and insider Luca Maroni has a theory about wine tasting and wine evaluation: “Quality of a Wine equals the Pleasantness of its Taste.” By all accounts, the “method” that is revealed in this interesting looking self-published book was developed by Maroni over many years and has been shared fairly liberally among wine lovers in Italy. I personally like the idea of trying to layout in print a philosophy of tasting, rating, describing and scoring a wine. It is unquestionably not only an instructional approach, but also philosophical.
Release Date: February 15, 2013