Coming Wine Literary Treats of 2011
What's coming down the wine literary path? That's what I wanted to know. Looking at Amazon's list of future releases in the Wine Book category we see a bevy of interesting reading material coming our way in the future. Here are those I think most worthy of consideration. Note the date of release for each book.
Voodoo Vintners: Oregon's Astonishing Biodynamic Winegrowers
By Katherine Cole (Oregon State University Press)
June 1, 2011
Today is the official release date for Cole's study of Biodynamic grape growers and vintners in Oregon. Biodynamics is still considered fairly controversial for many of its wild claims and due in large part to its proponents propensity to argue in its defense, "Science can't tell us everything!" This one looks very interesting!!
To Burgundy and Back Again: A Tale of Wine, France, and Brotherhood
By Roy Cloud (Lyons Press)
June 1, 2011
Also released today, this one looks very pleasant. The story of two brothers who travel to France to convince small, artisan producers to let them represent them in the states. One brother speaks French, the other knows wine. Looks to be a wine-filled tale of brotherly adventures. I'll try to get this one.
An Ideal Wine: One Generation's Pursuit of Perfection – and Profit – in California
By David Darlington (Harpers)
June 28, 2011
If you were to determine to learn how to create great wine, who would you mentor under: Leo McCloskey of Enologix who uses high technology to help design wines that critics love and consumers buy, or Randall Grahm, the founder of iconic Bonny Doon and perhaps one of the greatest proponents of terroir California has ever produced. Though simplified, there you have it. Add to this the really excellent storytelling skills of David Darlington who's "Angel's Visit" is really one of the great wine books. I wonder if this is another look at modern wine through the lens of "authentic" (meaning: Good) vs. "Created" (meaning unauthentic) wines? I think this book might get a good deal of attention.
Naked Wine: Letting Grapes Do What Comes Naturally
By Alice Feiring (De Capo Press)
August 30, 2011
Of course I'll be buying this book. Alice wrote it. My understanding is she will be chronicling her attempt to make wine out in California. However, I suspect this will be Ms. Feiring's clarion call for "natural" wines to be valued over "manipulated" or "International" wines. Feiring is entering herohood for many, particularly those who are inclined toward "natural", "organic", "biodynamic" or otherwise non-manipulated wines. I think Alice and I don't see eye to eye on this issue. However, I can't wait to read how we disagree…or not.
A Vineyard in My Glass
By Gerald Asher (University of California Press)
Gerald Asher compiles a selection of his Gourmet Magazine articles to remind us that it really can be done with great talent and skill.
Authentic Wine: Toward Natural and Sustainable Winemaking
By Jamie Goode and Sam Harrop, MW (University of California Press)
September 1, 2011
Ms. Feiring has company, this time from two well-rounded and well-schooled Old Worlders. However, it appears their message is the same: manipulated wines and wines with a globalist agenda can't hold a candle to, but threaten, the more "authentic wines". There is some very compelling and very telling about this current of "us v. them" that has stirred the wine world and created strange and separate camps. I fully expect to Goode and Harrop to be partisans, but also to deliver clear and concise prose. Will there be any opposition??
A Glass Half Full: A Cellar Master's Journey Through Wine and Life
By Kevin Zraly (Sterling Epicure)
November 1, 2011
A memoir of Zraly's life in wine from the high perch he built for himself, primarily as the man who created the great Windows On The World Wine School. Kevin likely has LOTS of interesting tidbits to share, making this man's life particularly worthy of being memoired.
So much reading material to get to…
Charlie Olken’s post today (It’s Elementary, My Dear Watson. Someone Is Trying To Kill California Wine – http://cgcw.com/databaseshowitem.aspx?id=78522) is worthy — from the title alone — of an addition to book store shelves. (To cork or not to cork, that is the question, or… How to Confound the Oenophiles [sorry, best I could do with the rhyming])
Read on, MacDuff!