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Corkscrewed: Adventures in the New French Wine Country (At Table) Hardcover – November 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Series: At Table
  • Hardcover: 212 pages
  • Publisher: Univ of Nebraska Pr; First Edition edition (November 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803276354
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803276352
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,452,869 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"[Corkscrewed] inspires thirst and curiosity. . . . Just as a trip around the French countryside reveals dozens of dishes that never make it to French restaurants in the United States, Mr. Camuto''s adventures will introduce readers to little-known French wines like Domaine Borrely-Martin of Provence, Chateau Mosse of Roussillon and Domaine des Tres Cantous of Gaillac and to the passionate individuals that persevere despite the absence of monetary reward. These may not be the wines that earn one spurs as a connoisseur, but they certainly may produce a worthy sense of humility at how much there is to learn. I can''t wait to drink them." --Eric Asimov, New York Times

"[Camuto's] enthusiasm for underdog grapes, regions and winemakers makes him a pleasant guide along the back roads of France." --Thomas Matthews, Wine Spectator

"If you think you would enjoy having a conversation with a passionate French wine craftsman, dive into Robert Camuto's delicious new book. I spend a good part of my life underground in France, and everything Camuto relates of his adventures rings true. And to those of you tiring of the varietal bandwagon, here's an escape route." --Kermit Lynch, wine importer and author of Adventures on the Wine Route: A Wine Buyer''s Tour of France

"[Camuto] is a stylish writer with a gift for describing the way his subjects look and think, and express themselves in words and wine. He explains each winemaker''s approach and results, also adding a bit of insight about intra-French competition and the export market in the French wine industry today." --Claire Walter, Culinarycolorado.com

"A good read." --JancisRobinson.com

About the Author

Robert V. Camuto has been a journalist for nearly thirty years. He is a regular contributor to the Wine Spectator and the Washington Post and his articles have appeared in many other magazines and newspapers. He and his family live in France.

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Customer Reviews

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See all 12 customer reviews
The story-telling is captivating and the characters are memorable.
francophile
We only have so many days to enjoy wine (do the math), so it's helpful to have someone point you in the right direction and make it more enjoyable at the same time.
Jeffrey Mitchell
This is a tribute to the author's far above average writing and perception capability.
F. J. Raskopf

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By J. Loeffler on October 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover
When I lived in Napa, I saw the sad, inevitable industrial takeover of the wine community. Now the moneymen mass produce thousands of acres of mediocre cabernet or zinfandel in the Central Valley and slap a label with the word "Napa" on it to inflate the price. They doctor their mediocrity with wood chips and flavored yeasts. Some regions of France are losing their integrity to this bottom feeding mentality. Robert Camuto, like Kermit Lynch and director Jonathan Nossiter (Mondovino), seeks out the people who are wrestling the soul of wine away from the people and places that would sell it to the highest bidder. Corkscrewed hits it on the head with his uneasiness at the rote tasting sessions at Vinexpo. From there he takes us with him on his voyages of discovery, not as an expert but as a wine lover. He conjures images of the real, the genuine, the natural and the heartfelt in each of his visits to various wine regions in France. His comical, bacchus-possessed visit to the most over-the-top wine event in the world, the auction at les Hospices de Beaune, makes you realize that the Burgundians have somehow maintained their integrity in spite of the world wide clamor for pinot noir. His journey with the peasant (et fier d'etre!) in the Ardêche and that region's rediscovery of chatus, provides hope. The stories and survival of these intense, impassioned winemakers are essential for any wine lover.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Thomas E. Korosec on November 20, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Although its principal subject is wine and the search for authenticity by some of France's most devoted winemakers, Corkscrewed does a wonderful job capturing a sense of place. The chateau-rich hills of Bordeaux, the pristine coasts of Corsica, the wine-growing corners of Provence and other lesser-visited regions take form as both backdrop and integral elements in Robert Camuto's French wine country adventures. Through a collection of expertly sketched characters, many of whom truly are characters, he brings to life the tension between craftsmanship and commercialism in this charming corner of world agriculture. These Frenchman are by turns humorous and stubbornly opinionated, and expertly rendered by an author with an eye and ear for telling detail.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A. Nelson on May 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover
If what you worry about when you worry about wine is drowning in rivers and lakes and seas of homogeneous and technologically altered plonk ("a perpetual assembly line of high-octane wines that tend to taste alike"), help is on the way. Well, maybe not "help" per se, but inspiration.

Although you will most likely want to run right out and buy wines from all the producers profiled in the book, that isn't the point. The author is not a professional wine critic or wine speculator; he's a passionate observer and insightful investigator. He also loves wine and all that it can mean in the context of food, culture, society and history.

With an often elegant, sometimes eclectic, but always very personal style, Camuto demonstrates a truly inspired sensitivity and commitment to his subject. There's also something "deeper" in the book that I can't quite put my finger on yet but that goes beyond any prosaic comments about natural wine or devoted growers. Perhaps it's the notion that wine IS food, sustenance, and a catalyst for experiences that are even more significant and profound than what transpires in the vineyard or at the dinner table. At the very least, Camuto delivers "a collection of love letters to wine," as a Seattle reviewer aptly described it. That alone is more than enough for me.

"Corkscrewed" is the last in a rather long list of wine books that I've read over the past decade and more. I wish it had been the first.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By francophile on January 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a good book about wine in France, and the lives of wine-makers, who have resisted the one-size fits all model of mass production. The author introduces the reader to little-known, off the beaten path wine-makers, whose wines represent the unique geography and culture of their localities, in short their "terroir," as the French call this hard to translate concept of place. The book provides both an excellent travel companion for diverse regions in France, as well as an authoritative exploration of the French wine industry from a more grassroots angle. The story-telling is captivating and the characters are memorable. Even for arm chair enthusiasts, it's a fun read. The author is an American journalist who has been living and writing in France with his family for eight years.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By F. J. Raskopf on February 25, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Corkscrewed, although promoted as a deep insight into the French wine
culture is more than that, yes indeed, much more than a tome for
oenophiles. Certainly It is a perceptive narrative of the fascinating
array of wines in different sections of France. All revealed by
someone who is profoundly knowledgeable of the differences and nuances
of those differences in various wines produced in a number of sections
of France. But it reaches far beyond being just a well written
discourse on such wines. It is made up of fascinating human interest
vignettes about those involved in various aspects of French grape
raising and wine production. These are the people the tourist never
meets, or more importantly, never gets to know as friends. This is a
tribute to the author's far above average writing and perception
capability. The book is filled with the escapades of this "seeker of
wine growers." The reader really gets to know these people, many of
whom are the latest extension of families who have been in the wine
producing occupation for years, yes, even centuries. You follow the
author as he travels from region to region, in many cases unveiling
wines known to only a few. The human interest element reflects a writer
who has been a skilled and observant journalist for years. Just one
example, when he decides to become a "grape picker" for a week. The
reader shares the joy of a dedicated wine aficionado getting involved
in producing his favorite libation. And you can feel the aches and
pains of working from sun up to sundown in the vineyards.
Read more ›
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