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A Toast to Bargain Wines: How Innovators, Iconoclasts, and Winemaking Revolutionaries Are Changing the Way the World Drinks Paperback – November 15, 2011
"100 Million Years of Food" by Stephen Le
A fascinating tour through the evolution of the human diet, and how we can improve our health by understanding our complicated history with food. Learn more
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--Tilar Mazzeo, author of The Widow Clicquot
“A timely, interesting, educational approach to today’s wine picture. Wine still makes a feast out of a meal, but in times of not so plenty we will enjoy a bottle that is more reasonable. This tome is a must-read for wine lovers as well as the trade.”
--Margrit Mondavi, Vice President of Cultural Affairs at Robert Mondavi Winery
“There's been a mutiny in the wine world, and for years, George Taber has been camped out in the trenches with the contrarians who have been drinking snobbery under the table: the rogue masters of wine, the behavioral neuroscientists, the bargain-wine tycoons, the guerrilla consumer advocates. With the intimate precision of a world-class journalist, Taber has woven their stories together into a larger narrative about the demise of conventional wisdom in an industry that has been dominated by dusty elitism for centuries. This book is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand wine's newly changed landscape—or who simply wants to drink better for less.”
--Robin Goldstein, author of The Wine Trials and director of the Center for Sensory Economics at the Culinary Institute of America
"A must-read for wine enthusiasts, especially those on a budget." --Kirkus
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Top Customer Reviews
For me, having been blessed with a well-stocked cellar, and unsolicited wines to review, I have to tell it to you straight right now: I’m not buying [ yellow tail ] after reading this book, but I was amazed to learn so much about the maverick winemakers behind the popular brands, the up and comers and some behind-the-scenes stories…enough so that I wanted to give you a sip:
Glen Ellen, which happened to be my wedding wine in 1986, was one of the first wineries to list the grape variety name on the label (ours was the Chardonnay) and is credited, among a few other wines in the 80s, when diners stopped ordering a glass of white wine and began to ask for a glass of Chardonnay.
And a few interesting words about wine judging.: Taber writes that a study by the Journal of Wine Economics showed that out of over 2400 wines entered in more than three wine judging contests, 47 percent received gold medals – but 84 percent of those never received another award in any other contest. Several conclusions were drawn, but, of note for me as a wannabe judge: the contrast by the Lodi International Wine Awards – where judges are given more time to evaluate each wine and are not allowed to speak to others.
You should be able to find Black Box wines at Cost Plus World Market (on the Old Road in Stevenson Ranch for locals) that has done well with its own tally of 15 gold medals and some scores up to the high 80s from the Wine Spectator.Read more ›
For a wildly contrasting point of view, let me recommend Grape-A-Hol: http://www.amazon.com/Grape-Hol-Business-Subverting-Winemaking/dp/1457510308 . And for a wide and fun perspective on the industry, Wine Wars (by a wine economist!): http://www.amazon.com/Wine-Wars-Miracle-Revenge-Terroirists/dp/0742568202 . Anyway, I read A Toast to Bargain Wines all the way through until near the end, where I skimmed or skipped over wine-producing regions I'm less interested in. For whatever it is worth, I'm finding that twenty- or thirty-dollar-a-bottle artisan wines from local wineries (the greater Sacramento, California, area is blessed with an abundance of them, from the Valley to the Sierra Foothills) offer a very different (more interesting, rewarding) experience even from relatively good widely distributed bargain wines. I am coming around to the view that life is too short for cheap wine (or at least, for an exclusive preference for cheap wine).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Best wine book ever. Cuts through all the hype and bull surrounding wine, marketing, branding, quality, "gold medals" and more.Published 19 months ago by Alan Nichols
George Taber has done some very nice books on the topic of wine, including the book on the Paris tasting that the Bottle Shock movie is very loosely based on.Published 21 months ago by Edward Woods
An interesting book, with intersting info, not really much to write here!
FOR sure worth a bargain price, as there is always an interesting tidbit and this book had a few. Read more