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Use Wine to Make Sense of the World
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
As a young man, a mentor advised me to find common ground with opponents over food and wine. They are the common denominators that all people share. It's on that kind of gut level that I find myself responding to Elliot Essman's book, Use Wine To Make Sense of the World. This is not just another wine book explaining the unique qualities of terrior in Argentina or the use of IGT designations in Tuscany. This book is written on that gut level where we all try to understand ourselves, where we struggle to relate to other people, where we cry, where we sing, and where we live our everyday lives. To this end, the book is not just for "wine people", but for everyone looking to understand themselves through a differnet and sensitive pair of eyes.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 24, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Wine, women & song, what's not to love? Oh, great food too. This is a book touching all the senses.

I first encountered Elliott's writing at[...], and instantly recognized a thoughtful, insightful, sometimes impish personality lurking beyond the electrons. By the time Use Wine To Make Sense of the World arrived, I had a suspicion about the roads we were about to travel.

And a delightful journey it is. As an antidote to the reckless pace of life, nothing could be more highly recommended than to sit back with glass in hand and begin to explore, at a leisurely pace, the richness than lies within the pages of this book. Like many great wines it is complex, layered, sometimes surprising, but always pleasing. I personally have never smiled as much as when reading the ironic details of a year in the life of wine dating, and what it says about a sense of discovery in life, love and wine.

The world still doesn't always make sense to me, but I'm better off for having given it a try, glass in one hand and Use Wine To Make Sense in the other.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 15, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Mr. Essman's book is a delightful change of pace from the typical wine books currently on the shelf. Instead of dwelling on mundane tasting notes and appellations, he brings deeper meaning to the subject of wine--encompassing art, history, culture, and philosophy. Wine is not just "a drink" for Essman. He enjoys every drop in his glass and teaches his reader along the way how to more fully appreciate wine as a savor of the earth, a gift of the vine that has been enjoyed and savored by man since Neolithic times.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This charming book not only taught me about wine, but showed me how to use all of my senses to fully appreciate the experience. A wise teacher once advised me always to speak from my own experience; Elliot Essman does so with honesty and humor.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 20, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I have always been philosophical about wine, so I did a double take when I saw this title. Using wine to make sense of the world is an investigation capable of being ruined. This does not happen with this excellent series of articles and pieces. I wished it was longer when I first read the book, but as time went by I found myself doing delightful thinking about wine, for which I have this unusual author to thank. One more section or subject and I wouldn't have time to pour any wine on my own.

A lot of the meat here has been covered by other reviewers, but I want to give a special mention to the section he called "Grapes, Vine and Vineyards" where he goes into a lot about wine terms in various languages. It helps tie together the breadth of the subject for me. A major part of wine's reach is the fact that it is so international. He really puts this in focus actually when he suggests we re-adopt the Anglo-Saxon term for grape: wine berry. Of course he is having fun with this, and with us, as he does many times in this book. He really engages the reader
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
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I just love this book. Not only does it make wine fit into everything we do and can think of to do in life, but it also creates a fun experience in thinking about how we remember people, places, music, and food based upon our perceptions of the world at the time. And, why not with a glass in hand--as us wine lovers say! Kudos to you, Elliott, for a wonderfully "sensible" read and a laugh or two or three or four (numbers anyone?). It made me thirsty for more for sure.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 18, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I totally enjoyed Elliot Essman's book. It was informative and humorous and an unusual look at the world of wine. Mr. Essman suggests that we take wine seriously, but not so seriously that we lose our sense of fun. He suggests that we all should use wine to "dig deep into the experience of life". After reading this personal glimpse into the world of wine I think I shall pour a glass and read it again...forget the cheese, that is the perfect pairing.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2009
Format: Paperback
Not your usual wine book. He relates wine to aspects of life I never imagined. A whole lot of fun, and intellectually stimulating at the same time. I especially enjoyed the several sections on wine, women and song. Be sure to have a glass with you when you read it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 10, 2010
Format: Paperback
Wow. Elliot Essman's masterful way with words makes me feel I have none. I know it is not true, I can write fairly well also, but I have experienced a whirlwind of language in this fine book. It leaves me reeling, in a hyper-stimulated kind of way. Wine is fine, but I am certainly curious to learn Essman's views on the rest of life. He is such a philosophical writer. By that I mean he makes you think. Nothing is obscure, except perhaps the notion he has that we can hear wines as well as taste and scent them. But I realize he only wants to open the subject up for discussion, not actually tell us we use our ears to taste wine. As to his using wine to make sense of other people, it really makes me laugh. The material on the "reverse wine snob" is precious. Believe me, I have been one, but better wine for me from now on after reading this gem. Thank you, Mr. Essman.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 4, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book is like that bottle of wine you take back from the store, hoping that it will be drinkable, and then you get a plesant surprise. Doesn't happen that often with wine, and doesn't happen that often with books. Too much formula and cliche in both, but this book is free of that stuff. Wish it had a real wine to match.

Think of these fine separate pieces on so many aspects of wine as a veritable cellar and you have the idea. Take your mood and choose a subject: wine and other people, if you want to be amused; wine and the natural world, if you want material for an argument; wine and the brain, if you think you might have one; and so on.

The poems here are good, by the way, very good, framable good.

Sequel, Mr. Essman?
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