Customer Reviews: Vintage Humor for Wine Lovers
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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on March 3, 2003
Although those with a passion for the 'fruit of the vine' will especially enjoy this book, it will definitely be valued by anyone who appreciates humor as dry and as crisp as an excellent chablis.
The quotes, jokes, and one liners are priceless -- unlike many a bottle of expensive wine. And Kushner's own running commentary reads like stand up comedy at its best.
Now that many of us are quietly eschewing French wines (that are not really better than many other wines but which did, until recently, possess a certain 'snob appeal') we may well wonder what to bring to the next party or get-together that will impress a hostess with our 'sophistication, worldiness and overall sense of 'cool.' This is the answer. Bring a copy of this book together with a bottle of Californian (or) Virginian (or) Spanish (or) Italian (or) Australian, (or) Chilean wine, and you will not only make a tremendous hit with the host or hostess, but by reading excerpts from the book aloud, you'll be assured that the party won't be dull.
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VINE VOICEon October 25, 2004
Bubbling over like champagne, as wicked as Brie and chocolate-covered strawberries, Malcolm Kushner's marvelous humor book on wine demands to be sniffed, sipped, and imbibed with pleasure. Drinking in this book on wine will make you feel tipsy without the consequences. As Kushner says in the section Everything I Know I Learned from Drinking Wine: A loaded person is more dangerous than a loaded gun. That said, a glass or two of young Beaujolias or White Zin goes perfectly with this book.

Kushner swirls his own witticisms, his musings on what would happen if famous authors wrote about wine (especially funny are Joan Rivers on Chablis and Dr. Seuss on Champagne: "I do not like it / Cham I am / I do not like / That pagne of cham"), trivia, trivia quizzes and humorous quizzes, and his real-life clips of studies on the mental benefits of drinking wine with quips and quotes from the drunk and the famous.

There's plenty of silliness in a glass of wine, and Kushner saves most of his wickedness for the pretentious tasters, the wine connoisseurs and the sommeliers (that's wine servers for the uninitiated).

New Yorker cartoons, like the heady aroma of a newly opened bottle of Napa Valley wine, add a delicious flavor to this humorous collection.
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on September 21, 2006
A friend gave us a copy as a hostess gift when he visited and we love the book.
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It's fair to say that there are a group of people who will enjoy this book, and another group who will find it fairly silly. The book is meant to be lighthearted. It's meant to be irrelevant. So people who take wine quite seriously might not see the humor in it. Those who see wine as a fun, enjoyable drink will enjoy poking fun at the industry.

Many of the jokes here are old hat enough to be cliche. One joke reads:

Q: How do you make a small fortune in the wine business?
A: Start with a large fortune and buy a winery.

This was probably funny the first time I heard it at a winery, and the second, but somewhere around the 20th time it became a bit silly. By the 50th time I'd heard it, I wished they'd come up with a new joke.

And then we have jokes designed by ten year olds -

Q: Who intenvented the first champagne with no bubbles?
A: Dumb Perignon

There are nasty responses to pick-up lines in a bar -

Man - What do you think of the wine here?
Woman - Better than the company.

Hopefully if I was sitting around in a bar I'd be a bit gentler to the men who came to talk with me.

And the French primer, saying:

Maitre d' - restaurant supervisor who makes sure wine is properly aged by delaying your entrance.

I think we see where the book is going here. It's aiming to be cute by poking fun at pretentious aspects of wine. And I am absolutely all for making wine friendly to all and something every person can enjoy. But I also resist the stereotype that wine is pretentious in the first place. Most restaurants serve wine. Most homes have wine in them. Wine is a fun, every day, delicious drink. Do we need to feel better about our enjoyment of wine by making fun of others who drink wine? Do we need to perpetuate the idea that wine is about snobbery? I don't think I've run into a wine snob in years. Sure, some people enjoy their wines. But they enjoy them in the same way that some bicyclists enjoy their bikes or kayakers enjoy their kayaks. They simply adore the atmosphere. And I don't see a need to ridicule them for their love or to denigrate them.

Certainly the book is harmless enough as a book to bring to a wine party and pass around. It's a fun hostess gift for a wine tasting. But I suppose it's not a book I'd be keen to own and keep re-reading. Many of the jokes and stories are aimed to trounce people who enjoy wine. Many are about insulting or hurting people. I think I'm at a stage in life when my aim is to support and nurture people, which is a different style of atmosphere.

I'll give it 4/5 stars for its specific purpose.
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on March 9, 2008
Malcolm's sense of humor comes through in this book. While most of us might enjoy a good Riesling or Gewürztraminer we are often loath to be associated with the wine-snobs whose terms like "good bouquet" or "naughty wine" make us squirm and we revert to the comforting world of dark beers, ales and Tim "the toolman" Taylor. Malcolm's book shows you that you can enjoy a good wine, have a laugh and have no fear of being marked as pretentious.
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on January 6, 2008
This book is a collection of terrible one-liners and one page anecdotes that are not funny. It looks to be self-published. Stay away...
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on May 16, 2009
Bought this for a very large group wine tasting dinner . . I used the trivia as great conversation starter. There are many great quotes & stories to share, especially for "toasting" Good Champaign info, too! Very enjoyable reading . . will use this one many times over.
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on January 20, 2008
This book is brilliantly smart and witty. Besides the written humor, it includes hilarious cartoons about wine from the New Yorker. I would recommend this book to anyone from the average wine drinker to the most knowledgeable of wine connoisseurs.
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