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To Burgundy and Back Again: A Tale Of Wine, France, And Brotherhood Paperback – June 1, 2011
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“Cloud’s account clips along with ease, including passages of lush, expressive language that shapes the idyllic beauty of the French countryside as well as the unending potential of a fine wine. Readers will relish his experience, and those who love wine will ache to tour the country themselves or, at the least, wander down the French wine aisle to unearth a great bottle of their own.”
From the Back Cover
How one man’s wine-tasting tour of France became a story of discovery, adventure, and brotherhood
Enter Joe, Roy’s older brother. Different from Roy in every respect, Joe had studied in France and was fluent in the language—and, most importantly, he was free to join Roy in his search. It was simple: Roy would do the tasting, and Joe would do the talking. What could go wrong?
In To Burgundy and Back Again, Roy presents a richly evocative account of their journey—one replete with discovery, adventure, and poignant surprises. Written in the tradition of A Year in Provence and Sideways, this elegantly penned book will delight wine lovers and armchair travelers alike.
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Top customer reviews
Roy's experience, personality, family background, education and training have combined to make him a perfect match for this task. Not. He does not speak French; the timing of the trip was hasty and stressful; he lacks some of the most basic knowledge of French culture, and he's never even eaten a snail. But, perhaps because of those characteristics and a good bit of luck, Roy, and his brother, Joe, wind their way through French wine country making contacts with some exceptional wineries, who ultimately become his own suppliers for Vintage '59.
His writing is honest with a strong voice and rich descriptions. He is insightful, funny, informative, but above all, fascinating. I was on this trip with them from the first page, following along, much like Roy describes being the places that Hemingway, Fitzgerald, MFK Fisher, Thomas Jefferson, even Julius Caesar journeyed before.
Will I ever be able to taste a glass of wine without thinking if it could match this description?
"It was the ...., whose perfume was too young to be haunting but not too old to be heavenly. The flavors were dazzlingly full, yet light, and lingered indelibly. There was a delicious silkiness in the texture of the wine that expanded with extraordinary flavor in my mouth.... It was, and it turned out that each wine was a study in site, or, to use a much bantered about word, terroir. Each was markedly different than the other despite being from vineyards a stone's throw away from one another in the same appellation."
After reading his book, I would be thrilled to sit down with Roy, and his wife, Helen, to a wonderful meal with great wine, and catch up on some more of his wonderful stories.
Roy Cloud has done a masterful job of engrossing the reader in his warm relationship with his brother and tragically injured father, in the charm of travels in France including just the right amount of pertinent geography and well researched history, in his passion for artisanal French wine and fond regard for the growers who craft it, and in the art and science of bio dynamic wine production.
This all too quick read leaves the reader with both a taste for more books from author Cloud, and desire to taste the very Vintage 59 selections he describes so vividly. Having succumbed to the lure of those descriptions more than a few times now, I can testify to their accuracy... Roy Cloud knows wine as well as writing.
Also....the only response to Len's utterly mystifying criticism, encountered, ironically, when on line ordering extra copies of the book for friends is...Really? I cannot imagine that we could have read the same book. To each his own, but it would be a shame if a potential reader took that strange analysis to heart and missed this very charming memoir.
I blasted through the book during my morning and afternoon commute, and thence into the evening - this is a book that's hard to put down until it's done. Unlike recent and disappointing disasters like Kathryn Borel's miserable, narcissistic and sophmorically artsy "Corked" - which has nothing at all to say about wine (or anything else of substance); or Neal Rosenthal's somewhat mean-spirited, self-congratulatory "Confessions of a Wine Merchant," this book conveys the exhilaration of traveling and tasting in France -- unencumbered by the scrivener's overweening ego and neuroses. It is unabashedly and honestly exactly what the subtitle says - "a tale of wine, France and brotherhood." The tale is told with a refreshing sense of wonder and excitement.
One little quibble. I could be wrong, but I really do not think the traditional goat cheese of Chavignol is called "crouton de Chavignol," as it is early in this book. "Crottin de Chavignol" is more like it. Where's that editor when you need one?