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The Curious World of Wine: Facts, Legends, and Lore About the Drink We Love So Much Hardcover – November 6, 2012
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"Fact, lore and fantasy, Richard has seen, heard or drunk them all. . . and we get to tag along with glass in hand. Just Enjoy!" — Joe Borello, President, Tasters Guild International
"Profound knowledge, a lifetime passion for wine and a close personal relationship to many winemakers are reflected in this book. This is wine info-tainment at its best." — Dr. Thomas Driesberg, Director, Weinguter Wegeler, Germany
"Dr. Vine is uniquely qualified to enrich the saga that is wine with keen observation and deep understanding of the players and events he personally encountered . . ." — Agustin Huneeus, Proprietor, Quintessa Vineyards, Napa Valley, Veramonte Winery,
"Dick Vine had a brainwave: bottle up all the really juicy wine stories together and pour them with a sparkle." — Hugh Johnson, Author, The World Atlas of Wine -
"This excellent work reflects a passion. The enlightened wine connoisseur will find in this book a new way of thinking about the world of wine." — Christian POL-ROGER, Director, Champagne Pol-Roger, France
"Professor Vine’s most entertaining recitals of the romance of wine reveal to us how important it has been in the daily lives of our ancestors. . ." — Jan Shrem, Founder/Proprietor, Clos Pegase Winery, Napa Valley
About the Author
Born and raised in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, Richard Vine began his wine-making career in 1958 at the Pleasant Valley Wine Company (Great Western) in Hammondsport. While first a cellar worker and then a laboratory technician, he was promoted to winemaker and assumed responsibility for more than six million bottles of annual wine production. In 1977, Vine accepted a research position at Mississippi State University, where he earned his baccalaureate and doctorate degrees while also writing the first of four academic wine books.
Purdue University gave Dr. Vine the call in 1991 to fill their initial professor of enology position. In 1999, Purdue dedicated a wine library in his name at the Philip E. Nelson Hall of Food Science. During his university tenures, he was also the wine consultant for American Airlines for twenty-one years.
Top customer reviews
Divided into ten topical sections -- they simply do not seem like chapters to me -- the book chronicles some of the history, appellations, vineyards, moving characters, and both chance and orchestrated events that define the drink we all enjoy today. True, you can still enjoy wine without knowing what Dr. Vine has so lovingly compiled, but that glass of vino is forever enriched after having read this book. Whether a winemaker or simply an enjoyer of an occasional glass, this book was written for you.
Some of the sections include Legends and Lore, Founders and Fathers, Movers and Shakers, Fascinating Legacies, California Chronicles, and Charming Wine Characters. I offer these headings as examples of the breadth of topics covered, but I assure you the book covers the global expansion of vineyards, wineries and the visions for creating fine wines from them. These and other sections are fleshed out in broad and fine brush strokes that inform and entertain while weaving a fabric of a culture that both focuses on local detail and chronicles the march of winemaking across Europe and America and in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Chile and wherever fine wines are crafted.
Examples of detail and expansion are as varied as the story of the elephant in the courtyard of Cos d'Estournel in Saint Estèphe to the modern marriage of Robert Mondavi Winery and Château Mouton-Rothschild to create Opus One, the most successful modern winemaking venture in terms of bottle price in history. And yet Dr. Vine gives equal respect to the rise of the Gallo empire on the back of Thunderbird, sold for 60 cents a bottle, and Fred Franzia's Two Buck Chuck, which won the 2002 Best of Show at the 28th Annual International Eastern Wine Competition. The stories are large and small, bitter and sweet, loaded with trivia and legend.
There were a couple of vignettes that differed from what I had read elsewhere, but these only whetted my curiosity and created foci for independent research to resolve the differences at some future date. Histories are, after all, continuously unfolding. Why should the history of wine be any different?
The Curious World of Wine is not a book of quotes but does contain more than a few and is itself quotable. Indeed, I have compiled a few of each type for future use and only await the opportunity to inject them into conversation or enrich a story or enliven an argument. Dr. Vine has provided me good material for future use.
One of my favorite quotes involves Sir Winston Churchill, often criticized for his frequent excesses with Champagne, a practice that riled London socialite Lady Astor. At one particular encounter Lady Astor addressed the Prime Minister, "If you were my husband I would poison your coffee!" Churchill shot back, "If you were my wife I would drink it!" Another favorite, from Ernest Hemingway, "Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut."
This is a great addition to any wine lover's library and 212 pages of pure enjoyment.