Bianca Bosker was a tech editor when she first stumbled into the world of wine. By the time she had come up for air from her internet rabbit hole, she was completely hooked and she decides to devote her present life to the pursuit of wine education. Bosker takes us along into the world of sommeliers, wine cellars, blind tasting groups, international competitions and elite dining rooms as she explores and questions the world of wine.
As a food lit junkie, this book has piqued my interest for a long time. Wine is an absolutely immense and highly intimidating landscape and the idea of starting from the absolute bottom with this author and working our way through science, taste buds, wine pairings, grapes, and all the rest together is so appealing. And an education on all things wine is really what I got out of this book. I learned so much that it tempted me to head to my bar cart and pour myself a glass of my go-to red and give it a swish, a sniff, and a swallow to see if I could put anything I had learned into practice. The answer was mostly no, but I WAS able to pay attention to that glass of wine in a way I hadn’t considered before.
The most appealing part of this book to me is ultimately the immersive journalism. Anyone who discovers something interesting and then quits their job to pursue that for a year and a half of life is my kind of person. Bosker is accessible because she does start from the bottom but she’s resourceful and intelligent, allowing her to move quickly through the stages of education that take many people decades. Not to mention, it’s a great time living through the perspective of someone who has not only seen people drop more than my yearly salary on a bottle of wine but also tasted some of those bottles herself.
At times, I did think it was a little too *ahem* dry for my liking and certain parts weren’t as interesting. If you’re looking for a book that’s 60% science and wine facts and 40% personal narration, this is the perfect book for you. I was looking for a bit more personal essay and a little bit less about the brain in an MRI as she sips wine or the minutia of some of the competitions. I skimmed a bit in the last forty pages because I honestly just wanted to finally know if she past her test and if now she’s a big fancy sommelier, okay!!! Sue me!!!
Overall? A really smart, ambitious book that takes one researcher and her readers from 0 to 100 in knowledge of wine and it’s mostly a great time. Perfect for you if you’re into deep-dive immersive journalism and want to know a LOT about wine.
PUBLICATION DETAILS: 9780698195905; Penguin Books; March 1, 2017; 346 pages. Non-Fiction -> Cooking