Eric Asimov, the wine critic of New York Times, wrote this terrific book to explain how he was “infected” with the wine “bug”.
It was through food in a Parisian restaurant, when he was travelling as a youth. There he discovered how wine complements and heightens the enjoyment of properly cooked, and the appropriate wine to go with it.
Ever since, he tells us, that he associates wine with food, although concedes that it can be used as an aperitif, or after dinner.
He writes in unassuming terms and encourages the reader to experiment in an attempt to find out what pleases his/her plate. You will not find too many tongue-twisting grape names, or obscure regions that you may have to look up in an atlas or initiate a “google search”.
He claims, and I believe rightly, that wine pleases people’s palates differently and therefore wine regions’ styles prevail in the marketplace. Bordeaux style blends are still popular with millions of wine enthusiasts, as are Barossa Valley shiraz style wines. The examples could go on for pages on end.
He proves this point by citing his research that revealed how three different wine writers described the same wine. One could hardly discern that they were talking about the same wine.
He does state his dislike of clinical wine evaluations, and claims that wine is to be gustatorily, and individually appreciated as an artistic creation! Needless to say, he is not referring to “factory-produced” huge brands that dominate certain markets. In these regions people like consistency and sameness of their wines rather than individuality and surprises of vintages.
The author states that overall, wine quality everywhere improved, and practically all products in the marketplace are flawless, but lack individuality.
He also claims that the selection has never been better, but here he is referring to major American cities (New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas) not small town U S A or for that matter any Canadian province!
It is a lovingly and well-written book that “glides” from one page to the next compelling the reader to continue reading.