This week, instead of reviewing a wine, I’m going to give you a review of wine’s role in our lives, as drinkers, and in the lives of those who toil their own land to produce it.
I recently worked my way through a review copy of a comic (sorry, sorry, graphic novel!) about wine. And no, it’s not Drops Of God – though that’s a damn good yarn of a tale in its own right (and, incidentally, I’ve heard is one of the most influential “critics” in the Asian wine market, with wines that are mentioned within its pages subsequently selling at a breakneck clip).
No, this is a decidedly more mundane tale, and one that’s true to life (and a true story).
In The Initiates, French comic artist/author Etienne Davodeau decides to (sort of) swap roles with Loire Valley wine producer Richard Leroy. The idea is that Davodeau will introduce Leroy to the world of comic creation, working him through the process from idea to print, while Leroy shows him the equivalent process at his small Montbenault estate, from vineyard to glass. Along the way, they taste through some of France’s standard-bearer wines to develop Davodeau’s appreciation of vino.
The result is The Initiates (NBM publishing, about $25), a work that’s not unlike a complex, small-production wine: at turns boring and beautiful, revolting and revelatory…
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Today, a quick-hit to tell you that my friend Evan Dawson’s recently-released book Summer in a Glass: The Coming of Age of Winemaking in the Finger Lakes just took home the award for “International Wine Book of the Year”at the 2012 Louis Roederer Wine Writing Awards.
I am personally thrilled for Evan, who is having a banner year in 2012 as he kicks ass and takes names across the wine writing spectrum. Evan is the kind of writer whose works make the rest of the on-line wine media world look good.
I’d offer you more thoughts on Evan’s first printed work, but as I’m quoted in it and am clearly biased all I can tell you is that it’s a decidedly well-written humanist take on the stories behind the Finger Lakes wine region. For more non-review thoughts on the book, check out my, well, non-review from a little over a year ago.
Congrats to Evan on such a well-deserved win – my friend, you’re making us proud!
There’s still time, people.
Summer’s muggy, sunny weeks are not yet entirely on the wane. They’re just mostly on the wane. And so those bibliophile oenophiles who are looking for last-minute beach-side vacation or porch-side stay-cation reading to accompany a cold glass of Italian Vermentino in the hazy heat (you are drinking Vermentino, right?) still have time to indulge both of their passions before the leaves turn brown.
Which all felt like a reasonable excuse, I thought, to take a swipe at the growing stacks of wine book samples that have been piling up on my office floor (not quite as bad as my stacks of wine bottle samples, but it’s getting close!). I.e., let me trudge through the drudge so that you won’t have to!
That swipe yielded three books worth mentioning, all of which avoid being weighty tomes or polemics on wine philosophy, and are light-hearted enough in tone and design to fit right in with the collective American penchant for light Summer reading…
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