The Accidental Connoisseur: An Irreverent Journey Through The Wine World

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The Accidental Connoisseur: An Irreverent Journey Through The Wine World

by Lawrence Osborne

Farrar, Straus And Giroux | March 1, 2005 | Trade Paperback |

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What is taste? Is it individual or imposed on us from the outside? Why are so many of us so intimidated when presented with the wine list at a restaurant? In The Accidental Connoisseur, journalist Lawrence Osborne takes off on a personal voyage through a little-known world in pursuit of some answers. Weaving together a fantastic cast of eccentrics and obsessives, industry magnates and small farmers, the author explores the way technological change, opinionated critics, consumer trends, wheelers and dealers, trade wars, and mass market tastes have made the elixir we drink today entirely different from the wine drunk by our grandparents.

In his search for wine that is a true expression of the place that produced it, Osborne takes the reader from the high-tech present to the primitive past. From a lavish lunch with wine tsar Robert Mondavi to the cellars of Marquis Piero Antinori in Florence, from the tasting rooms of Chateau Lafite to the humble vineyards of northern Lazio, Osborne winds his way through Renaissance palaces, $27 million wineries, tin shacks and garages, opulent restaurants, world-famous chais and vineyards, renowned villages and obscure landscapes, as well as the great cities which are the temples of wine consumption: New York, San Francisco, Paris, Florence, and Rome. On the way, we will be shown the vast tapestry of this much-desired, little-understood drink: who produces it and why, who consumes it, who critiques it? Enchanting, delightful, entertaining, and, above all, down to earth, this is a wine book like no other.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 272 Pages, 5.51 × 7.87 × 0.39 in

Published: March 1, 2005

Publisher: Farrar, Straus And Giroux

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0865477124

ISBN - 13: 9780865477124

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– More About This Product –

The Accidental Connoisseur: An Irreverent Journey Through The Wine World

by Lawrence Osborne

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 272 Pages, 5.51 × 7.87 × 0.39 in

Published: March 1, 2005

Publisher: Farrar, Straus And Giroux

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0865477124

ISBN - 13: 9780865477124

Read from the Book

Introduction: A Matter of Taste Man’s tongue, on the other hand, by the delicacy of its surfaces and of the various membranes which surround it, proves clearly enough the sublimity of the operations for which it is destined. —Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin I grew up in Britain in the 1970s, before wine became fashionable. Drinking it has therefore never been second nature to me. Like most Catholic children, my first memory of wine is on the altar, and it was always a game to see how much of the sacrament you could gulp down when it was your turn to taste Our Lord’s hemoglobin. It was sour, its dim taste mixed up with sickly sensations: the greasy fingers of our priests, cheap pewter goblets, and chewy, bready, polystyrenelike wafers. I now think this sacred wine was a cheaper Sainsbury’s Beaujolais, an economical option in the 1970s retailing for about three dollars a bottle, because with its taste of sour raspberries came also a ghostly scent of ripe bananas, which I have ever after associated with Our Lord’s unfortunate decomposition on the Cross. To many in Britain, wine was exotic, especially in the puritanical small commuter town of Haywards Heath where I grew up just south of London. In those days the dominant British chain wine store was Unwin’s, and the Haywards Heath Unwin’s was a place to buy crates of Smirnoff and dark blue bottles of Liebfraumilch, but almost nothing else, aside from those three-dollar bottles of Beaujolais
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From the Publisher

What is taste? Is it individual or imposed on us from the outside? Why are so many of us so intimidated when presented with the wine list at a restaurant? In The Accidental Connoisseur, journalist Lawrence Osborne takes off on a personal voyage through a little-known world in pursuit of some answers. Weaving together a fantastic cast of eccentrics and obsessives, industry magnates and small farmers, the author explores the way technological change, opinionated critics, consumer trends, wheelers and dealers, trade wars, and mass market tastes have made the elixir we drink today entirely different from the wine drunk by our grandparents.

In his search for wine that is a true expression of the place that produced it, Osborne takes the reader from the high-tech present to the primitive past. From a lavish lunch with wine tsar Robert Mondavi to the cellars of Marquis Piero Antinori in Florence, from the tasting rooms of Chateau Lafite to the humble vineyards of northern Lazio, Osborne winds his way through Renaissance palaces, $27 million wineries, tin shacks and garages, opulent restaurants, world-famous chais and vineyards, renowned villages and obscure landscapes, as well as the great cities which are the temples of wine consumption: New York, San Francisco, Paris, Florence, and Rome. On the way, we will be shown the vast tapestry of this much-desired, little-understood drink: who produces it and why, who consumes it, who critiques it? Enchanting, delightful, entertaining, and, above all, down to earth, this is a wine book like no other.

About the Author

Lawrence Osborne contributes frequently to The New York Times Magazine, Lingua Franca, The New Republic, and Talk, and is the author of Paris Dreambook, The Poisoned Embrace, and American Normal. Born in England, he lives in New York.

Editorial Reviews

"Funny, provocative, and vastly entertaining." --Gerald Asher

"A humorous punch in the nose to wine snobs who think money buys good taste." --Kermit Lynch

"Lawrence Osborne''s The Accidental Connoisseur is shrewd, apt, acerbic and often quite crazy. We are carried along equally by the honed criticism and the fine writing." -- Jim Harrison
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