304 pages, 8.64 × 5.86 × 1.17 in
May 8, 2012
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0307957284
ISBN - 13: 9780307957283
About the Book
Here, in pieces originally published in "House & Garden" and "The Wall Street Journal," McInerney provides a master class in the almost infinite varieties of wine and the people and places that produce it, with the trademark style and expertise that prompted the James Beard Foundation to grant him the M.F.K. Fisher Award for Distinguished Writing in 2006.
Read from the Book
IntroductionIt all began with Hemingway, as so many things do. Specifically with The Sun Also Rises, or, as the Brits call it, Fiesta. The latter title being apposite, because part of what I carried away from that book in my youth was the sense that drinking wine was cool and sophisticated. And let’s face it, this is one of the reasons we read books, especially in our youth, particularly books by Hemingway and Kerouac and Lawrence Durrell: to find out how to live and how to pose and where to travel and what to eat and drink and smoke along the way. Everybody in Hemingway’s first novel is drinking wine. Not long after my vicarious adventures in Pam- plona, this sense of wine as an appurtenance of the well-lived life was reinforced by Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited, with Charles Ryder and Sebastian Flyte picturesquely draining the cel- lar at that estate over the course of a summer. I was so fixated on the wine and the scenery that I don’t think I bothered to grasp the nature of their friendship. Not very Hemingwayesque, but again, for some reason I remember the wine . . .The fact that wine had no place on my parents’ suburban dining table seemed to confirm its consumption as a mark of sophistication. They and their friends drank cocktails—martinis, Manhattans, old-fashioneds, and stingers. And when they drank enough of them, they behaved badly, especially when they were in their stingers period, though this didn’t strike me as romantic or chic. Much later I realized they
Table of Contents
IntroductionAcid Trips: Some Whites and Pinks to StartWhite Wine on the Rocks: ChablisCold Heaven, Hot MamaOh No! Not Pinot Grigio!Pop Pop, Fizz FizzGerman Made SimpleFinally Fashionable: Rosé from Provence to Long Island Lean and Fleshy: The Paradox of Santa Rita Hills Chardonnay Rosé Champagne: Not Just for Stage Door Johnnies A Debilitating Pleasure: Tavel Grape NutsThe Founding Wine Geek Writer, Importer, Gentleman Spy The Salesman with the Golden Palate The Retro Dudes of Napa The Rock Stars of Pinot Noir My Kind of Cellar: Ted Conklin and the American Hotel A Tuscan in the House: Julian Niccolini and the Four Seasons Not Just Mario’s Partner: Joe “Vino” Bastianich Breaks Out The Wild Wizard of the Loire Is Biodynamics a Hoax? The Modigliani of Healdsburg The Odd Couple Mondavi on MondaviThe Red and the BlackDoes Bordeaux Still Matter? The Exquisite Sisters of Margaux Big Aussie Monsters Is Cornas Finally Having Its Moment? Barbera: Piedmont’s Everyday Red Reasons to Be Cheerful: Barolo and Barbaresco Blood, Sweat, and Leaps of Faith The Woman with All the Toys The Whole Spice Rack: Old- School Rioja Zowie! Heartbreak Hill or, The Golden SlopeBecky Wasserman: The American Godmother of Burgundy A Grace Kelly of a Wine: Puligny- Montrachet Secrets of Meursault Jacques’s Domaine Starchild and the Marquis: Earthiness Meets Refinement in Volnay Off the Main Drag: Savigny- lès- Beaune Peasants and Plutocrats: La Paulée de New York Off the Beaten PathWay Down South: The Great W
From the Publisher
This new collection by the acclaimed novelist—and, according to Salon, “the best wine writer in America”—is generous and far-reaching, deeply knowledgeable and often hilarious.
For more than a decade, Jay McInerney’s vinous essays, now featured in The Wall Street Journal, have been praised by restaurateurs (“Filled with small courses and surprising and exotic flavors, educational and delicious at the same time” —Mario Batali), by esteemed critics (“Brilliant, witty, comical, and often shamelessly candid and provocative” —Robert M. Parker Jr.), and by the media (“His wine judgments are sound, his anecdotes witty, and his literary references impeccable” —The New York Times).
Here McInerney provides a master class in the almost infinite varieties of wine and the people and places that produce it all the world over, from the historic past to the often confusing present. From such legendary châteaus as Margaux and Latour and Palmer to Australia and New Zealand and South Africa, to new contenders in Santa Rita Hills and Paso Robles, we learn about terroir and biodynamic viticulture, what Champagnes are affordable (or decidedly not), even what to drink over thirty-seven courses at Ferran Adrià's El Bulli—in all, an array of grapes and wine styles that is comprehensive and thirst inducing. And conspicuous throughout is McInerney’s trademark flair and expertise, which in 2006 prompted the James Beard Foundation to grant him the MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award.
About the Author
Jay McInerney lives in Manhattan and Bridgehampton, New York. He writes a wine column for The Wall Street Journal and is a regular contributor to The Guardian and Corriere della Sera, and his fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Esquire, Playboy, Granta, and The Paris Review. In 2006, Time cited Bright Lights, Big City as one of nine generation-defining novels of the twentieth century, and The Good Life received the Prix Littéraire at the Deauville Film Festival in 2007. How It Ended: New and Collected Stories (2009) “reminds us,” Sam Tanenhaus wrote in The New York Times Book Review, “how impressively broad McInerney's scope has been and how confidently he has ranged across wide swaths of our national experience.”
“A master wine writer at the top of his class…. ’Is Jay McInerney the world’s best wine writer?’ The Guardian asked recently. After reading his last collection of wine essays, I would have to argue that he is certainly the most entertaining.” —Corrie Perkin, The Weekly Review
"Superlative...McInerney writes with a charismatic flair throughout [and] his enthusiasm and eloquence is a heady mix that will inspire even non-"grape nuts" to order a case or two." —Carl Wilkinson, Financial Times
"America's leading literary oenographer, a non-snob whose prose benefits from an insouciant skepticism about the conventional wisdom....And it says something about his taste that while he is sober-minded on the matter of drinking itself, he is intemperate, sometimes delightfully so, about the other elements of his hobby—about the pursuit, the possession, the scent of the soil, the myth of the grape, the search for lost time." —Troy Patterson, The Slate Book Review
"McInerney's Everyman with a humongous wine cellar [and] he also makes you want to drink good wine—not always bottles beyond your means—and to take great pleasure in it." —Steven Shapin, The Guardian [UK]