Matt Kramer is famous in the wine world, having written for Wine Spectator for so many years, and this book showcases his talent in a way that would please wine n00bs and l33t drinkers alike.
What I liked:
- Exploring the notion of connoisseurship in order to give the reader a context and a why when it comes to geeking out about wine. It's almost like "we're about to get really nerdy about wine, and here's why that's OK."
- He puts things in an historical context without getting boring about it. Honestly, the history of wine is one of the most fascinating things about it, despite wine people's best efforts to make it tedious, so it's great that Matt Kramer is able to make history interesting and relevant to the reader.
- This line: "It's not a good buy if the wine in the bottle has already said au revoir." The whole book would be worth reading for that line. Cracked me up.
What I didn't:
- The recipes in the book were graciously kept for the end, but I felt they were pretty unnecessary except to please a publisher who thought they couldn't get away with putting the book in the food/cooking section of the bookstore without them. It would have been more interesting to talk about food pairings in a geographical setting, e.g., "they eat a lot of big, fatty cheeses in France with their tannic Cab's, and they eat a lot of unctuous meats with their Rioja's in Spain." But there's really no need to go into exact recipes when it comes to wine. If I ever wrote a book about wine, and I thought a certain dish would go well with a certain varietal, I'd just say Google this or that.