06 October 2018

Weekend Cooking: Wine Reads by Jay McInerney

Review of Wine Reads by Jay McInerneyYou may know Jay McInerney as a novelist (Bright Lights, Big City), but did you know that he's a James Beard Award-winning wine writer? He currently writes for Town & Country magazine, but his wine columns have also appeared in the Wall Street Journal and House and Garden.

Take note that his edited collection of wine writing, Wine Reads (Atlantic Monthly Press; November 13), comes out next month. The 27 pieces included in this volume were written by a wide range of wine lovers, including the expected wine critics and food writers (Eric Asimov, M. F. K. Fisher) along with writers of fiction and nonfiction.

Some of the selections cover legendary stories, such as George Taber's "A Stunning Upset," which describes the first competition in which a California wine beat the French. Others are excerpted from novels (like Sweetbitter and Sideways), and some of my favorites were the more personal stories.

Wine Reads is the kind of book you'll want to savor, a selection at a time. I'm not quite finished, and I didn't want to rush my way through just to write a review. On the other hand, I wanted to alert you to the November publication date, because I think Wine Reads would make an excellent holiday gift suitable not just for wine lovers but for those who appreciate excellence in writing as much as they do in their wineglass.

The collection opens with a piece by Roald Dahl (yes, that Dahl), who describes a 1950s dinner party in which an "interesting" bet over a wine occurred. Jim Harrison swoons over the sound of a popping cork and talks about how wine accompanied the stresses and joys of his everyday life--not just the weddings and holidays.

Bill Buford writes about an exclusive Burgundy tasting he attended that had, perhaps, a bit too many wines on the table. I also liked Tilar J. Mazeo's account of how the Widow Barbe-Nicole and her champagne survived the 1814 Napoleonic War; war wasn't always good to winemakers, their cellars, and their vineyards.

Jay McInerney's Wine Reads is the perfect collection for winter reading, preferably with a glass of wine near at hand. Buy a copy for yourself and another as a gift. Wine Reads deserves a place on your bookshelves; it's the kind of book you'll return to over the years to revisit a story or to read a passage aloud to your friends.

Thanks to Atlantic Monthly Press for the review copy.

Weekend Cooking hosted by www.BethFishReads.comWeekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.

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rhapsodyinbooks 10/6/18, 6:56 AM  

I love reading about alcohol history, for some odd reason. This sounds good!

bermudaonion 10/6/18, 7:51 AM  

This sounds perfect for my mother and I just might pick it up for her for Christmas. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

Jackie McGuinness 10/6/18, 8:35 AM  

Drinking wine while reading about it!

Deb in Hawaii 10/6/18, 1:00 PM  

This does look like a great book to curl up with, glass of wine in hand and I can think of several people to gift it to as well. Thanks for sharing!

gluten Free A_Z Blog 10/6/18, 2:29 PM  

Interesting stuff- thanks for the review and thanks for hosting

Jeanna 10/6/18, 6:27 PM  

I don't think I've heard that name since the 80s, but this sounds like an interesting read even if you're not a wine drinker.

Aj @ Read All The Things! 10/8/18, 8:11 PM  

I didn’t know that wine writing was a thing. Interesting! I don’t drink alcohol, but it sounds like a fascinating book.

Aj @ Read All The Things!

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