Wine Books: the ideal gift for your favorite intellectual alkie

By Jesse on December 2, 2008

The long holiday weekend is behind us, and I sure hope everybody enjoyed their Vendredi Noir! No, I’m not referring to the little-known varietal from eastern Quebec; I speak, of course, of “Black Friday,” the day after Thanksgiving, when Americans all across America rush to their local big-box retailers and complete their holiday shopping in an orderly and civilized fashion. But just in case you’re one of those stragglers who inexplicably didn’t manage to finish your present-buying before the onset of the advent, the Young Winos have the perfect gift idea for you: books!

In his 2004 article “Through a Glass Darkly,” The New Yorker’s Adam Gopnik spoke of the annoyingly esoteric nature of traditional wine literature. “The space between what the wine writers say and what the wine novice tastes is a standard subject of satire,” he wrote, expressing the same frustration channeled by LA Wino Noah Verleun when he famously declared that “burning tires” and “junkyard” are probably “not something you’d read in Wine Spectator” (despite being exactly the type of smells and tastes that Young Winos run into as they begin to learn about wine). The wine writing in the three books below, however, skips the “cassis and earthy undertones” in favor of openness, wit, and practicality. Here are the Winos’ picks for your holiday wine book purchasing needs.

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  1. For all of you out there who are into Pinot, “The Heartbreak Grape” by Marq De Villiers chronicles Josh Jensen’s quest to find the ultimate California location for growing Pinot to rival the best of Burgundy.

    Comment by Mitch — December 4, 2008 @ 5:39 pm

  2. Good review!

    Comment by Dylan Conroy — December 6, 2008 @ 2:49 pm

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