Gerald Asher's A Carafe of Red was like a well-crafted summer wine, light, slightly effervescent, refreshing, simple and easy to read. A Vineyard in My Glass takes a different tact with more studious, almost muscular writing. The point of the book is to discover and write about wines that reveal their place, their terroir:
"If I find in a wine no hint of where it was grown, no mark of the summer when the fruit ripened, and no indication of the usages common among those who made it, I am frustrated and disappointed."
Asher takes first through France, then Italy, Germany, and Spain, before turning his eyes to California. All along, the emphasis is on the place, the methods used in vinification, the resulting site-specific wine:
"They built a handsomely vaulted underground cellar, where they installed large wooden vats to age their white wines to allow them to soften and acquire fuller flavor without being overwhelmed by oak."
While Asher mentions names of winemakers and occasionally the food served with the wines, it is really the vineyards and resulting wines that hold centerstage. A nice complement to his other writing, showing his broad range of abilities.
Gerald Asher is author of The Pleasures of Wine, Vineyard Tales, Wine Journal, and On Wine. As an international wine merchant, he was decorated by the French Government in 1974 for his contribution to French viticulture, in 2001 was named Outstanding Wine Professional of the Year by the James Beard Foundation, and in 2009 was inducted into the Culinary Institute of America’s Vintner’s Hall of Fame.
Disclaimer: This book was sent to me for review purposes, courtesy of the University of California Press. I was not compensated in any other way for the review, was not obligated to give the book a positive review, and all opinions are my own. Some information in this review was taken from the company website.
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