Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Celebrity Vineyards

When I got my review copy of Nick Wise's Celebrity Vineyards (New York, NY: Welcome Books, 2013),  I had some worries that it was going to be a collection of fluff pieces, with some fawning promotion of famous people Wise wanted to meet. Happily, I was mistaken. Perhaps because Wise has mostly spent his life in England, but I sensed a certain detachment on his part; he seemingly is not overly impacted by meeting with the celebrities (though he admits to nervousness at times).

Celebrity Vineyards book cover

From chefs to the world of sports and beyond (a porn star?), Wise is careful with the choices of celebrities he includes:
"The sixteen celebrities we ultimately selected were those who put their blood, sweat, and tears into the actual winemaking, and others who avoided the technical aspects but nonetheless invested their heart and soul in the creative process."
I admit to being a relative wine novice, but was still surprised at how few of these businesses I had heard of. Included are the Monticello Vineyards, Kamen Estate Wines, B.R. Cohn Winery, Silverado Vineyards, Inglenook, Charlie Clay Wines, Andretti Winery, Lewis Cellars, Vermeil Wines, Raymond Burr Vineyards, Dan Aykroyd Wines, Fess Parker Winery, Savanna Samson Wines, Podere Castorani, Poderi Luigi Einaudi, and Anta Banderas. While most have utilized their fame to sell the wines, ultimately it is not enough if the wine is no good. It is staggering to think about how much money has been spent on many of these projects -- clearly they are all in it for personal and not financial reasons.

Each celebrity vineyard/winery  section includes regional information, its history (including the celebrities' accomplishments), the varietals grown or sourced, and wine tasting notes. A short glossary and resource guide round out the book. Pick up a copy of this book and surprise yourself by how good it is, going well beyond just promotional materials for the celebrities. The fact that Wise got to travel around the world for this project makes me more jealous than his meeting all those celebrities.

Nick Wise - Celebrity Vineyards

About the Author: Nick Wise was born in NYC in 1969 and moved with his family to the UK before he was two. He returned to the USA for high school at the Peddie School in Hightstown, New Jersey. He went on to Tufts University in Boston, earning degrees in art and art history.  He'd always had a keen interest in wine and winemaking and earned a bachelors in wine at the Wine + Spirit Education Trust in London. He currently lives in London with his Parson Jack Russell dog named Lily. He is hoping to move to Paris in the near future.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me for review purposes -- all opinions are my own.

Like 50 States Of Wine on Facebook
Follow 50 States Of Wine on Twitter

No comments:

Post a Comment