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Bacchus and Me: Adventures in the Wine Cellar

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Overview

Jay McInerney's wine column for Conde Nast House and Garden has become widely read for his acerbic wit, irreverent tone, and bountiful, hilarious anecdotes. But a half million readers also hark closely to each month's "Uncorked" for the breadth of knowledge every column shares. For the uninitiated or aspiring oenophile (wine lover) McInerney shares, in this collection, critical details and comprehensible descriptions not often found, or discernable, in the standard wine writers' tomes. It is actually possible for...
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Overview

Jay McInerney's wine column for Conde Nast House and Garden has become widely read for his acerbic wit, irreverent tone, and bountiful, hilarious anecdotes. But a half million readers also hark closely to each month's "Uncorked" for the breadth of knowledge every column shares. For the uninitiated or aspiring oenophile (wine lover) McInerney shares, in this collection, critical details and comprehensible descriptions not often found, or discernable, in the standard wine writers' tomes. It is actually possible for a reader to take what is learned to a wine shop or restaurant to indulge in the wine of his or her fantasy with the confidence of a sommelier.

In forty-five columns, McInerney holds forth (with agile humor, an astonishing amount of hard fact, and an ample dose of personal taste) on such topics as how to make your way around a German wine label; what to drink with Thanksgiving turkey; the truth about Zinfandels; why burgundy is so hard to predict; how California Chardonnay is improving; the pleasures of flinty Chablis, the deep satisfaction of port; the glorious potential of Oregon's pinot noir, the respectability of rosé, and profiles of the great winemakers.

Bacchus and Me is for everyone interested in learning more about the wines of the world. For those who are modest of purse there is intense vicarious pleasure to be found in McInerney's vinous adventures.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Bright Lights, Big City novelist Jay McInerney doesn’t pretend to be a wine connoisseur. In fact, he confesses that after writing about the subject for five years, he felt even less confident of his grasp of wine than when he started. Nevertheless, this collection of his House & Garden wine columns proves that his intelligence, verve, wine savvy, and writing skills are quite sufficient. In fact, Bacchus and Me is one of the most entertaining wine books in years.
From the Publisher
“Brilliant, witty, comical, and often shamelessly candid and provocative thoughts about the world of wine and many of the people who produce it.” –Robert M. Parker, Jr.

“McInerney has become the best wine writer in America.” –Salon.com

“McInerney’s wine judgments are sound, his anecdotes witty and his literary references impeccable. Not many wine books are good reads; this one is.” –The New York Times

“In the fruity, buttery world of wine writing, there’s nothing else like it.” –Atlanta Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780641529429
  • Publisher: Lyons Press, The
  • Publication date: 6/30/2003
  • Pages: 283

Read an Excerpt

Jay McInerney on wine? Yes, Jay McInerney on wine! The best-selling novelist has turned his command of language and flair for metaphor on the world of wine, providing this sublime collection of untraditional musings on wine and wine culture that is as fit for someone looking for “a nice Chardonnay” as it is for the oenophile.

On champagne: “Is Dom Pérignon worth four bottles of Mo‘t & Chandon? If you are a connoisseur, a lover, a snob, or the owner of a large oceangoing craft, the answer . . . is probably yes.”
On the difficulty of picking a wine for a vegetarian meal: “Like boys and girls locked away in same-sex prep schools, most wines yearn for a bit of flesh.”
On telling the difference between Burgundy and Bordeaux: “If it’s red, French, costs too much, and tastes like the water that’s left in the vase after the flowers have died, it’s probably Burgundy.”
On the fungus responsible for the heavenly flavor of the dessert wine called Sauternes: “Not since Baudelaire smoked opium has corruption resulted in such beauty.”

Includes new material plus recommendations on the world’s most romantic wines and the best wines to pair with a meal
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Table of Contents

Introduction xv
Whites, Pinks, Greens, and Golds
In the Pink: Rose 3
White Hope: California Chardonnay 7
Riesling Reconsidered 11
The Cult of Condrieu 15
Gruner Veltliner Loves Vegetables 19
The Savage Whites of the Loire 23
Hearts of Stone: Chablis 27
Number Two and Trying Harder: California Sauvignon Blanc 31
Overachievers of Macon: White Burgundy on a Budget 35
Good Hope from the Cape: South African Whites 39
Champagne and Bubbly
Beautiful Bubbleheads 45
If You Have to Ask ... Tetes de Cuvees Champagne 49
East Meets West: Kaiseki Cuisine and Vintage French Champagne 53
A Ticket to the Veneto 57
Schramsberg Don't Make Me Crazy 60
The Cult of Krug 64
Reds
The Discreet Charms of Volnay 71
Zin Went the Strings of My Heart 75
Guerrillas in the Hills: Cult Cabernets 79
Napa's Old Guard Digs In: Classic Cabs 83
Tough Love: Oregon Pinot Noir 87
Pinot Envy: Sonoma Pinot Noir 91
Who You Calling Petite? Petite Sirah 95
Merlot: Luxurious? Or Lame? 99
Big Red Monster from Down Under: Shiraz 103
Summer Reds 107
A Rivalry Made in Heaven: Lafite and Mouton 111
Saint-Estephe Steps Out 115
Bordeaux on a Budget 119
Saint-Emilion Gets Sexy 123
Chianti Comeback 127
Slow-Mo Montalcino: Brunello di Montalcino 134
Holy Wine or Aphrodisiac? Stop, You're Both Right! 139
Don't Bogart That Rioja, Sancho: Red Wines of Spain 144
The Sweet Thereafter
The Closer: Sauternes 151
Port Without Purdah 155
Sweet Stuff from Italy: Vini Dolci 159
Grape Nuts
The Biggest Critic in the World 165
Mondavi on Mondavi 171
The Baron of Barbaresco 181
The Wizard of Bolinas 186
Attitude? Non! (on Sommelier Jean-Luc Le Du) 190
The Host 194
Colombo and the Mystery of the Missing Socks 199
On Doing It Right
Apropos the Aperitif 205
Cliff Notes from the Cellar 209
How to Start Your Own Napa Valley Winery Without Really Trying 213
Viticulture 101 217
What to Drink with Cheese 222
What Goes with Turkey? 226
Half Notes 230
The Big Stuff: Magnums, Jeroboams, Salmanazars, and Nebuchadnezzars 234
Millennium 238
Appendices
World's Most Romantic Wines 245
Not Your Grandfather's Food and Wine Combinations 247
Traditional Food and Wine Combinations 249
Glossary of Selected Terms 251
Selected Bibliography 261
Index 265
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Customer Reviews

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