INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER AND A NEW YORK TIMES CRITICS' PICK
“Thrilling . . . [told] with gonzo élan . . . When the sommelier and blogger Madeline Puckette writes that this book is the Kitchen Confidential of the wine world, she’s not wrong, though Bill Buford’s Heat is probably a shade closer.” —Jennifer Senior, The New York Times
Professional journalist and amateur drinker Bianca Bosker didn’t know much about wine—until she discovered an alternate universe where taste reigns supreme, a world of elite sommeliers who dedicate their lives to the pursuit of flavor. Astounded by their fervor and seemingly superhuman sensory powers, she set out to uncover what drove their obsession, and whether she, too, could become a “cork dork.”
With boundless curiosity, humor, and a healthy dose of skepticism, Bosker takes the reader inside underground tasting groups, exclusive New York City restaurants, California mass-market wine factories, and even a neuroscientist’s fMRI machine as she attempts to answer the most nagging question of all: what’s the big deal about wine? What she learns will change the way you drink wine—and, perhaps, the way you live—forever.
“Think: Eat, Pray, Love meets Somm.” —theSkimm
“As informative as it is, well, intoxicating.” —Fortune
Bosker's sophomore book (not to be confused with Chet Raymo's novel The Dork of Cork) is a page-turning and fascinating memoir. Realizing she was spending too long locked behind a screen, living only in the virtual world, Bosker decided to quit her job as executive tech editor for the Huffington Post and attempt to become a master sommelier. Giving herself a year (which stretched into 18 months) to accomplish this task, the author landed a job as a "cellar rat" in a New York restaurant, which allowed her to meet distributors, attend copious free tastings, and make connections with obsessive consumers who would rather spend their money on wine than anything else. Bosker is a dedicated journalist and she pulls back the curtain on wine and those who immerse themselves in its creation and consumption. She willingly endured afternoon hangovers and licked stones to improve her palate, all in pursuit of her goal, and she keeps the reader fascinated while building a case for living in the present moment and savoring life's pleasures. At times the wine lingo is difficult to track, but readers who persevere will be rewarded with an appreciation of both wine and those pouring the bottles. Bosker's mix of science, food writing, and memoir will be enjoyed by many.
Customer ReviewsSee All
A true adventure
Brilliantly written tale of her adventure. I like bed the way she changed from investigating the wine world to becoming totally immersed. She is a wonderful story teller.