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Monday, June 25, 2012

Uncorked -- book review

UNCORKED; my journey through the crazy world of wine (Clarkson Potter, 2012, 214 pages, ISBN 978-0-307-71984-3, $28) is by Marco Pasanella, who has owned a wine shop in Manhattan since 2005. Before that he was a designer, a teacher of design, and a columnist. The book comes with log rolling by Martha Stewart (who employed his wife) and Steven Dublanica (Waiter Rant). He wanted a career change – and he got it. So just about all of the book is based on the past half-decade of his life. According to the Library of Congress, it's a collection of anecdotes; it's not even a memoir. He's divided his stories up into eight regions: plow, prune, harvest, crush, ferment, bottle, age, and drink. The appendix lists material that could form a sort-of primer to the world of tasting wine, including a list of 27 toasts in 27 languages, such as salut, prost, but no chimo (Inuit). It's a hodge-podge of material about wine, eclectic enough that an indexer would have trouble. So there is no index. There are a couple of recipes for such as roasted parsnips, fish linguini, and fried sage leaves. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. This sort of thing works well is you are a wine writer, as in Natalie MacLean's two books, but there is no coherence here. It's like a series of short newspaper stories, about 800 words apiece. Given that, then it is a good book for light and enjoyable reading. You'll learn a bit about renovating a five story house at the Manhattan waterfront, traveling in Italy, and the uniqueness of the New York wine industry. But in summary, it is mainly about the struggles of a small business. Given the price, you might want to wait for the paperback or borrow it from the library. Currently, it is $16 at Amazon.

Audience and level of use: the compleat wine reader

Some interesting or unusual facts: He "unloaded 660 cases by hand(no forklift) of his house red, Pasanella & Figlio Rosso.

Quality/Price Rating: 82.


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