Archive for the 'books' Category

Upcoming book events – Long Island, NYC, Chicago!

wine politicsAs the summer winds down, a few more events start up for my book, Wine Politics: How Governments, Environmentalists, Mobsters and Critics Influence the Wines We Drink. I hope to see you at one of the events!

August 31: Palmer Vineyards, Aquebogue, on the North Fork of Long Island, 11:30 AM. A talk with host Larry Davidson in the last of this year’s “Writers on the Vine” series. $11 admission fee, which includes a glass of wine. No reservations necessary.

September 11: Signing at Crush Wine & Spirits, 57th St between 3rd and Lex. 5:30 – 7:30. French wines relating to themes in the book will be poured! Drop in any time!

September 18: Rebel wines from France. A talk and a tasting at the West Loop wine shop, Just Grapes, Chicago, 6 PM. Pre-reserve now

September 19: book signing at Sam’s Wine, Lincoln Park, 5-7 PM. Drop in any time and say hi!

September 20: University of Chicago, “France and America: Wine Politics and a Tasting Showdown.” I always look forward to these Saturday afternoon seminars and this one will be particularly fun since we will discuss the themes of the book, and then taste excellent wines from the two counties. All participants will get a signed copy! Note: this is at the Gleacher Center, 2:30 – 6:30 PM. Advance registration essential since these sell out!

And there’s always my NYU class, “Becoming a Wine Expert,” starting October 15 for six consecutive Wednesday evenings.
October 28: panel on wine and climate change, American Museum of Natural History. Details to follow closer to the date.

Wine Politics – another media roundup!

wine politicsHere’s a quick roundup of some recent reviews and mentions of my new book, Wine Politics: How Governments, Environmentalists, Mobsters and Critics Influence the Wines We Drink. If you’ve already gotten the book, many thanks and let us know your thoughts!

John Mariani (who has a Ph.D. himself from Columbia) wrote a review on saying that the book “contain(s) so much history, data and anecdotes in a highly readable 144 pages.”

John and Dottie quoted from the book in their Friday column in the WSJ!

The Times Higher Education Supplement says that it “exposes a little-known but influential aspect of the wine business: the politics behind it.”

Blogger Jeremy Parzen, Ph.D. generously calls it “required reading“!

And Tom Wark, involved in the day-to-day workings of wine industry politics as the head of the Specialty Wine Retailers’ Association, wrote on his blog that “A book of this sort is so long overdue and I had been looking forward to it with such great anticipation that I nearly wet my pants when it finally arrived at my door.” Then he said some other stuff that is too nice to reproduce here so you’ll have to visit his blog, Fermentation, for the rest of his write up.

The signings in Oregon were fun–it was great to meet some blog readers for the first time. Thanks for the continued interest in Wine Politics and your support!

Wine Politics – a media roundup

wine politicsMy new book, Wine Politics: How Governments, Environmentalists, Mobsters and Critics Influence the Wines We Drink, is quickly becoming the best selling wine book from a non-profit publisher (the University of California Press) to launch while everyone is away on vacation! Let’s sell out this limited production cuvee (in wine speak, only several hundred cases made in the original printing). Here’s a quick roundup of some recent reviews and mentions. If you’ve already gotten the book, many thanks and hope you enjoy it!

The Wall Street Journal ran an author Q&A yesterday with a ridiculously large photo!

Publisher’s Weekly called it “an enlightening volume on a complex topic.”

The Wine Economist, aka Professor Mike Veseth, had a nice review saying, among other things, “I think it’s a blend that will appeal to a lot of wine enthusiasts.”

Gastronomer’s Guide wrote that “after reading this book, a glass of wine will never be the same.”

It’s been a fun launch! Last night at Powell’s in Beaverton, Oregon we had a good discussion (pick up a signed copy of the book through their site). And I was invited on KPCC, the NPR affiliate in Pasadena last and even took calls (fortunately people DID call!). Thanks to those of you who have posted your own reviews and comment to Amazon! And if you’re new to the site, consider subscribing to the site feed.

July book events – NYC, Portland

wine politicsWe are in book launch month! The official publication date for Wine Politics: How Governments, Environmentalists, Mobsters, and Critics Influence the Wines We Drink is July 14 but there are a few events before that (and the book is in stock now with many retailers). Here’s a roundup:

July 9, noon-1 PM: Beard on Books: a talk, discussion and book signing at the James Beard House, NYC. Brown-bagging welcome; coffee and wine biscotti from Three Tarts bakery will be available. $20 donation to the JBF encouraged for non-students. If you’ve never gotten around to checking out the historic Beard house, now’s your chance! 167 W. 12th St. Details and reservations.

July 11: Book signing at Astor Wines (Lafayette @ 4th St), 6-8 PM. No talk here, just a signing; French wines also available for tasting.

July 22: Book signing at Powell’s Books, Cedar Hills Crossing (Beaverton, OR), 7PM. details and preorder a signed copy of the book

And one day (Saturday the 26th?) at IPNC, the International Pinot Noir Celebration.

I hope you can make one–or more! If you can’t, consider adding the book for your virtual shopping cart. Ponder this comparison: William Fevre, Chablis, 2006 a fine wine that goes for $19.95 a bottle. Or , available from Amazon for $18.15! The Chablis will bring you pleasure for one evening but the book will hold down your bookshelf forever! And unlike wine, available now for shipping to all 50 states!

Billionaire’s Vinegar by Benjamin Wallace

billionaires vinegarIn 1985 at Christie’s auction house in London, Kip Forbes–dispatched by his father Malcolm to bring home a bottle of 1787 Bordeaux on the Forbes private jet–finds surprising competition from a then-upstart publisher: Marvin Shanken of the fledgling Wine Spectator. A spectacular bidding war ensues over the bottle that may have belonged to Thomas Jefferson and one of them takes the bottle back to New York in an extra seat on the plane, strapped to a mattress (read the book to discover which one) after winning it for $156,000.

Such is a great scene near the beginning of the fantastic book Billionaire’s Vinegar: The Mystery of the World’s Most Expensive Bottle of Wine. Released last month, this page-turning book that reads like fiction has already reached the extended NYT bestseller’s list. It’s a wine book that has a lot of appeal beyond simply wine geeks since the book’s verve derives not from tasting notes but a mystery over whether the bottle that Shanken and Forbes bid on was real or fake. Read more…

Giveaway: House of Mondavi by Julia Flynn Siler

Julia Flynn Siler wrote an excellent book, House of Mondavi: The Rise and Fall of an American Wine Dynasty, which came out last year. In it, she chronicled the compelling saga–complete with sex scandals, business success and failure, courtroom drama, and a brawl–of one of America’s leading wine families. The book is currently shortlisted for a 2008 James Beard award in the wine and spirits book category. (As is George Taber’s To Cork or Not to Cork, which we previously gave away.)

I have two paperback editions of the book to give away. To qualify, post a comment here about which American wine family or company you’d like Julia Flynn Siler to put under her journalistic microscope next. Post your comment by midnight Sunday and check back here or your email to see if your name was selected at random as one of the two winners.

UPDATE with winners: Read more…

Mrs. Vino rocks 2008

ecobabies.jpgMrs. Vino is having a bountiful harvest so far this year–and it’s only March! Over the weekend, we got the best Easter present in the form of a baby boy, our second. So if my blogging is somewhat intermittent, consider it a parental leave.

But Mrs. Vino’s (re)productivity doesn’t stop with babies. The fifth book in her series of children’s books has just been published: Eco Babies Wear Green. Just in time for Earth Day!

Wine Politics: a book update

I mentioned my forthcoming book earlier in the week in a post and there have been some very supportive and enthusiastic comments and emails! Thanks so much! Also a little bit of confusion, which I have no doubt created, so I thought I would clarify things.

I have the very good fortune of having two wine books coming out this year! The first, Wine Politics: How Governments, Environmentalists, Mobsters and Critics Influence the Wines We Drink will be published on July 1 by the University of California Press. In it, I trace the story of wine in France and America through the lens of wine politics–struggles against nature and society, where lines get drawn, how wines get made. Man versus man, man versus nature all that good stuff. There’s even a part where Britney goes crazy and shaves her head–oh wait, that’s not in there but I thought I’d mention it here in an effort to sell more copies.

Above you can see the cover art in all of its glory! I’d venture to say that I have the first ever wine book cover to be graced by a bottle in a brown paper bag. Covers matter, obviously, since buyers often judge books by them–and especially now since Borders will be displaying more of them face out.

There was a great essay in the Times on why it takes so long to get a book on the shelves if you’re not familiar with the book publishing process. One peril discussed in that article is having a book come out in the second half of a presidential election year. Even though it’s not a wine drinker’s guide to politics, it’s perhaps fortunate for me that this book on wine politics also happens to be coming out in a presidential election year!

The second book is the one that I finished writing last month when I gave you a head fake and said I was going to take a break from blogging and then didn’t. More details to follow on this one. But since the first book won’t tell you which wine to have with dinner the second one will–and more!–since it is Dr. Vino’s Guide to Wine. The publisher on that one is Simon & Schuster. It’s due out in November.

Wine Politics: How Governments, Environmentalists, Mobsters and Critics Influence the Wines We Drink (Amazon; UC Press)


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