NAKED WINE

LETTING GRAPES DO WHAT COMES NATURALLY

Wine journalist and blogger Feiring (The Battle for Wine and Love, 2008) returns with accounts of her interviews with winemakers and with her own endeavor to make a “naked” wine (no additives or other extrinsic evils).

The author’s self-regard fluctuates. She recognizes—and enjoys—her controversial position (her blog blasts those who sully the grape), noting that she sets “forest fires of controversy.” But she can also feel frustrated, petulant and nervous; in the more self-effacing sections, both she and her text become more savory. Feiring begins with her attempt to produce a California wine that is as natural/naked as can be (she’s annoyed when exigencies force some modest compromises)—and, much later, we learn that the bottles will retail for $75-$100 apiece. In the interim, the author flies around (California, France, Spain) to interview those engaged in the quest for a more natural wine. (In an appendix, she provides a long list of common wine additives and processes.) She writes about the godfather of the movement—Jules Chauvet—and recognizes that it’s the use of sulfur (some? little? none?) that divides the wineries. Although she sometimes soars into a vinous lyricism (“There’s an emotional truth in natural wine that I can’t ignore”) or uses tasting terms that only connoisseurs can appreciate (“The Syrah had no fruit jam, but had horse sweat and muscle, zippy acidity and mint, structure and less than 12 percent alcohol”), for the most part she writes for general readers—all of whom should learn plenty. It’s sulfur that causes hangovers; there is no such thing as a perfect wine; thermovinification speeds the process; wine critic Robert Parker is annoying (an opinion she notes throughout). A text that will appeal principally to wine-lovers but will give other readers a pleasant buzz, too.

 

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-306-81953-7

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Da Capo

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2011

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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