Celebration of the triumph of Italian winemaker Angelo Gaja, who has raised the once cheap and obscure Barbaresco wines to award-winning world status. Steinberg, a consultant for the European Community, conducts wine tastings at a leading Roman wine shop. Wine from fruits other than grapes may score well with wine writers, but these wines, Steinberg says, ``should be drunk within a year of harvest and will not live to develop the complexity that is part of greatness.'' Steinberg focuses on the people involved in winemaking as richly as he does on vines and the processes of fermentation and maceration, the making of casks, the selection of custom-made bottles, the search for cork, and so on. He sticks largely to Gaja and to the making of his single-vineyard Sori San Lorenzo of 1989 vintage. Barbaresco wines come from vineyards in northwest Italy and—aside from single-vineyard wines—are a hierarchy of blends from this district as devised by Gaja. Gaja first bottled Sori San Lorenzo in 1967. In 1987, the Barbaresco vintages failed to meet his standards; to keep his prestige, he bottled only half his normal amount of Barbaresco—and in 1984 none at all: ``That decision about the 1984 was very painful,'' Gaja says. Not only winemaking but barrel-making receives Steinberg's keenest eye, as does the battle between steel and oak barrels. Page after page impresses with the complexity of wine and winemaking— the bottomless thought that goes into microclimates among leaves, into yeasts, acids, and balancing out minute quantities of substances that make each wine distinct. Great human warmth bathes a wine-lover's delight: one of the best yet about wine.

Pub Date: Oct. 18, 1993

ISBN: 0-88001-284-6

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Ecco/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1993

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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



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

Did you like this book?

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.


New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet