TASTING PLEASURE: Confessions of a Wine Lover by Jancis Robinson

TASTING PLEASURE: Confessions of a Wine Lover

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In case you were interested, here's everything you could ever possibly want to know about Robinson's (Oxford Companion to Wine) career trajectory. Robinson, who has been a fixture in the wine writing establishment for 25 years, teeters precariously, wanting her readers to know that she is both a wine connoisseur--exquisitively sensitive to the historical, geographical, and sociological contexts of wine--and a populist rabble-rouser, bucking received opinion as she champions the wine-drinking pleasures open to Everyman. She quaffs Grands Echezeaux, La Tache, Romanee-Conti, 1847 Yquems, and 1787 Branne Moutons, has ""swashbuckling"" Harold Evans as her editor at London's Sunday Times, and hobnobs with Hugh Johnson and Edmund Penning-Rowsell, But she also starts up the Drinker's Digest, an opinionated and iconoclastic newsletter dedicated to the principle of the best wine for the best price. Readers will learn the holdings in her cellar, her peregrinations through the wine-trade publications, the many personalities she meets, the astonishing meals she enjoys, and will share her each and every momentous occasion (""I shall never forget my first formal wine tasting""; ""My most embarrassing trial by tasting took place. . . . "", etc.). She gets serious now and then--discussing the pros and cons of blind tastings, detailing how Robert M. Parker Jr. has gained his mind-boggling sway over the wine world--but for the most part, this reads like a gossip column that can't turn a decent sentence (""The others are that there are anyway enough people who love Tertre, for it is probably the only Saint-Emilion other than the top-ranking Ausone and Cheval Blanc""). Despite its moments, this autobiography is clunky, desperately self-promoting, and, at best, premature.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0140270019
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Viking