Thursday, February 20, 2014

"Beer is Made by Men, Wine is Made by God" - Martin Luther. Book List About Wine!

"Uncorked: My Journey Through the Crazy World of Wine" by Marco Pasanella

It seems to me that if you're a small business owner you have to be a little bit crazy and get ready to have a drinking problem. At least these small business owners will have good stuff to drink!

Marco, a successful designer and architect and his wife, who works for Martha Stewart have bought a charming but old building in the Meat Packing district in New York City. There is retail space on the first floor and they decide it would be perfect for a wine store. 

There are issues: ridiculous license issues with the city, a crazy wine manager who steals, leaky pipes, economic downturn and family issues. Despite all of this they create a beautiful classy neighborhood wine store. Law and Order:Criminal Intent even shoot some scenes there.

The book is full of their interesting adventures, wine facts, and even some recipes. A fun book that made me appreciate wine a lot more! I give it a 3 out of 5.

Invite some friends over. We're drinkin'!

"Wine and War: The French, Nazis, and the Battle for France's Greatest Treasure" by Donald Kladstrup

When you think about France what comes to mind?: baguettes, silly hats, chain smoking, Mona Lisa aannnnd wine. Wine for sure. And chain smoking. But I digress.

Wine is a huge part of France's national identity, it's soul. The wine industry was brought to its knees during World War I, and had barely recovered when World War II reared its ugly head. Many of the vineyards proprietors were wise and saw the writing on the wall about the Nazis and did their best to protect themselves. Some vineyards built secret rooms in the underground caves, some buried their best in their vegetable gardens and many others went through great lengths to try to preserve so e of their stock. One vineyard sunk a few boxes of their best wine in the bottom of the pond, which seemed like a good idea until all of the bottles paper labels started to float to the surface of the water.

Many of the vineyard proprietors were very active in the Resistance, some even smuggled Resistance members into different countries in wine casks. (This was a long, long process, sometimes meaning that the person in the barrel would be in there for hours). The whole upper management of Mo√ęt & Chandon were sent to concentration camps because of their contribution Resistance movement. Almost none of them survived.

A winemaker named Ribaud was in a POW camp for several years and to occupy his time and save his sanity he and his fellow prisoners talked about their favorite wine nod food pairings. Ribaud wrote everything down on all the scraps of paper he could find. After the war the book was published and gained national acclaim as one of the first books to pair regional foods and regional wines. Many of the prisoners were considered "night and fog" prisoners. According to the Nazis these prisoners were to be worked to death and then to disappear completely like they never existed.

This book was informative and interesting. I know hardly anything about wine and I could still follow everything. But it wasn't dry and it was pleasing to the palate. (Wine joke fail, so sorry.) I give this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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