Author: Bianca Bosker
Source: from publisher for review
Summary: Light, funny, and engaging mix of personal experience, history and science in the style of Mary Roach.
When tech reporter Bianca Bosker stumbled across a wine tasting competition, she was blown away by the ability of sommeliers to “after a single sip of wine, identify the grape it was made from, in what year, and where it was produced down to the exact location, within acres.” She was also intrigued by their passion for wine, as well as the passion of the many creators and collectors of wine. To determine what made wine so special to these people, she gave up her job and decided to try to become a sommelier herself. Starting as a ‘cellar rat’, storing and retrieving bottles of wine, she slowly works her way into the wine world. She eventually attends exclusive tasting groups and visits expensive restaurants and dinners for dedicated wine collectors. She also learns about the science of wine tasting and wine creation. This is the story of her experiences and what she learned.
I was excited when I picked this up and saw that it was blurbed by Mary Roach. The blurb turned out to be a good fit, because the style did remind me of Mary Roach. Slightly less science focused and not quite as hilarious, but definitely funny, engaging, and conversational. This book also reminded me of Mary Roach because Bosker kept the story entertaining by mixing science and history with anecdotes describing her own experiences in the wine world. It felt a little lighter than Roach’s books to me, but I still thought it was a great read. I learned a lot and it made me want to learn even more. It wasn’t pretentious, included lots of practical advice, and made wine feel more accessible. If you like Mary Roach or have any interest in wine, I’d definitely suggest giving this a try.