Posted 20 hours ago

Cork Dork: A Wine-Fuelled Journey into the Art of Sommeliers and the Science of Taste

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When you read the book as a love song to the cult of the sommelier, rather than a demystification of wine, the New York Times op-ed makes more sense. I literally judged this book by the cover, which displays a blurb comparing this book to Kitchen Confidential.

Professional journalist and amateur drinker Bianca Bosker didn’t know much about wine—until she discovered an alternate universe where taste reigns supreme, a world of elite sommeliers who dedicate their lives to the pursuit of flavor.The one aspect of the book that occasionally turned me off is the fact that one of the main recurring characters, a sommelier and friend of the author’s named Morgan, hews very closely to that tired old trope, the brilliant eccentric man who can also be extremely annoying. There were definitely parts of the story that caught my attention or I was able to repeat a fact to friends, but overall it was a bit of a struggle to get invested in Cork Dork. Treasury and others of their ilk should run and grab this concept for a press release,” wrote Alice Feiring on her blog.

Bosker believes these manipulated wines can be a starting point for a wine journey, that they can spark curiosity rather than slake it. Until she stumbled on an alternate universe where taste reigned supreme, a world in which people could, 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. The level of knowledge you need for this certification often takes years of experience to cultivate, so to do it in one a year is challenging, if not impossible. The ability to comment on our stories is a privilege, not a right, however, and that privilege may be withdrawn if it is abused or misused. Even though this formula is in printed form, it must be memorized and spoken aloud during a tasting group session.Rather than mastering blind tasting and the arduous rituals of sommelier service, Asimov believes that teaching people to enjoy wine is about teaching them the role of wine. On how to open a bottle of sparkling wine: “The cork should be twisted and released into a napkin with a pfft sound no louder than—and these are the technical terms I was given—a ‘nun’s fart,’ or ‘Queen Elizabeth passing gas. Whether anyone actually understands these tasting notes that read like a long list of random, pretentious words? She knew the fact that normale bottlings of Brunello di Montalcino are only released in the January of the fifth year after harvest. The book is not only informative but also entertaining and written in a conversational style, making it easy to read and understand even for those who are not wine experts.

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