Synopses & Reviews
For many people, wine is an anxiety-inducing mystery as arcane as quantum physics, and with so many varieties, it's difficult to know what to choose. As New York Times
wine critic Eric Asimov argues, that puzzling uncertainty often prevents people from buying and ordering wine, depriving them of an exquisite, deeply satisfying experience.
In How to Love Wine, Asimov examines why the American wine culture produces such feelings of anxiety and suggests how readers can overcome their fears and develop a sense of discovery and wonder as they explore the diversity and complexity of the world of wine. With warmth, candor, and intelligent authority, Asimov interweaves his professional knowledge and insights with engaging personal stories of his love affair with wine, a lifelong passion that began when he was a graduate student on a budget.
In a direct, down-to-earth manner, Asimov discusses favorite vineyards, wine's singular personalities, the "tyranny of tasting notes"—those meaningless, overwritten wine descriptions that often pass for criticism today—and current wine issues.
Throughout, he incorporates in-depth discussions of beautiful wines, both easy to find and rare, and pays special attention to those that have been particularly meaningful to him. Thought-provoking and enjoyable, How to Love Wine will help diminish readers' anxiety, bolster their confidence, and transform them into true wine lovers.
"Forget the snooty trappings of wine connoisseurship just drink up and enjoy, argues this simultaneously down-to-earth and romantic meditation. New York Times wine critic Asimov (The New York Times Guide to Restaurants) confronts an alleged crisis of 'wine anxiety' among the untutored with a clashing blend of common sense and mysticism. He gives straightforward advice on self-education drink many affordable wines and take notes on what you like and pithily skewers the 'taste notes' style of wine writing, with its litanies of arcane aromas that proclaim expertise while conveying no information. Unfortunately, his own attempts to peer into the soul of wines and find their sublime connections to terroir can at times be just as nebulous: one wine he condemns for its 'spiritless flaccidity,' another he praises as 'luminous and pure, delicate but not fragile.' But Asimov sprinkles in lively reminiscences of his journalism career and the idiosyncratic culture of wine cognoscenti, and enchants and reassures by his warm savoring of the drinking experience." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
“Eric Asimov sees through the snobby froth of 100-point scores and tutti-frutti tasting notes to the realities of wine, ‘staple grocery and occasional star, as he calls it. How to become Americas most trusted wine critic? Read it here.” Hugh Johnson
"In How to Love Wine, Eric Asimov offers a generous pour of practical, down-to-earth advice. He helps us think about what's in the glass, and along the way makes sure that our next bottle of wine--mysterious, complex, nuanced, ever-changing--will offer a true burst of pleasure." Patricia Wells
“In his highly personal, utterly unpretentious book, Asimov makes clear that the most important thing about wine is enjoyment. Any deeper understanding--and for him food, culture, farming, and more count for a lot--depends on it.” Ed Behr
“This book might have been titled A Healthy Dose of Fresh Air. How modestly and reasonably Asimov dares to slay the wine dragons. I reveled in each and every thrust and parry.” Kermit Lynch
“A friendly, well-written approach to enjoying wine, full of low-stress recommendations to help avoid wine anxiety.” Kirkus Reviews
“Forget the snooty trappings of wine connoisseurshipjust drink up and enjoy, argues this simultaneously downtoearth and romantic meditation…. Asimov sprinkles in lively reminiscences of his journalism career and the idiosyncratic culture of wine cognoscenti, and enchants and reassures by his warm savoring of the drinking experience.” Publishers Weekly
“Wine fanatics, or those angling for entry to the world of wine, will find comfort in…Asimovs downtoearth discussion of loving wine. Moreover, what he argues is most essential for a relationship with wine, and whats most refreshing to read, is an approach free of anxiety and open to love.” Booklist
“Excellent . . . [a] thoughtful read. . . . Like a crisp glass of Sancerre, How to Love Wine is an especially refreshing breeze through the hot air and pretension thats so prevalent in wine culture.” Sacramento Bee
“Wine aficionados are always bickering among themselves. . . . In his delicious new book, New York Times chief wine critic Eric Asimov cuts through all of this background noise and reminds us of the elemental and undeniable fact that wine is ... sheer pleasure.” Oregon Live
“A wonderfully intimate memoir-cum-manifesto from a writer comfortable with his own ability as a wine writer whos not afraid to say it as it is. . . . One of the more enjoyable and fluid wine books to read all year.” Jancis Robinson
James Beard Foundation Book Award Nominee for Beverages No Source
Eric Asimov, the acclaimed chief wine critic for the New York Times
, has written a beautiful and thought-provoking combination memoir and manifesto, How to Love Wine
With charm, wit, and intelligence, Asimov tells how he went from writing beer reviews for his high school newspaper on Long Island to the most coveted job in the industry. He evaluates the current wine culture, discussing trends both interesting and alarming, and celebrates the extraordinary pleasures of wine while, at the same time, questioning the conventional wisdom about wine.
Whether youre a connoisseur or a novice, already love wine or want to know it better, How to Love Wine: A Memoir and Manifesto is the book for you.
About the Author
Eric Asimov is the chief wine critic of the New York Times, where his weekly column appears in the Dining section. He is married to Deborah Hofmann, has two sons, Jack and Peter, and lives in Manhattan.