Synopses & Reviews
The Vessel is Alice Feiring's love affair with and exploration of the vibrant, colorful, passionate world of modern yet oh so ancient Georgian wines and qvevri fermentation. Not to be confused with the Georgia of the American South, the Georgia hugging the Black Sea is a gem and a magnet for wine people worldwide. And the qvevri, the centuries old vessel used to ferment and store the wine, is now the hottest wine accessory on the international vino scene. With a return to natural and biodynamic wines, Georgia now finds itself at the center of wine tourism, drawing winemakers and connoisseurs from around the globe to discover the legacy of a land that may well have been the birthplace of wine more than 6,000 years ago.
When the Turks invaded and ripped out the vines, the Georgians replanted. When the Turks returned, they replanted again. Georgians hid their wine and qvevri while the Soviets put in huge factories making plonk. They kept their private land organic when the community plots for the State were filled with chemicals. They clung to the qvevri tradition when others moved to barrels, and now are known not only for their natural and organic contributions to the wine world, but also for their orange wine, so popular that it has become a new category on wine lists everywhere.
This is Feiring's ode to a country, a history, a culture, and the religion that has preserved and continued to shape wine across the centuries. More than that, it's the stories of the people behind the country's wine efforts today, an exploration of the face and heart behind an ancient tradition that is reshaping the contemporary wine scene.
"With a title as loaded as that of her first book on wine authenticity (The Battle for Wine and Love), Feiring's new offering is a treatise on the joys of wine made with nothing but grapes. It's also a memoir of her adventure making her own chemical-free Sagrantino with an assist from the Pellegrini Family Vineyards of Sonoma, a story she first recounted in a series for the New York Times's wine blog in 2008. Yes, the tale does include the stomping of fruit with her bare feet, but more to the point, it gives the boot to the scores of government-approved additives that are found in domestic vino. Among those, Feiring reserves a special place in hell for sulfur, listing its negative side effects, seeking out winemakers with similar angst, and at one point throwing her body in front of her fermenting brew to act as a 'human shield' against a possible sulfur encroachment. Somehow, Feiring manages to pull herself away from California and fill out her book with envy-inducing trips to Europe, where she eats and drinks with an assortment of rustic farmers, vintners, and the like. And while her companions have some interesting thoughts to relate, the sugary tone of her travel writing ('Jacques made fun of my romantic musings') at times is hard to swallow." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
From the famous, funny, and irreverent wine author, a personal journey into the newand oldworld of natural wine
Naked wine is wine stripped down to its basicswine as it was meant to be: wholesome, exciting, provocative, living, sensual, and pure. Naked, or natural, wine is the opposite of most New World wines today; Alice Feiring calls them overripe, over-manipulated, and overblown” and makes her case that good (and possibly great) wine can still be made, if only winemakers would listen more to nature and less to marketers, and stop using additives and chemicals. But letting wine make itself is harder than it seems.
Three years ago, Feiring answered a dare to try her hand at natural winemaking. In Naked Wine,she details her adventuresometimes calm, sometimes wild, always revealingand peers into the nooks and crannies of todays exciting, new (but centuries-old) world of natural wine.
About the Author
Alice Feiring is an award-winning food and wine journalist, frequent magazine contributor, and author of a previous book on wine. She lives in New York.