Synopses & Reviews
Today’s dynamic wine culture calls for a different kind of wine book. The Wine Savant
is just that: punchy, polemical, and brimming with insights to educate and entertain beginning wine drinkers and seasoned oenophiles alike.
Never has the wine world had so much to offer, and never have smart decisions about value, quality, grape, and season been so difficult to make. In The Wine Savant, Michael Steinberger tramps through the world of contemporary wine—from three-buck Chuck and bucket-list Bordeaux to bottle speculators and biodynamic wineries—to give the inside scoop on the key concerns facing the new generation of wine lovers:
• Why is California suddenly cool again?
• What’s really the difference between a 95-point wine and a 94-point wine?
• Why is Burgundy ascendant and Bordeaux suddenly so passé?
• What’s a biodynamic wine, what’s a natural wine, and should you care?
• Do food and wine pairings still matter?
Featuring expert buying guides—including the New Kings of California and the World’s Great $25-and-Under Bottles—and tips on tough-to-pair cuisines like Indian and Japanese, The Wine Savant is the perfect guide to today’s often-bewildering realm of choice: ferociously opinionated and committed body and soul to enjoying every glass.
"For a decade, Steinberger wrote thoughtfully about wine for Slate.com. In the 11 essays presented here, Steinberger offers advice and opinions on every aspect of wine and its consumption, from the problems of being perceived as a snob (a case not helped by his constant use of the term oenophilia), to the drawbacks of screw tops, to the perils of Chardonnay. He is somewhere between bitter and perplexed when lamenting vino's inability to match beer in terms of popularity, but happily proclaims that 'a truly golden age of California winemaking may be at hand.' Interspersed throughout the chapters is an array of useful lists, such as 'tips for having a happy wine experience in a restaurant,' 'names to know in Burgundy,' and 'fifty of the world's great $25 and under wines.' In an intriguing chapter on the interplay of wine and fine dining, Steinberger points out that many aficionados who eat at restaurants are so well versed in wine these days that they no longer really need a sommelier or any advice at all. Norton is surely hoping that there are many people who still do." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Deftly shows how any and all of us can be savvier about wine." Bill Ward
A savvy and opinionated tour of the contemporary world of wine.
America’s dynamic new wine culture calls out for a different kind of wine guide, and The Wine Savant is just that: punchy, polemical, and brimming with insights that will inform and entertain seasoned oenophiles and newbies alike. Why did California wines take a wrong turn in the mid-1990s and who is leading California back to greatness? What accounts for the rise of Burgundy and the decline of Bordeaux? What is a spoofulated wine, what constitutes a value wine, and which wine is the next great white hope? With intelligence and brio, Michael Steinberger examines the wine world from an insider’s perspective and offers readers a wealth of practical guidance. Above all, The Wine Savant offers a critic’s toolbox for thinking about wine, how to be a shrewd wine buyer, and how best to enjoy the wine you drink.
Today's dynamic wine culture calls for a different kind of wine book. is just that: punchy, polemical, and brimming with insights to educate and entertain beginning wine drinkers and seasoned oenophiles alike.
About the Author
Michael Steinberger is a James Beard Foundation Journalism Award winner and the author of Au Revoir to All That: Food, Wine, and the End of France. He has written for the New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, and Vanity Fair and is the wine writer for Men's Journal. Previously, he was the wine columnist for Slate.