An “entertaining and passionate” connoisseur tours the vineyards of Europe and California, arguing for an old-fashioned appreciation of authenticity (The New York Times).
The drastic effects that influential wine critic Robert M. Parker Jr. has had on the winemaking industry are best described as wine Parkerization. Many vintners are leaving old techniques behind and turning to chemistry and technology in order to please Parker’s palate. This led to the disappearance of James Beard Foundation Award–winning writer Alice Feiring’s favorite wines—and she was determined to learn why.
In a one-woman crusade that will have you wondering what exactly is in your glass, Feiring argues against the tyranny of homogenization, Big Wine, consultants, and, of course, Parker’s infamous one hundred-point scoring system.
Traveling through the vineyards of the Loire and Champagne, to Piedmont and Spain, she searches for authentic Barolo, the last old-style Rioja, and the tastiest terroir-driven Champagnes. Feiring reveals what goes into the average bottle—the reverse osmosis, the yeasts and enzymes, the sawdust and oak chips—and why she doesn’t find much to drink in California. She introduces rebel winemakers who are embracing old-fashioned techniques and making wines with individuality and soul. And finally Feiring explains what love’s really got to do with it all, in a delightful read for anyone who truly appreciates the good things in life.