It’s been an unexpected start to 2020 to say the least
The coronavirus has driven many of us and VINX / VCM investors to be under government-mandated lockdowns. In other words, this is social distancing enforceable by law.
For many of us in Europe, we can still go outside for physical activity. However, this could be the next thing to go. In Italy, the government has threatened to ban all outdoor physical activity – the one thing keeping many Italians sane on their 9th day of confinement. In France, the situation is looking similar; the mayor of Bordeaux announced today that it would close access to its quais along the Garonne river.
This could mean a long time indoors.
VINX has compiled a list of our 5 favorite wine books, both fiction and nonfiction, to help you pass the time – and maybe even learn something! These books are all available in digital format from Amazon, meaning you don’t have to leave your house to access them.
Wine Folly: Magnum Edition: The Master Guide by Madline Puckette and Justin Hammack
This one is for when you want to impress at your first post-social-distancing dinner party. In true Wine Folly fashion, this book is written with a style that is smart, quippy, and pedagogical. Authors Madeline Puckette and Justin Hammack have an enviable ease of explaining even the most complex wine science concepts to the common person. It is no surprise that in 2019, they won a James Beard Award for this book.
Wine and War: The French, the Nazis and the Battle for France’s Greatest Treasure by Donald and Petie Kladstrup
This one is for the history buffs who are craving a World War II story depicted in a new light. Wine and War is a historical novel that tells the story of French winemakers and their desire to safeguard their precious wines during the German occupation of France. The underlying moral of this book is told best by the quote from Claude Terrail, owner of Restaurant La Tour d’Argent: “To be a Frenchman means to fight for your country and its wine.”
Adventures on the Wine Route: A Wine Buyer’s Tour of France by Kermit Lynch
This book is for natural wine lovers, French wine lovers, or those who want to escape the Coronavirus reality with a story of travel through France’s wine regions. Published originally in 1988, Adventures on the Wine Route is a memoir of famous wine importer Kermit Lynch’s wine-tasting business trips through France, revelling in this “world of magic.” It is written in a poetic if not slightly antiquated style, but with a detailed appreciation for French wine culture – and notably for Lynch’s love of natural, unfiltered wines.
Cork Dork: A Wine-Fueled Adventure Among the Obsessive Sommeliers, Big Bottle Hunters, and Rogue Scientists Who Taught Me to Live for Taste by Bianca Bosker
This one is for people who are sick of feeling belittled by wine snobs. Written by Bianca Bosker, former executive tech editor of the Huffington Post, this book tells the story of Bosker’s desire to uncover what lies behind the obsession of sommeliers, and what all the fuss of wine is about. She goes as far as to look at MRI scans of sommeliers’ brains to answer these mystifying questions. Madeline Puckette says it best: “The Kitchen Confidential of wine: Read this book, and you’ll never be intimidated by wine—or wine snobs—again.”
A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle
Ok, so this book isn’t exactly about wine, but it’s a feel-good read to pass the time. In 1987, Peter Mayle intended to move to Provence with his wife for a one year sabbatical to write a book. He ended up buying an old farmhouse, where he would spend nearly the rest of his life. Mayle writes with a childlike delight and wonder, discovering for the first time the joys – and the headaches – of life as an expat in France. He writes about his favorite local bistrots and wines, truffle hunts with his neighbor, the mistral winds that blow from the Rhône Valley into Provence, and the painstakingly long time it takes to get home remodeling projects done with French artisans. You won’t be able to put it down, we promise.
Happy reading and stay safe!
- All of us at VINX & Vinito Capital Management