This new collection by the acclaimed novelist—and, according to Salon, “the best wine writer in America”—is generous and far-reaching, deeply knowledgeable and often hilarious.
For more than a decade, Jay McInerney’s vinous essays, now featured in The Wall Street Journal, have been praised by restaurateurs (“Filled with small courses and surprising and exotic flavors, educational and delicious at the same time” —Mario Batali), by esteemed critics (“Brilliant, witty, comical, and often shamelessly candid and provocative” —Robert M. Parker Jr.), and by the media (“His wine judgments are sound, his anecdotes witty, and his literary references impeccable” —The New York Times).
Here McInerney provides a master class in the almost infinite varieties of wine and the people and places that produce it all the world over, from the historic past to the often confusing present. From such legendary châteaus as Margaux and Latour and Palmer to Australia and New Zealand and South Africa, to new contenders in Santa Rita Hills and Paso Robles, we learn about terroir and biodynamic viticulture, what Champagnes are affordable (or decidedly not), even what to drink over thirty-seven courses at Ferran Adrià’s El Bulli—in all, an array of grapes and wine styles that is comprehensive and thirst inducing. And conspicuous throughout is McInerney’s trademark flair and expertise, which in 2006 prompted the James Beard Foundation to grant him the MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award.
Jay McInerney lives in Manhattan and Bridgehampton, New York. He writes a wine column for The Wall Street Journal and is a regular contributor to The Guardian and Corriere della Sera, and his fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Esquire, Playboy, Granta, and The Paris Review. In 2006, Time cited Bright Lights, Big City as one of nine generation-defining novels of the twentieth century, and The Good Life received the Prix Littéraire at the Deauville Film Festival in 2007. How It Ended: New and Collected Stories (2009) “reminds us,” Sam Tanenhaus wrote in The New York Times Book Review, “how impressively broad McInerney’s scope has been and how confidently he has ranged across wide swaths of our national experience.”