Monday, May 24, 2010

Drink It, Read It

When thinking about how to pass the time during my 7 1/2 hr flight to London, and then my 6 hour layover at London's Heathrow Airport...I knew I would need plenty of reading material. I grabbed a the latest issues of InStyle and Lucky magazines but then picked up the book 'Love By The Glass: Tasting Notes on a Marriage' by Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher.

This couple wrote the popular Wall Street Journal 'Tastings' column for several years. They gained a large and diverse audience, that normally didn't even read the Wall Street Journal, due to their light, effortless candor and their honest and understandable views on wine. The whole idea of their column was basically just to tell people what they drank, what they thought about it, and possibly what it pairs with. Straight to the point!

But the book wasn't actually about their column, it's their marriage-and-wine memoir, an account of their life together by the bottles they discovered, shared, and enjoyed (or didn't) over time. I mean, they went back to when the couple met on their first day at the Miami Herald newspaper. Talk about love at first sight! The love shared between these two even from the very beginning leapt from the pages as I read through their first date and the wine they drank. Their first wine was Cold Duck! That goes to show you that even the professionals have to start somewhere ;-)

What truly amazed me about this book was the recollection of so many events in their life. Even before they started taking copious wine notes and building their wine collections, there is so much detail about the wines they drank, the event they were attending, and how much (or little) they enjoyed the wine. If I tried to write a book about the wines I drank this month...I don't know if I could capture everything! I think it's so amazing the places they've gone and the wines they were able to enjoy before they became the powerhouses they are today. With so many wine drinkers out there today, there aren't as many hidden gems out there, nor will I find some of the deals they were able to find. I think I recall a $1.99 bottle of French wine!! Today, you'd have to be lucky enough to be there as soon as the case came out of the back room.

There were plenty of takeaways from this book, but the thing I will remember the most is how engaging sommeliers, winemakers, wine shop owners, were once Dorothy and John engaged them in a bit of conversation. People just wanted to talk to them and share new wines, cute anecdotes, anything! This was a fantastic read that I carried me to London, Toulouse, Cahors, Chicago, and back to Washington, DC. A book I'd recommend for anyone that likes a good romance story with a quite a bit of wine on the side.

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