Celia A. (Takoma Park, MD)
Turning wine into an emotional experience
Eric Asimov is trying to save the world from the tyranny of tasting notes, wine scores, and blind tastings. While there's nothing intrinsically bad about them, he just finds that the information gleaned from them is unhelpful. In fact, he finds that by suggesting that there is a "right answer" to wine, these common practices of the wine community take wine out of context and serve primarily to spark anxiety in people who fear that they don't know enough to understand or appreciate wine. Asimov hopes to convince people that is possible to enjoy and even love wine without being able to pinpoint every last flavor and aroma. He wants it to be an emotional experience, not merely an intellectual one. He weaves this manifesto with the humorous telling of his own journey as a wine lover. If you already love wine, this is a book for you. And if you think that you could love wine if you only knew enough, this book is definitely for you.
Patricia F. (Stony Brook, New York)
A Love Affair With Wine
The title of Eric Asimov's How to Love Wine may be somewhat misleading, as people who already love wine would likely enjoy this book, but may shy away from the title. I suggest as a title A Love Affair With Wine as more appropriate to the relationship the author has had with wine throughout his life. As with many love affairs, there are peaks and valleys. The book is an easy read and thoroughly enjoyable. Speaking from the point of view of a "wine loving" family, we subscribe to many of the same tenets as Mr. Asimov, particularly in drinking what you love, but not feeling bad about the lack of embrace for that Cabernet which received 97 points on the Wine Spectator scale. One never really knows a wine until it is opened, allowed to breathe, and then paired with fresh, simply prepared food. Threaded throughout his education of wine, is Mr. Asimov's personal story of how he came to be the Chief Wine Critic ( and the only one!) for the New York Times from his roots growing up on Long Island. He teaches the reader to let go of intimidation and to just dive into the wine experience, to try different wines, to be adventurous, and to relish the experience. I felt that Mr. Asimov might approve of the experience my family recently enjoyed this summer: a sunset picnic by a beloved lake where we drank a fabulous champagne ( J Vineyard Cuvee 20..a bargain at $25 a bottle) served in plastic cups! The champagne was bright and crisp, the company excellent, the experience unforgettable.
Enjoy this book, like a fine wine.