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Customer Review

VINE VOICEon June 22, 2007
Lettie Teague is the wine editor for the Food & Wine magazine in the USA. Peter (Travers) is the movie critic for Rolling Stone and he knows almost nothing about wine - indeed he is actually scared of some wines (Cabernets in particular). Teague takes Peter on a journey around the world of wine including a whistlestop tour of the Napa Valley, introducing him to wines, winemakers and wine vendors wherever possible.

The idea behind this is that instead of patronising you and me, the author can patronise Peter - and let us into a few secrets at the same time. What we end-up with is something very informative but also pretty entertaining. Instead of reading like a text book, this comes over as a novel. If it were a TV documentary it would surely come over as a Buddy-Movie.

What makes the book so entertaining is the Peter - he comes over as a genuine enthusiast in all that he does, but also at times a petulant child (much to the dismay of the author). He loves to drop names where he can - sometimes this impresses, sometimes it amusingly fails to do so. Through him, we learn that Scorsese's favourite wine is Chianti, while George Clooney likes wine so long as it's "either red or white". Through Lettie, we learn a whole lot more.

Educating Peter doesn't just cover the standard stuff (grape varieties, wine regions, wine making etc) but also how to taste, how to develop a cellar and how to buy (from the high street, from specialists, from restaurants and even from auctions). The section on dealing with sommeliers is particularly amusing - and quite enlightening.

This review appears in full on my blog site - click on my profile above for more info.
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4.0 out of 5 stars