Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Vino Italiano: Wine Book Club Tickler #2

As we’re now a touch past mid-term in the assignment period for the first meeting of the Wine Book Club (WBC), it’s about time for a wake-up call. For those arriving late to class or just needing a helpful reminder, our first selected text is Vino Italiano: The Regional Wines of Italy, by Joseph Bastianich and David Lynch. For anyone wishing to participate in the first edition of the WBC, the due date is Tuesday, February 26. That’s exactly three weeks from yesterday. If you’re at all unsure of the ways and means of joining in, just check out the original club announcement for the full details.

It’s also time for me to deliver, as promised in my initial plug, a few questions to help all you eager wine book readers along the path to inspired reviewing.

  • Has your general understanding of Italian wine grown through the experience of reading this text?

  • Is there a wine region, particularly one that was previously relatively unfamiliar to you, that the book has inspired you to learn more about?

  • If you were sitting behind the editor’s desk at Clarkson Potter, what, if anything, would you have changed about the book’s overall format, tone or style?

Just to keep things interesting, I thought I’d also offer up a few opportunities for you to earn bonus points in your reviews.
  • For the critic: Did you find any editorial mistakes? If so, what were they?

  • For the wine geek: Did the book inspire you to rush out and hunt down a wine or two? Then share some vinous love. Include your tasting note(s) in your review to earn kudos.

  • For the gourmand: To earn double bonus points – and to inspire a little salivation among your readers – prepare a meal from one of the recipes in the book, pair the dish with a wine from the appropriate region, and report on the experience.

Please feel free to leave your progress reports in the comments section of this post. A little feedback from fellow WBC participants will certainly be good for everyone’s motivation as our due date approaches.

And if extra motivation is still called for, check out the first installation of “Spin the Bottle,” the interim session of the WBC. Dr. Debs at Good Wine Under $20 and Tim Elliott at Winecast were both charged with reading and critiquing Wine and Philosophy: A Symposium on Thinking and Drinking, a compendium of essays by various contributors, compiled by Fritz Allhoff. Tim has promised his review shortly; you can check out Deb’s now.

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Related reading:


Ken & Theresa Hoggins said...

Thanks for the reminder and the helpful questions to keep in mind when writing the book review. I'm in the middle of the book. I'm enjoying it. It's full of great information. I'm learning a lot.

David McDuff said...

Thanks for touching base, Ken and Theresa. I'm glad you found the questions helpful.

Dr. Debs said...

Great questions--love #3 particularly. I will be looking forward to recipe reviews, since I keep looking at them but they all seem beyond either my calorie allotment or my pantry level. Thanks for the reminder, David!

David McDuff said...

You bet, Deb. Sorry to hear about the calorie restrictions but I'm glad you liked the questions.

Serge Lescouarnec said...


I actually got a copy of the book (from the publisher) during vino 2010.
I used the pocket version which I mentioned in Putting Vino Italiano Buying Guide to the Test during Vino 2010

Have not had much time to put my nose in the bigger tome.

I will mention the book club to the publisher.

'The French Guy from New Jersey'

David McDuff said...

Hi Serge,

Thanks for your comment. By all means, please do point out my review and the book club postings to the publisher if you have a contact there.

Just know that this WBC event was two years ago and the Book Club no longer exists as such. The first edition, this one, went really well but the concept quickly fizzled going forward....

Again, though, please do feel free to pass along my information, as I do review wine books here at MFWT.


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