Synopsis from Edelweiss:
Amateur drinker and professional tech reporter Bianca Bosker didn’t know much about wine—until she stumbled on an alternate universe of master sommeliers who could, after a single sip, identify the grape a bottle was made from, in what year, and where it was produced, within acres. Astounded by their fanatical dedication and seemingly superhuman sensory powers, Bosker set out to discover what drove their obsession, and whether she, too, could become a “cork dork.” Thus begins a year and a half long adventure that takes the reader inside elite tasting groups, exclusive New York City restaurants, a California mass market wine “factory,” and even a neuroscientist’s fMRI machine as Bosker attempts to answer the most nagging question of all: what’s the big deal about wine? Counterintuitive, compulsively readable, and hilarious, Cork Dork illuminates how tasting better can help us live better—and will change the way you drink wine forever.
About: Cork Dork: A Wine-Fueled Adventure Among the Obsessive Sommeliers, Big Bottle Hunters, and Rogue Scientists Who Taught Me to Live for Taste is a memoir written by Bianca Bosker. It was recently published on 3/28/17 by Penguin Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House, paperback, 352 pages. The genres are non-fiction, food, memoir, wine, and science. This book is intended for readers ages 18 and up, grades 13 and up. Penguin Random House is the world’s largest trade book publisher and its mission is “to foster a universal passion for reading by partnering with authors to help create stories and communicate ideas that inform, entertain, and inspire, and to connect them with readers everywhere.” Please see below for more information about the author.
My Experience: I started reading Cork Dork on 3/31/17 and finished it on 4/18/17. Wine amazes me even more after reading this book. This book offers me more than I bargained for. There are abundant of info on wine and those wine experts known as Sommeliers and they must be geniuses in order to know it all. The blind tasting is beyond words! They must have some amazing taste buds! At a blind tasting, your expected answer goes something like “This is a Merlot-dominant blend from the right bank of Bordeaux from the village of Saint-Emilion in the 2010 vintage of Grand Cru Classe quality.” p.75 Who can do this if not geniuses? There are competitions too where the competitors will compete in this blind tasting on 6 different wines and it’s timed!
In this book, readers will follow Bianca Bosker, a journalist taking a year and a half journey to learn and live the life of wine. She starts at the bottom of the ladder as a Cellar Rat to learn the basics on wine and to get free tastings on variety of wines producers makes or restaurants purchases. From there on, she went on to meet other wine enthusiasts to learn in-depth about wine, such as taking an exam to become a Master Sommelier and joining a competition as a judge instead of a competitor to observe how it all unfold. Through her adventures, she unravels and demands entrance to secret meetings that obsessive sommeliers, big bottle hunters, and rogue scientists meet to obsess over wine. Studying for the exam is ridiculously difficult, 2200 flash cards and 116 crib sheet, but yours may be more.
This book has it all. Bianca taught me how to perform blind tasting and the right way to enjoying a glass of wine. She taught me on the history of wine, the steps to become a Master Sommeliers, locations of vineyards, and much more. This book deserves multiple readings because it’s rich with information and experiences that reading once just becomes too overwhelming. The Don’ts on serving wine is enough to make me dizzy, let alone the history on the sense of smells. I like knowing the secrets on ordering by the glass at the restaurant to how amazing the Sommeliers are. They don’t just serve wine, they have the expertise, charm, calm, and overall knowledge of not just wine but what go with wine. I highly recommend this book to everyone who is interested to learn more about wine. It doesn’t hurt to gain extra knowledge.
Pro: history of wines and sense of smells, steps to become a sommelier, types of wines, blind tasting, secret meetings, informative, humor, cover, step-by-step instructions, very well written,
Con: not easy to read through the history bits
I rate it 5 stars!
About the Author:
The former executive tech editor of The Huffington Post, Bianca Bosker has written about food, wine, architecture, and technology for The New Yorker online, The Atlantic, T: The New York Times Style Magazine, Food & Wine, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, and The New Republic. (Info & photo obtained from Edelweiss).
More information about Penguin Random House:
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***Disclaimer: Many thanks to Penguin Random House for the opportunity to read and review. Please assured that my opinions are honest.