The short note on the UK & Ireland cover of Bianca Bosker’s book “Cork Dork” already gives you most of the information you need to know before starting to read the book:
A wine-fueled journey into the art of sommeliers and the science of taste
You don’t need a deep interest in wine to appreciate this book, but it does help – especially when you catch yourself agreeing ruefully with some of the seemingly outlandish observations contained within. Bianca Bosker has us laughing at situations which are wine-related, but are more importantly reflections of the absurdities which we all see in everyday life.
In many ways, Cork Dork strikes me as a platonic three way love affair between the author, her mentor Morgan, and wine – with wine playing VERY hard to get. There’s also a very interesting excursion into the origins of the flavour / aroma wheel and the way it totally changed the way wines are professionally reviewed and assessed – something I have been subconsciously rebelling against in my own reviews.
Personally speaking, there are two ideas mentioned in the book which really spoke to me:
Morgan has always blazed through his passions like a forest fire, consuming everything in his path. “My brain has a tendency to want to organize small differentiating units into systems,” he told me. “Part of it is my desire to know a thing in its entirety, or as close to it as you can.”
[First came trading cards, then video games, then rock bands.] And now, wine. At last, Morgan had found a topic with an infinite number of expansion packs.
I feel something of a kindred spirit to Morgan – I was interested in cars as a kid, which was eclipsed by music; that co-existed with wine for a while, but with a family of my own something had to lose out, and it was never going to be wine. I’m a cork Dork too!
I was curious to know how they judged if someone had been moved – really, truly moved – by a bottle, while trying to remember how I’d acted when I tasted the wines they’d opened that evening. How could they tell that someone had not really appreciated a wine?
“Because,” said Morgan, all hopped-up on Chablis, “it doesn’t look like they’ve been harpooned in the fucking chest when they fucking drank the fucking thing.”
Yes, wine is just a drink, but it can be SUCH a drink. For those who have never had such a moment with wine, it could also be thought of as akin to Anton Ego’s ratatouille flashback in the film of the same name:
Click below to find this book on amazon.co.uk: