Book Review

Cork Dork by Bianca Bosker [Book Review]

Cork Dork front

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:

Anton Ego Flashback.gif

 

Click below to find this book on amazon.co.uk:

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Make Mine A Double, Tasting Events

Make Mine a Double #14 – Wines With B-Rio

With the Rio Olympics looming over the horizon, what better time to sample Brazil’s vinous delights.  What?  Brazilian wine?  Yes indeed, and though as a whole the country isn’t a viticultural paradise there are some tasty wines being made there.  Here are a couple from M&S that I tried recently:

Riosecco Sparkling Glera NV (11.5%, €13.29)

Riosecco trimmed small

Riosecco is a portmanteau of Rio and Prosecco, a not too subtle hint that this is a Brazilian alternative to Italy’s Prosecco.  Before 2009 the grape used in DOC Prosecco was often referred to as by the same name, which meant that other areas could use the Prosecco name without being made in the same region (…or even country). When the even stricter DOCG was created in 2009 the old synonym Glera was adopted, and that’s what we have on this Latin American bubbly.

It’s pleasantly fruity but refreshing and dry on the finish.  A better effort that many ordinary Proseccos.  Give it a try!

Araucria Riesling Pinot Grigio 2015 (12.5%, €13.29)

Riesling Pinot Grigio trimmed small

I tasted this without looking closely at the information provided and was a bit stumped – I just didn’t know what to make of it.  “Can I get back to you on this?” I told my notepad. Then, noticing the blend was 70% Riesling and 30% Pinot Grigio, it started to make sense.

It has the refreshing acidity and citrus bite of Riesling plus a bit of the rounder fruit and texture from Pinot Grigio.  This could actually pass for an Alsace blend from a cooler year – not quite as round as an average Edelzwicker as it doesn’t have any Pinot Blanc.  It’s a well made, modern wine which deserves to be sipped while sitting in the sun.

And just because I can, here is another Rio: