Even the French admit that Jancis Robinson is the "undisputed mistress of the kingdom of wine" (Le Figaro). Internationally renowned for her work in both television and print, she is the editor of the bestselling Oxford Companion to Wine and has won more than two dozen major awards around the world. Tasting Pleasure is her compelling account of a passion that began while studying at Oxford University. Writing with Julia Child's authority, Elizabeth David's intelligence, and M.F.K. Fisher's verve, Robinson takes us on a journey through the world's finest cellars, most beautiful vineyards, and best restaurants. As she explores the universe of the grape--from Bordeaux to Australia and South Africa to California--we meet scores of colorful, wine-loving characters, including Philippe de Rothschild, Julian Barnes, Francis Ford Coppola, and Julio Gallo. There are many books about producing and rating wine; this one is about enjoying it. Witty, revealing, and knowledgeable, in Tasting Pleasure Jancis Robinson has distilled twenty years in the wine world into a hugely entertaining read.
Although she is not as well known here as abroadreaders may remember her PBS-TV Wine Course of 1996, howeverand her book is perhaps a bit too British with such discussions as wine sales at the Sainsbury grocery chain, Robinson's memoir will nevertheless delight and inform oenologists and those who enjoy armchair travel. This Master of Wine, a distinction she earned in 1984, virtually stumbled into her mtier after she graduated from Oxford in 1970 with a job at a wine and spirits magazine. Robinson is a jaunty writer who imparts her expertise with ease. Here she tours the vineyards of France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Australia and California (where, with a touch of show-biz pizzazz, she visits Francis Ford Coppola's Napa Valley wine estate), and along the way explains the qualities that distinguish the finest wines, introduces winemakers and gossips about major figures in the trade. Robinson also writes a bit about her domestic life with her husband, former London restaurateur Nick Lander, and their three children. The information shared in Robinson's book verifies why this columnist for the Wine Spectator and editor of the Oxford Companion to Wine has become such a popular and respected connoisseur. (Oct.)
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April 30, 1999
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