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"Sips & Quips"
A Book Review

  by Fred McMillin

 

Prologue

Wine personalities according to Bonadies:

    Cabernet Sauvignon—Big man on campus.
    Viognier—Mysterious and enchanting. Be the first one on your block to taste it.
    Merlot—Elected "Most Likely to Succeed."
    Zinfandel—A cowboy.

Jordan 92 Chardonnay Wine history according to Bonadies:
Wine orginated when one of our ancestors discovered that fermented grape juice took the edge off a rough day of being chased by wooly mamouths.

Bonadies on moderation:
Where there is alcohol, there is drunkeness.
Where there is drunkeness, there is disapproval.
And that's basically what happened to the three-martini lunch.

Learning about wine:
There's no shortcut. You learn slowly, one sip at a time. It is hard work, but then again, you COULD BE STUDYING ORGANIC CHEMISTRY.

 

The Rest of the Story

You can see why Michael Bonadies received a James Beard Foundation wine writers award. The above quotes are from his new Sip By Sip, Doubleday, $13. He provides 214 pages of good advice and good humor.


The Bonadies Bias

"I am an unabashed California wine chauvinist. Some of the world's greatest wine is being made in California right now. I was born in California but grew up in Connecticut and have never forgiven my parents for moving"!...but Michael couldn't resist this: Compared to Europe, a translator USUALLY isn't required to converse with a Californian, though it does help to be able to discuss your previous lives.

 

The Author's Credentials

Michael is a partner and wine whiz for a group of presigious restaurants (NYC and San Francisco). He tells us the most important thing he's learned during his years in the restaurant business is to NOT become a wine expert...it takes all the fun out of it. Instead, his attitude is to keep sipping and keep learning. His charming book will help you do both.

 

Postscript

Expert or not, I want to know some of the author's California winery choices. Here are six that get plenty of accolades: Matanzas Creek, Beaulieu, Jordan (pictured), Au Bon Climat, Bonny Doon and Joseph Phelps.

 

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