A Hedonist in the Cellar
Adventures in Wine
By Jay Mcinerney
(Knopf, Hardcover, 9781400044825, 272pp.)
Publication Date: October 24, 2006
List Price: $24.95*
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In the two decades since Bright Lights, Big City reinvigorated contemporary fiction, Jay McInerney can claim a great many accomplishments, including the mantle that Salon has given him: “the best wine writer in America.” Of his previous collection, Bacchus and Me, Robert M. Parker, Jr., concluded: “Brilliant, witty, comical, and often shamelessly candid and provocative.” And The New York Times added: “McInerney’s wine judgments are sound, his anecdotes witty, and his literary references impeccable. Not many wine books are good reads; this one is.”
In A Hedonist in the Cellar, he gathers more than five years’ worth of essays and continues his exploration of what’s new, what’s enduring, and what’s surprising, giving his palate a complete workout and the reader an indispensable, idiosyncratic guide to a world of almost infinite variety. Rieslings from the Finger Lakes, Armagnac from Gascony, powerhouse amarones from Valpolicella, the most fearsome critics in England, chocolate-friendly bottles from all over the globe, new developments in Chile and Argentina—these are only some of the delights now ready to be savored in a collection driven not only by wine itself but also the people who make it and those whose enjoyment is matched by their curiosity.
Full of terroir and flavor, svelte personalities, and keen insight into the trade, these are irresistible essays for anyone enthralled by the manifold pleasures of wine.
Jay McInerney, whose wine column appears monthly in House & Garden, is the author of seven novels, the most recent of which is The Good Life. The 2006 recipient of the James Beard Foundation’s M.F.K. Fisher Distinguished Writing Award, he lives in New York City.