French Wine: An Illustrated Miscellany

Cookbooks and cultural conversation starters top our summer reading list

Food, Foodies, Foodways

French Wine: An Illustrated Miscellany

by Bernard Pivot
Flammarion, 256 pp., $34.95

If the title grabbed you, then you are probably one of the coterie of French wine aficionados. Well, this book is guaranteed to bring long hours of reading enjoyment. This isn't the type of book that picks your wines for you and tells you how to match food and wine. Instead, it answers questions like, "What did Charles Bukowski think of French wine?" Or, "Why is Champagne the wine of love?" The book is really a 256-page love letter from an amorous follower of French wine to others similarly besotted. It was originally published in 2006 in French. It's taken a while for the publishers to translate it into English, but at least someone did a damn good job of it, preserving nuance and assuring we understand all the sly asides. The illustrations are gorgeous. (I especially love the picture of Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman examining a bottle of French wine.) It will only take you about five minutes of reading before you want to rush out to buy a nice bottle of French wine. Very highly recommended to anyone who loves vin Français.

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