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Reading Between the Wines    by Terry Theise order for
Reading Between the Wines
by Terry Theise
Order:  USA  Can
University of California, 2011 (2011)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

'This book considers a commodity that none of us needs. We can live without wine. We might not want to, but we can,' writes Terry Theise. 'Yet we care about wine in many and varied ways. At the very least it gives us pleasure. Others become cerebrally intrigued by its multiplicity. Still others are more serious about wine's role in culture and history. And some of us, when we experience a wine of great beauty, are compelled to speculate on the meaning of the aesthetic experience.'

That, in a single paragraph, explains where this little book on the delights of wine will take you. This highly opinionated Old World (Germany, Austria and Champagne) wine importer is going to discuss what he considers constitutes beauty in wine. He'll also touch on how to properly appreciate fine wine and educate one's palate.

And, as part of that aforementioned 'aesthetic experience', Theise looks at what role wine plays in a soulful, sensual life. This means you'll be privy to his thoughts on wine from artisan producers that can be a portal to aesthetic, emotional and, even mystical experience.

Obviously this is a man who takes himself and his wine very seriously. More generic than label specific, although he does tout the wines he handles, this discussion is general enough that every degree of wine aficionado, from the casual to the deadly serious, can find something of interest.

'I want to give you choices, and you can swallow what works for you and spit out the rest,' writes the author. Fair enough! I have to say I didn't swallow much of what Theise decanted but, admittedly, some of it was palatable.

And as he also noted, 'One of the great things about wine is that it will meet you wherever you manage to be.' I guess that would mean I am not that far into appreciating the finer aspect of wine or that Theise is so far down the road he's lost sight of many of his fellow, less sophisticated, travelers such as moi!

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