The Accidental Connoisseur: An Irreverent Journey Through The Wine World (Anglais) Broché – 1 mars 2005
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On en arrive même à se demander qui a eu l'idée en premier : Lawrence Osborne, pour son livre, ou le cinéaste Jonathan Natenssier ? Quel hasard de voir ce dernier apparaître en premier sur la liste des gens remerciés par Lawrence en fin d'ouvrage !
Il faut dire que l'on fait le même voyage, peu ou prou. Mais l'écriture profonde et réfléchie d'Osborne donne une essence plus fine et dense que la caméra mouvante de Jonathan. La conversation intimiste avec le couple Mondavi va beaucoup plus en profondeur en évitant la caricature. On ne sera pas étonné de trouver plusieurs chapitres plus loin un tête- à- tête avec Aimé Guibert, particulièrement calme et savoureux. On voyage en Toscane et dans les collines de Chianti. Et le portrait de Robert Parker permet enfin de comprendre ce qui fait l'unicité de personnage. Haine ou passion peu importe. Il brosse un portrait contemporain de la Californie particulièrement sobre et juste et force le respect dans ses analyses et la manière très picturale de croquer les portraits.
Caméra mouvante dans Mondovino, dialogues retranscris chez Osborne. Une manière de « micro-oxygéner » une histoire qui pourrait s'asphyxier sous la monotonie des visites de caveaux de dégustation.
Dans sa quête du goût vrai et ses questions sur la modernité Osborne arrive à maintenir la réfléxion à un niveau élevé et plaisant.
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I'm a reader, but also a wine enthusiast. I don't drink wine often, but I try to read up and stay informed. Imagine my surprise when I was given this book as a gift. You see, I am familiar with Lawrence Osborne's fiction, having read his first novel years ago. Ania Malina (King Penguin) But I had no idea that he wrote about wine.
First and foremost, Mr. Osborne is a very accomplished writer. His fiction has somehow flown under the radar in the states. The flowery writing style he uses in this book differs from his fiction and brings more of his own "voice" to the memoir. While he can be a little wordy, he comes across more as genuine and not at all pompous. He is very honest and openly admits the gaps in his wine knowledge. Yes, he does take a few sarcastic jabs at some of the wine makers, but he does so respectfully. Clearly, he simply disagrees with some of the places the wine world is going, with $1000 bottles and ivory tower ratings.
The book takes you through a dozen or so excursions to wineries in California, Italy and France. By the end of the book, the writer seems tired of the wine world and is comfortable just to enjoy wine for what it is.
- This book is not for those seeking wine education. It is a great travel journal about one man's quest to scratch the surface of the wine culture.
- The author's random insertions of historical background throughout his travels seemed at times to be out of place or overdone. It is informative and I definitely learned. A little rearranging and some more edits would have made it better for me.
- I can see how some would criticize the lack of a traditional climax. This memoir still made sense to me as a real experience. I disagreed with some of the author's ideas, but in the end, the author's perspective comes across as genuine.
Overall, I enjoyed this book and plan to read it again in the future. I only wonder why 4 years have passed since the author's last book. I hope you'll give this one a try.
In some ways, this book plods along as the author goes from interview to interview asking what winemakers and personalities think of terroir... Do they believe in it? Does their wine exhibit it? Should we care about it? But none of the answers really go anywhere and the author never seems to draw a conclusion.
Like another reviewer, I felt like the author was showing off his vocabulary. I wish he had shown it off whenever one of his interviewees asked him for his opinion about a wine. His response seemed to be endlessly that he kept his mouth shut and waited to hear what he should be thinking about it.
Because the book focuses on ruminations about terroir... It lacks what could be entertaining or interesting stories about where he is... or adventures I could get absorbed in. Brief descriptions of the architecture and how it matched or didn't match the wines, and descriptions of how he got drunk then drove away (deplorable) weren't doing it for me. I wish the author had described how he arranged these tastings, too.
When the author moves to Italy, the storytelling improves, and in fact, the authors final stop in Southern Italy to visit an older British woman is quite memorable. The last couple of paragraphs were wonderful and earned an extra star for what was otherwise a dry book about wine.