I've done a lot in my effort to learn more about wine. I've drunk and I've drunk and I've drunk, but to be honest I haven't read all that much until now. Just recently several wonderful wine books have really caught my attention. A Moveable Thirst Tales and Tastes from a Season in Napa Wine Country is one of those books.
The premise of the book is that a journalist and a wine buyer decide to visit all 141 public tasting rooms in Napa over the course of a season. Part of the book is really an in-depth guide to the wineries with details like service, wine availability, picnic prospect and even "intangibles and extras" that includes things like "this winery is worth the effort to find" or "this room is aimed at novices".
The "quest" portion of the book will have you laughing out loud. As Kushman bemoans his lack of spitting ability he is made to feel like an expert when he overhears other tasters ask, if the wine tastes like apricots does that mean they put apricots in the wine? And why do they call it a finish?
Napa is a region you could spend years getting to know. The authors of this book have done a lot of the legwork to help you make the most of your time in Napa. But those who plan no trips to Napa will enjoy it and learn something too. The information in the book ranges from the useful, like which Napa vintners are making Old World style wines to the trivial---did you know that one out of ten bottles of wine sold in America is White Zinfandel?
Another book that features the pairing of a novice and an expert is Educating Peter.
For my review of Educating Peter by Food & Wine editor Lettie Teague, head over to Cooking with Amy.