Saturday, 30 September 2017

Book review: Cork Dork by Bianca Bosker – One woman's journey from enthusiastic wine amateur to oenophile

'After blood, wine is the most complex matrix there is.'

As you may know, I love wine, but there’s still so much more to learn, and often I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface.

So I was thrilled to recently get a copy of Bianca Bosker’s debut book, ‘Cork Dork’ – a term given to obsessive oenophiles.

Bianca is an absolutely badass woman who quit her job as the executive technology editor at the Huffington Post in New York, in a quest to become a sommelier, in just 18 months.

I don’t want to sound gushy, but I feel like Bianca has basically lived my dream, and documented the whole thing with humour, passion, and enthusiasm, but also critically, with no time for bullshit.

The book offers a totally refreshing look at wine, the wine industry, and teaches readers so much along the way. It doesn’t matter whether you know nothing more about wine than Blue Nun and Echo Falls (well…), or whether you’re the most knowledgeable Master Sommelier, everybody will get different things from the book.

‘Cork Dork’ covers everything from the baffling secrets of mass-market wines, to the insane and crazy world of master sommeliers and big bottle hunters, via a smattering of science, lessons in what makes a wine objectively good, and whether you can train yourself to taste and smell better.

For people who really don’t know their wine, ‘Cork Dork’ offers a totally unpretentious and humorous look at wine education, and for those that do already know their stuff, it might make them take a step back and look at their industry in a different light.

I feel like I studied ‘Cork Dork’. I’ve highlighted so many bits: facts I didn’t know, interesting people to look up, bars to visit next time I’m in New York, other books to imbibe, and exciting bottles of wine I will probably never get the chance to drink.

And I’ve already taken lessons from the book on board. I’ve found myself smelling everything around me, driving with the window down (unless it’s really, really raining), trying to work out specific scents in restaurants, and confused my housemate when she caught me working my way through sniffing the spice cabinet.

Genuinely, ‘Cork Dork’ has made me excited for the next step in my own wine education, and given me a bit of a push in the right direction. I’ve already convinced several people they NEED to read this book: one for the science; one for the crazy stories (I really want to go to a wine orgy…); one for the look at New York’s restaurant scene; and another for Bianca’s inspirational personal journey.

There’s so much in ‘Cork Dork’ to uncover, whether you want to know how to go about gaining more knowledge about wine and becoming a sommelier yourself, or whether you just want to look at wine in a slightly different way.

‘Cork Dork’ is now available in the UK, for £8.99.

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