Jonathan Nossiter, an acclaimed film director and former sommelier, had his first taste of wine from his parents’ fingertips in Paris at the age of three. For him, wine is “memory in its most liquid and dynamic form,” as essential an art form as cinema, literature, music, and painting. The American expatriate takes readers on a cheeky insider’s investigation of the mysteries of terroir, the historical sense of place that makes wine unique.
Nossiter, who already created an uproar in the world of wine with his film Mondovino, here reveals how the tyranny of snobs, critics, and charlatans prevents us all from taking part in what should be a gloriously democratic bacchanalia. From the sacred wineshops and three-star restaurants of Paris to the hipster bistros of New York and film locations in Rio de Janeiro, this singular journey invites the lay reader to consider how power influences taste and how one’s own taste might combat power in any sphere. A controversial bestseller in France, this original American edition is sure to rile the establishment, stimulate wine lovers to a reappraisal of their passion, and convert the skeptics to a belief that wine is a deliriously joyful part of our culture.
Jonathan Nossiter is an award-winning filmmaker who has also worked as a sommelier at Balthazar in New York. His films have been featured at the Sundance, Berlin, and Cannes film festivals. He lives in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.