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The Battle for Wine and Love: or How I Saved the World from Parkerization
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The Battle for Wine and Love: or How I Saved the World from Parkerization

3.51 of 5 stars 3.51  ·  rating details  ·  143 ratings  ·  37 reviews
"I want my wines to tell a good story. I want them natural and most of all, like my dear friends, I want them to speak the truth even if we argue,” says Alice Feiring. Join her as she sets off on her one-woman crusade against the tyranny of homogenization, wine consultants, and, of course, the 100-point scoring system of a certain all-powerful wine writer. Traveling throug ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published May 19th 2008 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Community Reviews

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Nilay Gandhi
I admire where Alice is coming from--I share her spirit about wine--but this book is maniacally arrogant. And the title is completely nonsensical. Her attempt at mimicking Eat, Pray, Love is half-hearted at best and completely inconsistent. Oh, and, spoiler alert... She doesn't save the world.
I love Feiring--her attitude, her blog, her taste, and her drive. Feiring and I agree on about 99% of things. (Except the fact that pork is heavenly.) Not everyone does, though, and I understand it, but I find that people who love wine as an honestly delicious product without pretension will enjoy her book and her passion. This book is not just a vinous journey or information, not is it a perfectly woven story of wine and love. It reminds me more of a slightly more focused Robert Altman film. We ...more
“Pooh, Harry, you don’t even know what your religion was, and is and will be until the day of your expensive funeral. One’s religion is whatever he is most interested in, and yours is—Success.” – “The Twelve Pound Look” by J. M. Barrie

Following the adage of writing what you know, Ms. Feiring’s book is a passionate ode to good wine. By that, she means wine made by individuals not machines, lodged in dusty, dirty cellars not sterile, depressingly clean places that look like a scientist’s lab, allo
I really struggled to rate this book, because even though Alice Feiring infuriated me at times, and I found myself completely at odds with many of her statements,I found myself utterly taken in by the book and plowed through it in a very short amount of time. It should also be stated that I agreed with many of her statements too. Like Alice, I find the ubiquitous use of practices that overly alter the "natural" state of wine distasteful, and I find the idea of tailoring wine to appease the palat ...more
I was lucky enough to meet Alice at a book signing in San Francisco. I'd been reading about her on various wine blogs, and she has a reputation for being quite a hard-ass, but she definitely did not seem that way in person. Petite, cute, and firey, she was incredibly sweet and really pleasant to chat with.

So I started reading the book almost immediately after the signing. I swear, I almost never (Adventures on the Wine Route being the exception) tire of these books about people who trounce throu
This is one of the worst wine books that I have read. I should have looked at reviews prior to reading. The author goes on a rant about Robert Parker that goes on throughout the book. I felt like I got her point at the beginning of the novel, but when she continues to whine throughout the book about the current wine industry and everything that is wrong with it, I started getting turned off. Don't waste your time with this one.
Jennifer Fraser
Alice Feiring's book blends a conversational style to an important crisis in the wine world. The reader learns the crucial meaning of terroir especially as it is under threat from a wine critic who assigns a number as if to assign a value. Feiring explores the complexity of taste, the need for independent assessment, the history of wine making, all in a readable, enjoyable way for wine connoisseur and novice alike.
Fun and lots of fascinating info about the wine biz, and how the big vintners turn out billions of gallons of slop for tasteless consumers like me. Made me much more suspicious about Parker ratings and why I like the wines I do. Made me sad that wineries all over the world are changing their hundreds-of-year traditions to cater to tastes of a single group of tasters - much like Walmart changed the expectations of shoppers. And not for the better. Monocultures are always dangerous, in farms, in p ...more
I have not read much wine writing but of course have heard of Robert Parker Jr. While many names were zinging over my head I liked the explanations of how wine is made and the different processes that can be used. It made me want to get out there and start trying wines especially French wine. I think it is clear everyone has there own preferences and some of the fun is to try and figure out why someone else likes a wine you don't.
This is the wine companion to Michael Pollan's "The Omnivore's Dilemma."

Feiring goes into great detail the difference between technologically made wine and naturally made wine. While consumers become more aware of how their food is grown, processed, packaged, and shipped, most are still oblivious to the ways winemakers, especially New Word winemakers, can manipulate to an excessive degree. I like the idea of listing all ingredients on a label. As Feiring states, "just be honest."

As a former win
This started out to be interesting. I enjoyed getting her opinion and hearing about the wines she liked to drink, but abour halfway through she started to get a bit self-righteous and hypocritical. It became more of "the wines I like are so delicious and wonderful" and "what Robert Parker prefers is disgusting and evil." I began to almost hate her because she wrote off those who also like wimes that Parker would prefer as being midless drones who drink what they are told is good and/or has a hig ...more
A very interesting book that highlights the difference of how wines are made today and in the past. The "Modernization" of the wine making process has given the crafters the ability to create a wines that has tastes that they want and in the process, removing, what the author says, the "terroir" (earth) from the wine.

Because wines can be made to taste, wine makers are creating wines to meet one man's taste, Robert Parker. He is the wine critic who made the 100 point wine scale that is used to se
The title sets the tone of the book:
Pretentious, self involved, self-righteous.

Author comes off sounding as arrogant, authoritarian and elitist as Parker.
Save yourself. Don't bother. She hates Parker. Okay. She thinks her wine choices are superior. Parker thinks his are. I was not persuaded into thinking anything other than she had a bone to pick that could have ended after one or two pages. No novel needed. Glad to be done with this nonsense.
Alice Feiring discloses good information about wine and methods of wine-making, and I highly recommend reading this book for that reason. Though at the end, I still have no idea how to go about finding the wines made with natural processes that she expounds.

The information about the writer's various loves should have been cut. I found the references to her lovers with nicknames such as "Owl Man" and "Mr. Straight Laced" annoying, and I didn't think it really added to the content.
entertaining book bringing vineyards, winemakers, and behind-the-business looks into the world of wine, as tasted by the author. i was intrigued by the big biz vs organic+natural, old school, & even biodynamic practices. i just wish it came with a case of sips so you can taste along with her...
oh, and there's not much about love other than in the sense of loving wine. she remains too coy and protective of the relationships she alludes to so those aspects of the story never really come alive.
I picked up this book thinking that it was this woman's thoughts about food in general and including wine, but it turned out to be a book about the standardization/mass marketing of wines and how more unique wines are being lost. It was interesting and I learned things I didn't know about wine. I'm compiling a list of wines to try, out of curiosity. I thought her attempts to metaphorically link her wine journeys with her love life weren't very good.
This book was a quick engaging read about Feiring's trials and tribulations in the worlds of both wine and love. I get the conceit here - that she feels emotionally about both things, in a similar way, and their stories intertwine, but I was a bit bored of her romantic exploits. I was very engaged by her experiences meeting winemakers, working on articles, talking to people in the wine world - and this is where the book shines for me.
Interesting account for support of Terroir when considering wine. I agree with her, especially when considering a high-alcohol content wine that is considered "big" by Parker. I rather enjoy the more "milder" wines that allows one to taste the various nuances. One of the problems is that it's much more difficult to locate these types of wines in today's American market rather than the manipulated and overblown ones.
While visiting an Italian winery, we were lectured on the adulteration of wines sold in the USA. Feiring is passionate on the same subject and explains how wines are manipulated in all stages of production by some very unnatural methods. More than my headaches are produced. The wine industry sees nothing amiss but people like the author are searching for wines produced by traditional "natural" methods.
Slawka Scarso
Alice Feiring is just so pretentious I have to abandon this book. I guess I should have expected it, given the subtitle.
There are much more important things the world needs to be saved from and despite not being a great fan of Parker I feel the book oozes rancor and as much megalomania as Mr P. himself.
Not my crusade.
I guess I'll read something more interesting and more world-saving.
As much as I love wine and reading about wine, this book annoyed me a bit. Yes, I learned a lot about New World wines and how they differ from old wines (mainly French) and how many winemakers have turned to chemically enhancing their wines. But she was so one-sided almost to a point of being close-minded. I wouldn't say I hated it, but her writing style was not my favorite.
Jan 18, 2014 Chad added it
Excellent book. Really informative on how we should investigate our wines and how they're made.
Good and recommended read for anyone interested in wine and who's interested in a non-conforming view of the wine world. Good insights into some main players in the wine industry, written with an acerbic sense of humor and with luckily only a touch of the "love" part that the author insists on including as a theme in the book.
Interesting details about her travels with wine. The title makes it sound like she hates Robert Parker but she didn't really portray that in her novel. I am surprised by her choice for titles. I enjoyed finding out all about the various things that are done to wines to change their taste.
Mark Taylor
Very interesting book about how wine-making techniques have changed to favor a flavor profile that will get a high ranking from Robert Parker. Left me eager to track down wines from producers who are using "bio" techniques to return to a less controlled product.
I was initially put off by the love anecdotes – I just wanted the wine. But it doesn't seem, by p. 100, that she is forcing the theme as much as I thought, and I've given in. The book is fun to read. Postscript: She be cool. This book has changed everything.
Christina Boyle
This book is filled with interesting information and perspectives but the writing style has a forced "cuteness" that wears over time. . . The author stoked my curiosity to go and try some of the vinters she profiles in the Rioja, Burgundy and Loire regions!
I am thoroughly sold on the concept of natural, organic, and biodynamic wines after reading this book. The descriptions of wines are as vivid as the colorful profiles of the winemakers. Very interesting to learn the "dirt" of wine production.
Sep 18, 2008 Kathleen rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people interested in wines and histry
Shelves: non-fiction
A very good book for all those who love wines and know a little about how they have been standardized and how this is now turning around. Makes me want to try the non-Parker recommended wines ( yes I looked at his ratings, but have grown up)
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