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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

3.53  ·  Rating Details ·  171 Ratings  ·  42 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.

No matter what yo
...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published May 5th 2009 by Mariner Books (first published May 19th 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Clay
Aug 27, 2012 Clay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Marty
Dec 31, 2008 Marty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
Marsha
“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
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Erin
Oct 30, 2008 Erin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Edward  Bartone
Well, I'll give the book 2 stars only because it was an "easy" read - problem was she, in my view, has completely missed mark on her premise that "no human intervention should be allowed in wine-making - I don't care if your life fortune depends on turning out sell-able liquid, you should cater to my whim of letting it ferment and hoping for the best". Then go on to casually talk about how many areas of Champain "douse" wines with sugar to continue fermentation in bottle - and that's ok. What ab ...more
Amy
May 06, 2009 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Melissa
Mar 22, 2009 Melissa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
David
Mar 28, 2012 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel, nonfiction
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
Charlie
Jan 28, 2009 Charlie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Ali Amidi
Aug 10, 2016 Ali Amidi rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Although Alice knows a lot about wine, this book is written in an arrogant and tiresome style. The personal love stories that have been included give the book a kind of "sex and the city" feel to it, which is really not charming. Her wine taste, which basically is the same as all other hipster sommeliers in the wine world, opt for pure, lean, high acid wines. Maybe I read this book a couple of years too late because all her points and critiques of high alcohol wines are rather boring and predict ...more
Paula
Oct 29, 2008 Paula rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
R
Jan 19, 2010 R rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Colleen
Jul 15, 2010 Colleen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wine
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.
Scott Hingley
May 01, 2015 Scott Hingley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great little book about the battle going on in the world of wine.
A battle between wine's increasing standardization ( some say due to Parker's influence), and those "rebels" seeking a return of the 'terroir' - letting a wine's flavour being a reflection of where it came from - Alice Feiring being one of max defenders of this credo.
Parker as a 'quantifier' of wine - Feiring as a 'qualifier'.
If you love wine then you'll love this book.
Des
Jul 14, 2015 Des rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Dorothy
Dec 17, 2008 Dorothy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food-wine
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.
Jill
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.
Jennifer Fraser
Nov 01, 2014 Jennifer Fraser rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Kara
Jan 21, 2014 Kara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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.
Joslyn
Sep 02, 2008 Joslyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
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.
Kaylie
Jun 02, 2010 Kaylie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
Sue
Feb 14, 2010 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Kathleen
Sep 18, 2008 Kathleen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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)
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!
Mark Taylor
Jun 19, 2011 Mark Taylor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Chris
May 15, 2009 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Ocean
Jul 09, 2008 Ocean rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Dona
Feb 27, 2014 Dona rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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