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Reading between the Wines

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  96 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Acclaimed importer and wine guru Terry Theise, long known for his top-notch portfolio and his illustrious writing, now offers this opinionated, idiosyncratic, and beautifully written testament to wine. What constitutes beauty in wine, and how do we appreciate it? What role does wine play in a soulful, sensual life? Can wines of place survive in a world of globalized styles ...more
Hardcover, 200 pages
Published September 9th 2010 by University of California Press (first published January 1st 2010)
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Danielle Sutton
It is very difficult to put a star rating to this. High highs and low lows! There are nuggets of profound brilliance but you have to sift through dull, repetitive, hippie philosophy to get to it. The first chapter is engaging and promises so much for the book then it's 100 pages of boredom (with a few exciting thoughts on wine) until you get to the chapters: Pressing Hot buttons, Of Places and Grapes, and Wines that Mattered which are the truly well-written, engrossing chapters in this book. MOR ...more
Thought-provoking and annoying - sometimes on the same page.
Jun 26, 2012 Steve rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: wine lovers
3 stars is being generous here. A bit too "Zen" for me ("let the wine come to you"). While I enjoyed his stories about wine makers, he seems to be unaware that similar stories (OK< not across as many generations) can be told about wine makers in CA as well.

While he claims that the quality of the wine seems to be an almost spiritual experience, in truth what he is doing is just pumping his own list of imported wines. While the Austrian and German and lighter French wines he presents here are
Terry Theise is a big shit wine importer who brings Americans German and Austrian wines and grower's champagne. This book is a collection of thoughts on what makes wine great. Theise's main point in this somewhat rambling rant is that wine should be remystified, by which he seems to mean it should be a) treated with greater reverence b) terroir - the idea that a wine embodies the land it is from - should be given more importance and attention when talking about wine. While this book is at times ...more
I'm in the middle of this book right now, but am not enthralled. I had heard from friends that Terry Theise can turn a great phrase...mainly I find him verbose. Perhaps the book will build momentum and finish with a memorable impact. I do like the short vignettes on small growers, and I agree with the author's basic premise, which I take to be that it is worthwhile to drink wines that have a strong sense of place and show the craft of viticulture combined with winemaking.
This book has very little actual information about wines. It is a LOT of the writers personal philosophy on making and drinking wine. It was a little bit interesting, but I got bored and moved on to other books, repeatedly. He is a big proponent of drinking crafted wines rather than populous driven created wines. I am, too. It's just a lot to read about for so many pages.
Another reviewer wrote: "There are nuggets of profound brilliance but you have to sift through dull, repetitive, hippie philosophy to get to it." I would say the nuggets are interesting, but wouldn't call them profound brilliance. And there's an awful lot of sifting necessary to find them. The writing itself is expressive and good, but the content is extremely repetitive.
An enjoyable read that takes you through the musings of the author on why wine matters -- a personal philosophical approach to the love of wine with emphasis on German wines.
Terry Theise is not a "good wine writer", he is a great writer, plain and simple. This was absolutely one of the best books I've read all year long.
Michael Blaakman
As a student of history, I loved Theise's take on what makes wine important: people, origins, place, and context.
Beautiful, inspiring, fun... read it as a library book - going to buy it so I can read again and again
Nov 06, 2011 Joelle rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: wine
Absolutely brilliant. His passion is contagious. He is this articulate in person too. I love his wines!
Sounded promising but too rambling. Sometimes had trouble figuring out the point.
Jan 08, 2013 Daron added it
"If truffles had orgasms, they might emit this fragrance."
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