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Cork Dork: A Wine-Fuelled Journey into the Art of Sommeliers and the Science of Taste

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Some might consider those fighting words; not Bosker, who seemed to view the anger her op-ed ignited as confirmation. The book is a wild ride in the best possible way and you'll walk away from it with a ton wine knowledge.

However, if the reader isn't interested in delving that deeply into the science of it all, those parts can be easily skimmed to get to the juicy bits. Fascinated by their fervour and seemingly superhuman sensory powers, she set out to uncover what drove their obsession, and whether she, too, could become a ‘cork dork. Readers will certainly come away from the book knowing more about wine and likely eager to explore it further, but even those less inclined to imbibe will be intrigued.Reads like a wine lover’s equivalent of Dante’s ‘The Divine Comedy’: There is paradise, but only after glimpses of purgatory and hell…A funny, thought-provoking and at times frightening look at the sublime tastes, enormous egos and curious rules of a profession that is both insanely rigorous and occasionally ridiculous. She describes the lengths to which some of these people will go to acquire rare and expensive bottles of wine. This relatively small quibble aside, I am surprised at how much I enjoyed this book, and how much it’s made me want to give wine a chance. This book deserves multiple readings because it’s rich with information and experiences that reading once just becomes too overwhelming.

Duncan Hines, a traveling salesman who jotted down notes on clean, good restaurants around the US to send to family and friends, was the OG self-made restaurant critic. The second character who helps shape Bosker’s view of wine is Paul Grieco, owner of Terroir Tribeca. I really enjoyed this entertaining, informative and enjoyable book about Bosker's somewhat crazy foray into the world of wine, tasting and sommeliers and her pursuit to become a "cork dork.With boundless curiosity, humour and a healthy dose of scepticism, Bosker takes the reader inside underground tasting groups, exclusive New York City restaurants, mass-market wine factories and even a neuroscientist’s fMRI machine as she attempts to answer the most nagging question of all: what’s the big deal about wine? The descriptors get wackier and wackier, not just things like green apples or blackberries, but "wet asphalt", "surgical glove", asparagus pee", "dried cardboard", and "salami farts". This hilarious, thoughtful and erudite book may be the ultimate answer to the perennial question of whether or not wine connoisseurship is a scam. She loves exploring local farmer’s markets, haunting her favorite wine bar, and discovering new restaurants.

It’s meant to give us all pleasure, and that is often sufficient, but then there’s so much more to it, so many more levels to it,” he explained. This post originally appeared in EIC Amanda Kludt’s From the Editor newsletter, a roundup of her favorite food and restaurant stories — both on and off Eater — each week. I selected both of these wines because they are unlikely gems in the wine world, just like Bianca Bosker’s Cork Dork.Can sommeliers really smell all the things they say they’re smelling when they stick their noses into glasses of wine?

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