I was sent a copy of Graham Mitchell’s The Wine Explorer for purpose of review.
Being an enthusiastic drinker of wine and the sort who likes to escape into her head on occasion, I was eager to read The Wine Explorer when it landed on my doormat. Alas, Lockdown ‘home schooling’ and the children being around 100% of the time meant I couldn’t read at the pace, with the peace I would like.
I got there in the end.
The Wine Explorer
I wasn’t sure what to expect with the Wine Explorer, the press information that came with the book made Bill Bryson comparisons, an easy one to make with any travel books. It’s not a comparison I would personally make. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the book, it’s just nothing like Bryson (in my opinion).
So what IS it like?
I hear you cry -The Wine Explorer is part wineducation and part anecdotal. Author Graham Mitchell has been a professional wine merchant (they don’t tell you THAT’S a job on career day!) for a few decades, he went on to set up his own wine business and had a regular slot discussing wine on BBC radio – in short, this guy knows his grapes. Now, The Wine Explorer isn’t a book that’s going to set you up in a career as a sommelier but for those of us with an interest in wine that rises slightly above ‘just drinking it’, there is a lot of interesting information about how climate, location, soil and even harvesting can make a difference in a wine.
As it is only right to do, I paired reading this book with a nice glass of wine of an evening and it really did make me think about what was in my glass. Was I really enjoying a ‘nice’ glass of wine or was I partaking in cheap bottle of wine? (it was the latter – shamefully it is always the latter). Ultimately – wine, like art, is subjective and we all enjoy our wines for different reasons. Some we enjoy because we appreciate what goes on in our mouths when we drink it, others we enjoy because it reminds us of that time when…
Whatever kind of consumer you are, The Wine Explorer will not only make you consider your choice a little harder when choosing your next bottle of wine but it will also provide you with a pocket full of fun facts to share when coiffing wine with your friends and make you look like you know what you are talking about.
Graham Mitchell is a well travelled man with many stories from his travels around the world, he has a knack of transporting you to the vineyards with his tales.
The Wine Explorer is a great little book, ideal to take away (if you’re so lucky this year), more like a conversation with a friend and similarly is best served with a nice glass of wine – not a Beaujolais mind.
The Wine Explorer: A Guide to the Wines of the World and How to Enjoy them is available now.