SBR: Godforsaken Grapes by Jason Wilson

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TomHill
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SBR: Godforsaken Grapes by Jason Wilson

#1 Post by TomHill » April 30th, 2018, 4:08 pm

Received my copy of this new book, Godforsaken Grapes by Jason Wilson last week. Started reading it today and wound up getting sucked in to reading for several hours, jumping around from chapter to chapter.
This is not a dry documentary book on obscure grape varietives to be used as a reference. It is written in a narrative style, much like NealRosenthal's "Reflections of a Wine Merchant" or Kermit Lynch's "Adventures Along the Wine Trail". It recounts his interactions w/ numerous people over several yrs as he tracks down obscure and not-so-obscure (like Gruner Veltliner or Blaufrankisch) varieties and the people behind making those wines. Lots of familiar names in there.
This is an entertaining and absolutely fascinating read. Especially for somebody like myself who long ago blew off the Cabernet/Chard/PinotNoir paradigm. I think even those who have no interest in these obscure grapes will also enjoy reading it.
A very highly recommended read.
Tom

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Ken Zinns
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SBR: Godforsaken Grapes by Jason Wilson

#2 Post by Ken Zinns » April 30th, 2018, 6:40 pm

Thanks for your preliminary review, Tom - sounds like it's better than you'd been expecting. I'm planning to order a copy soon.
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SBR: Godforsaken Grapes by Jason Wilson

#3 Post by Mark Henderson » May 1st, 2018, 2:14 am

I stumbled upon this a week or so ago and couldn't resist ordering a copy, though it hasn't arrived yet. Nice to hear your response to it Tom: I look forward to reading it.

Dan Kravitz
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SBR: Godforsaken Grapes by Jason Wilson

#4 Post by Dan Kravitz » May 2nd, 2018, 4:55 pm

commercial post:

I'm going to order this book. As a huge fan (and importer) of Carignan, I've always been a grape contrarian, deeply in love with the idea, and occasionally the wine, of obscure varietals. When I was younger and more optimistic I imported both an Athiri and a Thrapsathiri, along with other Greek varietals more obscure than Aghioritiko and Xynomavro.

Just had my first Chatus, promising, may bring some in.

Several of my employees are starting to buy for the business, and for the most part I will give them free rein. However I expect to draw the line at Fer Servadou.

Thanks to Tom for the note.

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Kyle Whitney
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SBR: Godforsaken Grapes by Jason Wilson

#5 Post by Kyle Whitney » May 3rd, 2018, 2:23 am

Jason is a good writer. I recommend is book on spirits.

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Qualification....

#6 Post by TomHill » May 3rd, 2018, 7:55 am

As I've gotten deeper into Jason's book, I've become a little perplexed by his writing style.
He tends to be a bit unfocused and scatter-shot in his approach in each chapter and sometimes
wanders around in the woods, heading off on strange/unrelated tangents. I would like to see a bit
more precision & focus in his writing.
I did learn from his Prosecco chapter that I had the whole Glera/Prosecco grape controversy pretty much
wrong. Though the Veneto Prosecco people are still the bad guys.
That being said, I still find this book a very entertaining read and Jason is a good storyteller.
I guess I'd call it wine porn, if anything. When he brings up a new grape variety with which I'm not familiar,
I immediately look it up in Jancis/d'Agata for the "just the facts, Maam" part and learning a lot that way.

So....not the ideal book but still very entertaining and still highly rec ommended.
Tom

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SBR: Godforsaken Grapes by Jason Wilson

#7 Post by Steve Slatcher » May 3rd, 2018, 11:59 pm

I read this a couple of weeks ago, and Tom and I have been discussing this on WLDG. Basically I agree with Tom, but found the "scatter-shot" approach more annoying than he did. Consequently I enjoyed it less than Tom, but still do not regret buying and it.

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Brian S t o t t e r
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SBR: Godforsaken Grapes by Jason Wilson

#8 Post by Brian S t o t t e r » May 12th, 2018, 10:46 am

I’m about three chapters in now and loving it! Didn’t realize Parker had such contempt for wines made from non-“noble” grapes.
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SBR: Godforsaken Grapes by Jason Wilson...Finished

#9 Post by TomHill » February 11th, 2019, 7:58 am

TomHill wrote:
April 30th, 2018, 4:08 pm
Received my copy of this new book, Godforsaken Grapes by Jason Wilson last week. Started reading it today and wound up getting sucked in to reading for several hours, jumping around from chapter to chapter.
This is not a dry documentary book on obscure grape varietives to be used as a reference. It is written in a narrative style, much like NealRosenthal's "Reflections of a Wine Merchant" or Kermit Lynch's "Adventures Along the Wine Trail". It recounts his interactions w/ numerous people over several yrs as he tracks down obscure and not-so-obscure (like Gruner Veltliner or Blaufrankisch) varieties and the people behind making those wines. Lots of familiar names in there.
This is an entertaining and absolutely fascinating read. Especially for somebody like myself who long ago blew off the Cabernet/Chard/PinotNoir paradigm. I think even those who have no interest in these obscure grapes will also enjoy reading it.
A very highly recommended read.
Tom
After this got lost in my pile of books to read, I picked up where I left off and finished the last half in a week.

This book is a terrific read. Not a reference book on obscure grapes, but just a terrific narrative read, like KermitLynch/NeilRosenthal's books. Jason can really spin a yarn.

Of course, if you drink nothing but DRC/ScreamingEagle; this book will not interest you.

Now starting WinkLorch's book on Jura wines.

Tom

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