Godforsaken Grapes
July 13, 2019 9:45 PM - by Jason Wilson - Subscribe

There are nearly 1,400 known varieties of wine grapes in the world—from altesse to zierfandler—but 80 percent of the wine we drink is made from only 20 grapes. In Godforsaken Grapes, Jason Wilson looks at how that came to be and embarks on a journey to discover what we miss. Stemming from his own growing obsession, Wilson moves far beyond the “noble grapes,” hunting down obscure and underappreciated wines from Switzerland, Austria, Portugal, France, Italy, the United States, and beyond. In the process, he looks at why these wines fell out of favor (or never gained it in the first place), what it means to be obscure, and how geopolitics, economics, and fashion have changed what we drink. A combination of travel memoir and epicurean adventure, Godforsaken Grapes is an entertaining love letter to wine.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis (3 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
The title of this book is based on an unhinged rant by the Enfant terrible of the wine world, Robert Parker, who basically went on a tear against wine that wasn't expensive and French, calling lesser known grapes "godforsaken". Luckily, for once it seems as if the wine world is ignoring Parker's latest bullshit, and more and more rare and indigenous grapes and their wines are being re-discovered and enjoyed. Jason Wilson has written a wonderful book about his journey beyond Cabernet and Chardonnay, and gives a perspective that wine being "drinkable" is no fault. The stories and people behind these grapes are wonderfully entertaining, and will have you reaching for an affordable and interesting bottle, that would no doubt horrify Parker's particular palate.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 9:49 PM on July 13

Another great non fiction book to check out, much appreciated.
posted by gryftir at 2:54 PM on July 14 [1 favorite]

Thanks for posting this. This is one of two wine books I grabbed from the library thanks to these Fanfare threads!

I just finished the chapter on Alpine Wines. I'm really enjoying it. Will return to this once I've finished it.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 2:10 PM on September 5 [1 favorite]

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