This is a book review of Mark Oldman’s Brave New World of Wine (that’s what we’ll call it.)
Chapter 14, page 100 had me at Vermentino. Actually, it had me at “Sprite-ing,” which is Mark’s method of smuggling white wine into theaters using a 20 oz. Sprite bottle. Here I thought the guy was trying to get into the Guinness Book of World Records for using the word “vinous” more frequently than a copulating rabbit (have you ever seen an adjective become a past-participle? I’m just kidding,) but in reality he was creating the most useful and irreverent wine book ever conceived.
Okay, so maybe that’s a bit of hyperbole.
No, actually, it isn’t. From providing a recipe for mixing wine and Coca-Cola, suggesting Red Vines licorice as the perfect straw from which to sup Cabernet Sauvignon, to prescribing PHBR (Pre-Hotel-Bubbly-Run) as the best way to avoid obscene hotel up-charges, there’s one thing that is overwhelming obvious about Brave New World of Wine: wine is meant to get you crunk.
But not crunked in a “I just polished a bottle of Mad Dog with a PBR chaser” kinda way. Crunked as in, “I just found this sick bottle of Aglianico, let’s sneak it into Jackass 3D!”
What I mean is that this book is about enjoying good wine, and enjoying it unabashedly well. It’s a book for the “intermediate wine drinker,” like Joe Roberts of 1 Wine Dude pointed out in his recent interview of Mark Oldman, leading you to Wine Snob favs like Moschofilero or Nero D’Avola and telling you, “This wine is your oyster, go get that damn pearl.”
Brave New World of Wine is Mark’s exploration of 46 different varietals and styles of wine in a florid prose that you either love or hate, but either way you stand in awe at his devotion to and knowledge of all things…vinous. Included along the 283 page journey are comments from the Bravehearts—146 diversely different “wine-passionate luminaries” from Chicago’s own Brian Duncan of BIN 36 to Dr. Sanjay Gupta—taking you by the hand through this heretical, but wholly educational journey.
If reading this book doesn’t utterly consume you with lust for fine wine, you should probably choose another adult beverage to imbibe. I hear Armagnac is blowing up these days.
Drink bravely, old boy…for nothing is so dear and precious as time. – François Rabelais
*A copy of this book was provided as a media sample.