Wine and literature: Académie du Vin Library
Author: George Turner
George Turner is the Assistant Shop Manager at our London Shop at 63 Pall Mall. Here, he provides inspiration for lovers of wine and literature, explaining how the Académie du Vin Library opens the door to a range of fascinating wine topics.
The most apt comparison I have found for wine is literature. Writing, like wine, takes time and passion for the craft. The winemaker is the author, their wines are the books we read, and vintages are chapters we drink. While we can see their distinctive style and influence throughout, each chapter tells us something new, leading us on a journey that hopefully will never end – or at least until the bottle does.
Académie du Vin Library is an imprint and publisher marrying my two great loves: wine and literature. Its carefully curated library is designed to help you find topics that will fascinate you – whether it be from the lesser-read pages of their ‘Classic’ range where you’ll find knowledge and wisdom of ages past, or from their ‘New’ titles, which provide background and insight into vibrant wine producers and styles. All the titles are there to help you understand your experiences and interactions with every sip of wine you take from then on
Discovery through literature
If it weren’t for wine literature, I would be blind to the beguilement of Sherry. During my studies as an undergraduate in Viticulture and Oenology, it was a bright orange book with the Académie du Vin Library imprint that lifted the veil to this fascinating world. Sherry: Maligned, Misunderstood, Magnificent by Ben Howkins brings light to a misunderstood and esoteric wine.
This immensely readable book painted a fascinating history I did not know existed and gave me the tools to navigate what is a confusing wine category. Finally, I came to understand that once you see what incredible value you find for such complexity in a single glass, you will never want to put it down.
Taking the time to read
Especially now that we have all found ourselves with more time on our hands, and undoubtedly a few more glasses of something delicious to ensure an amicable passing of said time, I have found myself joyfully engrossed in reading far more than I am usually able.
My suggestion would be to use this time to your advantage. Do not just wonder if you like what you’re tasting – understand why. Learn how to get more out of each glass, and when (fingers crossed) we can go out to dinner again, feel more confident when given a glass of wine. Be delighted by the wines you choose, not nervous that you have picked the wrong thing.
So, whether for yourself or as a gift, I suggest perusing through the Académie du Vin Library and picking out something like Michael Broadbent’s Wine Tasting, Commemorative Edition as this would be an ideal companion as you begin this journey of discovery. Or, when we’re open again, come into the London Shop at 63 Pall Mall, and I would be delighted to help you choose something.