Bacchus & me : adventures in the wine cellar

by Jay McInerney

Paper Book, 2000




New York : Lyons Press, c2000.


'Bacchus & Me' contains 49 essays about wines, including reds, whites, dessert wines, champagnes, and aperitifs, with advice for shopping and ordering in restaurants.

User reviews

LibraryThing member BooksCatsEtc
Absolutely delightful collection of essays about wine. Made me wish I drank!
LibraryThing member RussellBittner
I must confess that I picked this book up only because I recognized the author’s name and knew that I was long overdue to read something of Jay McInerney’s. He’s a local boy – and one who enjoys a possibly worldwide reputation thanks to the likes of Bright Lights, Big City.

I read a few
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pages and decided I’d give it a go. Jay’s style, while not singular, is quite amusing. He writes like a very gifted kid, though also like one who’s not overwhelmed with his own genius (no names, please).

Since I pay my rent and my kids’ tuition with the money I make from the business Jay writes about in these pages, I suppose I know a little about the business. I also spent a decade of my “professional student” career in Europe – specifically, in Switzerland; Austria; Italy: (then) West Germany; the (then) Soviet Union; and Spain – and was able to sample a variety of Old World wines.

Just short of a year ago, I read a little thing titled Wine (All-in-One) for Dummies – yes, all 600 pages of it. And, given my employment, I probably now read a little something about wine every day.

All of that said, I can easily recommend this book, whether to the neophyte or to the experienced connoisseur, as a worthwhile read. The former will find it educational; the latter will find it, at the very least, entertaining. McInerney touches upon the history, geography and topology of the wine-making and –drinking business just enough to render the book educational – and does so in a kind of wine-spritzer style to render the subject entertaining. If you have to start anywhere in this continually evolving world of wine, this is as good a place as I can imagine to get your feet wet and your palate titillated.

If I have any criticism at all (and this frankly doesn’t count as a valid criticism, given the subject-matter and its requirements), it’s that the book seems just a tad dated. But in some sense at least, books about wine – just like books about gardening or cooking – never age out. And although this book may well be a mere collection of essays written over months or years for the likes of House & Garden, Jay McInerney’s prose doesn’t age out either. Unlike many of the wines he describes, he’s good to go – right now.

Brooklyn, NY
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