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Cork Dork: A Wine-Fuelled Journey into the Art of Sommeliers and the Science of Taste

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This relatively small quibble aside, I am surprised at how much I enjoyed this book, and how much it’s made me want to give wine a chance.

Do ignore the subtitle, which is filled with about as many additives as your average plonk, and every bit as cloying. In the op-ed, Bosker attacked one of the sacred cows of the wine industry – the idea that the fewer chemicals you add to your wine, the better. In this delightfully written and keenly observed book, Bianca Bosker helps us become connoisseurs not only of wine but also of people whose passions would more aptly be described as obsessions. One red and one white, both of which are from vineyards that I have had the pleasure of visiting and learning from the experts that run them.Between her hilarious exploits and thoughtful meditations on wine and life, you’ll want to stay for just one more.

I don’t need to provide the answer to this question, because why don’t we have some goddamn mystery left in the world?Despite its failure to demystify wine, it’s impossible to read Cork Dork without learning a whole lot about wine, and wanting to learn much, much more; it is therefore a huge accomplishment. Whether you are an inspiring wine dork, just wanting to learn the basics, or a veteran looking for a rare find, there are no wrong answers when tasting wine. One of them happened to be Cork Dork by Bianca Bosker, and my friend immediately insisted I read it. Despite the populism of the op-ed, Cork Dork’s focus on the most elite sommeliers and their rituals might just make wine more intimidating than ever. The new controversial practice of creating whatever type of wine you want in a factory, including being able to replicate some very expensive wines.

So, she quit her reliable job in journalism, and she spent her mornings tasting and her afternoons hungover. The resulting book is a delightful blend of science, memoir and encounters with people who are deadly serious about wine. What I find very troublesome about that is, this is a language that we’re trying to use to make wine lovers out of people who are merely wine curious,” she explained. With boundless curiosity, humor, and a healthy dose of skepticism, Bosker takes the reader inside underground tasting groups, exclusive New York City restaurants, California mass-market wine factories, and even a neuroscientist’s fMRI machine as she attempts to answer the most nagging question of all: what’s the big deal about wine?Bosker also examines the relationship between the critics and the wine industry, and the impact that their ratings and reviews can have on a wine's success. She also set her sights on an ambitious goal: passing the Certified Sommelier Exam, the industry standard for becoming a respected sommelier.

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