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Friday, 20 April 2012 13:41

Thirsty Work

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Thirsty Work

by Matt Skinner

 

Running Press Book Publishers

Philadelphia, PA 2005

ISBN: 0762425334

175 pages soft cover $24.95

 

 ThirstyWorkMatt Skinner packs a lot of solid wine information into this breezy effort. Though it may target the novice, Thirsty Work is enjoyable reading for the knowledgeable wine buff, too. Though young, the writer seems to know his stuff and has obvious passion for the subject.

The author is Australian. Occasionally there are comments Americans might find unfamiliar. But you don't have to have eaten Vegemite as a child to understand that it may be to an Aussie kid what peanut butter is to his American counterpart. Nor must you know much about someone named Kylie who's referenced in a section describing the texture and body of wine to appreciate the point. Wine is pretty much universal and Matt Skinner's lively writing, however accented, is easy to understand.

Chris Terry's many photographs illustrate and amplify the text. There's not a question of their artistic merit, but most affecting are those informal portraits of the “real people” whose efforts are essential to taking fruit in the vineyard all the way to the customer's glass.

For fledgling American consumers who may have had too much exposure to too few varieties, Thirsty Work provides a picture window to the world beyond Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. Just enough—but not too much—information is delivered to the reader about other grapes, their characteristics and where they come from.

Reading Thirsty Work isn't really work at all. It's fun and the book is one of those you're kind of sad to finish. It's a great gift for someone beginning his understanding and enjoyment of wine.

 

--reviewed by Dan Clarke