A great read: Terry Theise, ‘Reading Between the Wines’

I’ve written about Terry Theise before, and I will write about him again. What I really wish is that I could write as well as him.

I’d been enjoying his annual opuses for the trade on German wine for years, so it was a special delight when “Reading Between the Wines” (University of California Press, $17.95) hit the local shelves.

This book is soaked with the infectious personality and incisive perspective that make Theise such a great wine buyer (not to mention wine-consuming companion).

Bouncing between the metaphysical and the very physical (Germany’s über-steep vineyards), Theise’s prose gushes with enthusiasm, wit and wisdom. A representative example:

“The bouquet of this wine was a force of spirit. If truffles had orgasms, they might emit this fragrance. Soy, sandlewood, shiitake, you know: Burgundy … The wine smelled like the sweetness of the country, like the redeeming kindness of people.”

It would be easy to say that this soulful work is not for the wine novice. Balderdash. It not only demystifies wine, it consistently shows how we can and should love wine, and life its own self — almost as much as Theise does.

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