Gerald Asher, who served as "Gourmet's" wine editor for thirty years, has drawn together this selection of his essays, published in "Gourmet" and elsewhere, for the collective insight they give into why a wine should always be an expression of a place and a time. Guiding the reader through twenty-seven diverse wine regions in France, Italy, Spain, Germany, and California, he shows how every wine worth drinking is a reflection of its terroir - in the broadest sense of that untranslatable word. In evocative reminiscences of wines, winemakers, and the meals he has had with them, he weaves together climate, terrain, and local history, sharing his knowledge and experience so skillfully that we learn as we are entertained and come to understand, gradually, that the meaning and pleasure of a wine lie always in the context of its origin and in the concurrence of where, how, and with whom we enjoy it.
Gerald Asher is the author of The Pleasures of Wine, Vineyard Tales, Wine Journal, and On Wine. As an international wine merchant, he was decorated by the French Government in 1974 for his contribution to French viticulture, in 2001 was named Outstanding Wine Professional of the Year by the James Beard Foundation, and in 2009 was inducted into the Culinary Institute of America's Vintner's Hall of Fame.
List of Maps Introduction Part One. France Fronsac: Chalk and Clay, Legs and Thighs Vouvray: Tufa and Temperate Summers Cote Chalonnaise: Limestone Delicacy White Wines of the Southern Rhone: A Fresh Look at Old Varieties Muscadet: Ocean Breezes and Estuary Sands Saint-Emilion: A Jumble of Soils Chablis: A French Classic from Ancient Seashells The Other Medoc: Vines and Windmills Corton: Burgundy's Magic Mountain Roussillon: Sunlight in a Bottle Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume: Terres Blanches, Caillottes, and Silex Champagne: Location, Location, Location Chateau Montrose: The Essential Saint-Estephe Part Two. Other European Wine Regions Soave: Old Lava and New Politics Saar and Ruwer: Riesling, Slate, and Long Summer Days Brunello di Montalcino: Elegance from an Untamed Land Rias Baixas--Albarino: A Fragrant Wine of the Sea Vega Sicilia: A Legend at High Altitude Part Three. California Dry Creek Valley: An Easy Grace Clarksburg: The Right Grape in the Right Place Carneros: Wind, Fog, and Hardpan Santa Barbara County: A Geological Quirk Edna Valley: Marine Sediment and Volcanic Debris Lodi: Where the Pacific Meets the Sierra Nevada Mount Veeder: Vines among the Redwoods Anderson Valley: Gravel and Cobblestones in Arcadia Rutherford: The Heart of Napa Valley Index