A couple summers ago, a close friend of mine who works at Penguin Publishing House was reviewing some pre-released books. One of them happened to be Cork Dork by Bianca Bosker, and my friend immediately insisted I read it. She told me, in short, that it was about a woman quitting her job to become a sommelier. At the time, my interest in formally studying wine was still just a budding thought, but I heeded her recommendation and bought the book the day it was released.
It quickly became one of my all-time favorite reads.
I think a lot of people, understandably, categorize wine and wine tasting as pretentious, elitist nonsense – and despite my own genuine fascination with wine, I honestly wondered how much of it was genuine myself.
Bianca Bosker felt the same way. As a successful journalist, she decided to take a hiatus from her to dedicate an entire year to becoming a Master Sommelier. Her goal was to figure out how much of this revered title was based on true skill versus pretension. She started as a complete novice who rarely drank wine, and interviewed experts in fields of food, wine, chemistry, and psychology to really unpack the reality of a sommelier’s skillset.
Whether you’re already deep into the wine world or don’t even know Pinot Noir from Pinot Grigio, Cork Dork is as entertaining as it is enlightening.
The quote that follows is perhaps my favorite from the entire book. Bianca reflects on her mentor’s definition of what makes a good wine: that one sip leads to another sip. Her thoughts:
Cork Dork clears up countless misconceptions about wine, and demonstrates that it is indeed a skill, and does not need to be pretentious in the way many make it out to be, for the sake of enhancing their own status. Wine is first and foremost about food, flavor, and friends – not fortune and fame.
I hope this post gives you a decent taste for what you can expect from Bianca’s journey through the world of wine, and I cannot recommend this book enough – you can order it here from Amazon, or go to the bookstore and check it out. If you have already read this one, let me know in the comments some of your favorite quotes, or if you’ve decided to add it to your must-read list!