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Reading between the Wines, With a New Preface

Terry Theise (Author)

Available worldwide

Paperback, 208 pages
ISBN: 9780520271494
September 2011
$24.95, £20.00
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Acclaimed importer and wine guru Terry Theise, long known for his top-notch portfolio and his illustrious writing, now offers this opinionated, idiosyncratic, and beautifully written testament to wine. What constitutes beauty in wine, and how do we appreciate it? What role does wine play in a soulful, sensual life? Can wines of place survive in a world of globalized styles and 100-point scoring systems? In his highly approachable style, Theise describes how wine can be a portal to aesthetic, emotional, even mystical experience—and he frankly asserts that these experiences are most likely to be inspired by wines from artisan producers.
Terry Theise, winner of the James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional, is an importer of boutique wines from Germany, Austria, and Champagne. His articles have appeared in The World of Fine Wine magazine. He was Wine & Spirits magazine’s Man of the Year in 2001 and Food and Wine magazine’s Importer of the Year in 2006.
“As thoughtful of a rumination on wine and the beauty of being human, in all of our fragility, that you are ever likely to find in a wine book or any book for that matter. Theise shepherds us down a meandering path of enlightenment that encompasses a practical and metaphysical take on understanding our palates, a highly subjective take on the world of wine including a set of principles for what matters in vino, an assault against the dumbing down of wine, a parenthetical reference that lasts nearly 30 pages, a vivisection of sacred cows like points scoring, a carving of his Mount Rushmore of wine varietals and a discrete tour of his portfolio of wine via anecdotes.”—Forbes
“A consequential book, rich in ideas and powerful in feeling.”—New York Times
"I read it almost in one gulp: he writes beautifully, uninhibitedly... almost, one might say, drunkenly... a man after my own heart."—-Hugh Johnson
“Wise and funny, committed and sincere, but never dogmatic. . . .A passionate defense of the importance of wine.”—The World Of Fine Wine
“Theise first demystifies how to experience wine, then remystifies it by reinstating pleasure as what it’s all about.” STARRED REVIEW—Library Journal
“This discussion is general enough that every degree of wine aficionado, from the casual to the deadly serious, can find something of interest.”—Bob Walch
“A wine book that's so stunning, your glass will never look the same.”—Serious Eats / Pithy & Cleaver
“Might contain the year's most literate wine writing. Theise, well-known for his lyrical wordsmithing, avoids the usual memoir take and instead pens a rhapsody to the wines he loves, and to the very beauty of wine itself.”—SF Chronicle
“It's not even wine that Theise is really tackling. It's aesthetics. As such he skillfully reminds us of wine's timeless place in culture.”—SF Chronicle
“Should be required reading for wine aficionados and also for newcomers who might not yet have put voice to their appetites for new and interesting wines. “—Washington Post
“Thiese is a man I’d like to drink with. Any wine. “—Bloomberg News
“A small and intensely personal book, almost a love letter to the appreciation of wine. His thoughtful takes on wine tasting and wine scores are worth the price of the book. Although I've read it several times, it still sits on my nightstand, and I find myself reaching for it to reread favorite passages.”—Charlotte Observer
“He's a lucid, passionate, and philosophical missionary evangelizing about artisanal wine. . . Amanual of wisdom about why wine is meaningful. “—Chow
“A broad, insistent and eloquent meditation on wine in general and why it matters. ‘Passion” is one of the world’s most overused words, ‘commonsense” is unfortunately not, but both apply equally here. . . . Not many wine books make you think, or laugh out loud; this does both.”—Decanter
“The most uplifting wine book of the year. . . It is certainly unusual and significant to find a book that is so dedicated to the purity of wine appreciation.”—Financial Times
“In this inspiring and superbly written book, acclaimed importer Terry Theise muses on what constitutes beauty in wine and how to best appreciate it.”—Fine Cooking
“In this inspiring and superbly written book, acclaimed importer Terry Theise muses on what constitutes beauty in wine and how best to appreciate it. “—Fine Cooking
“An instant classic and rightful companion to what is now a holy trinity of modern wine books.”—Good Grape
“A terrific read, between the wines, so to speak, and one of the books of the season.“—Paul O’Doherty
“Savvy wine drinkers should savor Theise's essays as a voice of passion and reason.”—Pittsburgh Tribune Review
“We've previously looked at importer Terry Theise's ‘Reading Between the Vines,’ which brings his fractal, florid prose about wine's essence into long form. What's noteworthy about the paperback edition is Theise's new foreword, which occupies itself with the soulfulness of loving wine. In a mere 11 pages, he wipes away all the artifice of quantifying the stuff and putting it in little boxes. It's just the thing for a long holiday plane flight.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“A thoughtful and reflective memoir by one of the wine world's top gurus.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“For someone with a true passion for wine, Theise's book is an affirmation and a joy to read.”—San Jose Mercury News
“I plan to reread it at least once a year to remind me of what wine is really all about. And because it's for the nascent wine geek in all of us, this is my wine book of the year. “—Santa Barbara News-Press
“For years, importer Terry Theise has written catalogs that are impassioned manifestos for the sort of wines he admires, notably grower Champagnes and German rieslings. This is his first book, and it packs all that passion and opinion into a wide-ranging look at the beauty and aesthetics of wine”—Seattle Times
“A beautiful collection of importer Terry Theise's thoughts on wine. . . It's so poetic we couldn't help reading parts of it out loud.”—Serious Eats / Pithy & Cleaver
“This book, then, does more to elucidate what’s so important about wine better than any other I’ve read in recent memory. It’s an affecting, thoughtful, and often beautiful exploration of why wine (or, more specifically, what Theise would call true wine) matters as much as it does. The world needs books like this as much as it needs the wines that Theise cares so deeply about, and has worked so hard to introduce to all of us.”—Brian Freedman The Food, Drink, & Travel Report
“The book is a compelling read.. . . It draws you in as a thinker, makes you wonder and even compels you to argue back at times.”—The Kitchn
“Terry Theise isn’t just an acclaimed importer of Teutonic wines and French Champagnes. He’s a philosopher, a dreamer and an inspiring writer whose catalogs have a following among lovers of the written word. . . . ‘Reading Between the Wines’ is a chance to wallow in Theise’s delicious world, a place in which the love of wine is both cerebral and profoundly intimate.”—The Oregonian
“Overall, Reading between the Vines is a humane work, one that allows moments of warm and gentle pathos from Theise's wine-life to come to the surface. There are few wine books that can induce me to laugh out loud, and there are fewer still that display the level of connectedness - one of Theise's words - required to bring a tear to the corner of the eye. And yet this book achieved both. It comes with a recommendation as heartfelt as the prose within.”—Chris Kissack
“For me, Terry Theise's "Reading Between the Wines" is the Wine Book of the Year. Its sphere is not wine journalism but wine literature.”—Howard Goldberg Twitter
“Terry Theise, perhaps more than any other person, knows how to convey in words just how magical wine can be, and the world needs more of that.”—Vinography
“A beautifully written book on wine and the families that make it. . . . It deserves a place in every serious wine library.”—Charles Lewis
“‘Reading Between the Wines,’ is less about [Theise’s]discoveries and his adventures with growers than it is about wine itself. How should wine be tasted? How should it be described? Appreciated? Mr. Theise is articulate and impassioned on such topics. . . . Even at his most intransigent, he remains himself quite charming, especially when he readily admits that his judgments have not always been right, something wine writers and wine merchants rarely do.”—Wall Street Journal
“IF THERE WERE a wine-world hierarchy of hipness, as unlikely as that concept may seem, Terry Theise would sit near the pinnacle. You've probably never heard of him, but wine writers, sommeliers and chefs tend to speak about Mr. Theise the way middle-age rock fans talk about Radiohead. . . . Mr. Theise's mystique is only enhanced by the fact that he's known as the champion of German Riesling, a category that remains chronically unpopular with the average American wine drinker despite the exhortations of wine pros.”—Jay McInerney Wall Street Journal
“Theise’s delightful, personal and rich journey has lessons for all who appreciate wines of place. It’s likely to open a reader’s mind to novel ways of thinking about, examining and describing wine, and anyone remaining unsure that some wines are more than the sum of their individual parts should read this book.”—Winewisdom
“ Accolades should be dealt to University of California Press, who decided that Terry Theise's book, Reading Between the Wines was worthy of their effort. Think of it; in today's give -them- the- points culture, UCP had the belief and the courage to publish a book that did not follow a straight line. As someone who can't find the straight path even if she had a magnifying glass or a seeing eye dog, this feels like a lifeline. The book is meandering, heartfelt, cogent. Ideas froth over fancifully, artfully, unheard of in our climate of sucking up to celebrity or the deity of the next wine guide. The volume could be called, Why Thought Matters, but Wine works just as well.”—
“An eccentric mix of earnest, homespun philosophy and well-informed opinions.”—Stuart George
"There is only one reason that the American wine enthusiast is now completely enamored with German and Austrian wines: Terry Theise! This glorious book not only brilliantly showcases one man's love affair with all the beauties that can flow from the bottle, it definitively makes the case for the wines that are the most superbly suited to be served with food."—Chef Charlie Trotter

"Terry Theise's humane, subtle and engaging book illustrates the superiority of wisdom to mere knowledge. Read and be richer."—Andrew Jefford, columnist for Decanter and The World of Fine Wine

"Impassioned, insistent, and inimitable, Terry Theise is America's foremost wine philosopher. Lots of writers can explain the "what" of wine. Terry, uniquely, inspires us with the 'why'. I devoured Reading Between the Wines; it's the single best book I've ever read on why wine matters."—Karen MacNeil, author of The Wine Bible

"If you think you know something about wine, try Terry Theise's Reading Between the Wines because until you do, you haven't really started."—Tom Stevenson, author of Sotheby's Wine Encyclopedia

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