Book Review: Desert Island Wine by Miles Lambert-Gocs

If you are an author and would like to have your book reviewed on this blog, please email Becca at becca@academicwino.com/.  I’m interested in all genres of books, however with the one stipulation that they be tied to wine in some way, shape, or form. 

Desert Island Wineby Miles Lambert-Gócs is not your typical wine book.  This is not the kind of book where you should sit down and read from the beginning to the end.  In fact, Lambert-Gócs encouraged me to read Chapter 1 first, then skip to Chapter 28, then read in whatever order I’d like.  To be completely honest, I had a little trouble doing this, since I prefer to read things in order.

The book is a collection of 28 short stories, if you will, that are humorous in nature, and are designed to be picked up and read when the mood for something not so serious and related to wine.  From an entertaining CNN interview with the god of wine, Dionysus, to a “recently discovered, previously unknown dialogue of Plato, this book is sure to humor both wine experts and wine novices, alike.  However, I must warn you, if you’re not up to snuff on your Greek mythology, you may be a bit lost at first.  I suggest if you run into a name you’re not familiar with, quickly look it up, or else some of the subtle humor may be lost on you (I can tell you from experience).

The fictional stories contained within the book are all over the map (on purpose), so reading with the intent of flowing from one chapter to another isn’t going to work for you.  One chapter will be discussing the “dark side of wine complexity”, then jump straight into the obituary of a “non-conformist wine pundit”, only to be immediately followed by mid-21st century news reports covering 21st century neo-prohibitionism.

One of my personal favorite chapters in the book came near the end with Chapter 27: Wine’s Eye View.  This silly chapter gives a laugh-out-loud commentary of the life of a wine bottle in the cellar of a wine shop, and what is going through its “mind” during a tasting.  The bottle appears to become increasing irritated with the decision to pull it up from the cellar for a tasting and at one point says;

“You’d better lap me up.  And make the most of me, too, while you’re at it.  You could at least pretend you are capable of enjoying me.  No wonder you don’t get any dates and end up spending Friday nights in mortuaries like this.”

The bonus 29th chapter gives a nonfictional account of the Greek origins of Cabernet Sauvignon, with great detail focused on the grape of which this variety was descended.

The Table of Contents is helpful in that it gives a short description of each chapter listed, which is very helpful in pinpointing the reader to the best chapter for his or her mood that particular moment.

Overall, this is a great entertaining little book for those that enjoy reading a short story here and there.  If you’re looking for a one-story sort of novel, this isn’t the right book for you.  

If you enjoy wine, and you enjoy short stories and anecdotes, I recommend picking up a copy of Desert Island Wine by Miles Lambert-Gócs today, which you may do by clicking on the image you see below.

A big “thank you” goes out to the author,  Miles Lambert-Gócs, for sending me a copy of this book to read and to keep for my personal collection.

2 comments for “Book Review: Desert Island Wine by Miles Lambert-Gocs

  1. Wineknurd
    March 13, 2012 at 1:03 am

    Hey Becca,

    Looks interesting, I might have to check this out. Where did you get it (amazon, b&n, etc)

  2. March 13, 2012 at 1:42 am

    To tell you the truth, the copy I have was gifted to me by the author. However, when it comes to buying books otherwise, I'm a total Amazon snob. Here's the link on Amazon to the book for your convenience: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1934259012/ref=a

    Let me know if you end up getting it and what you think about it!

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