Book Review: Hungry For Wine: Seeing the World Through the Lens of a Wine Glass by Cathy Huyghe

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Photo courtesy cathyhuyghe.com

Photo courtesy cathyhuyghe.com

The book for review today is Hungry For Wine: Seeing the World Through the Lens of a Wine Glass by Cathy Huyghe (released September 30, 2015).

I was very excited to read this book, as it is written by one of my favorite wine writers, Cathy Huyghe. I met Cathy in person back in February at the Wine Writers’ Symposium in Napa and had been a reader of her column on Forbes.com for quite some time prior to that. An amazing writer and human being through and through, I couldn’t wait to read her new book, Hungry For Wine: Seeing the World Through the Lens of a Wine Glass.

Hungry For Wine: Seeing the World Through the Lens of a Wine Glass is a book ties together short stories from around the world with the central theme of “hunger for wine”, making up a virtual case of global wines tasted by Ms. Huyghe. The stories pull you in quick and keep a tight grip on you all the way to the ends of the chapters. In Ms. Huyghe’s own words:

“There’s a trajectory to the stories collected in this book about how to see the world through the lends of a wine glass. It’s organized into twelve chapters, and each chapter is focused on one bottle of wine and its particular refraction of light, so to speak, through that lens.”

This book is very much unlike most wine books you’ve read before. Each chapter takes a glimpse into the lives of people all over the world who hunger for wine in both the literal and figurative senses. In Hungry For Wine: Seeing the World Through the Lens of a Wine Glass, you’ll read stories about living your life with no regrets and having the courage to go ahead and open that wine you’ve been saving for a special occasion that, let’s face it, probably will never come. You’ll also read stories about people who live their lives struggling for survival and how their blood, sweat, and tears go into every drop of that wine you’re drinking. Further, you’ll read stories on the financial instability in Greece and how it affects the lives of those making wine in that region. Finally, you’ll find yourselves on the front line in Syria and how winemakers are able to cope and still produce their craft in a time of hardships and war.

For me, this book touches a very personal nerve with me, which is something I’ve yet to really experience to the degree to which this one did. Many books are written in such a way that the author is often able to pull you in through detailed descriptors of what’s going on and help you visualize the scene in your minds’ eye. With Hungry For Wine: Seeing the World Through the Lens of a Wine Glass, I was often able to actually put myself in many of the situations described by Cathy Huyghe because I had physically been to those places and experienced very similar things as to what she describes in the book.

Photo courtesy cathyhuyghe.com

Photo courtesy cathyhuyghe.com

Specifically, Ms. Huyghe talks a lot about her time and experiences in Boston, Massachusetts, which turned out to be very special to me as I also lived in Boston around the same time. When she talked about certain persons or places during her time in Boston, I was able to put myself in her shoes and know exactly what she was feeling or experiencing at that moment. Many times throughout the book I thought to myself “is this me?”, allowing me to reflect upon my own personal experiences, and appreciate and enjoy this book on a deeper level that I could with any other book.

My only real compliant about the book is that it’s too short! At only 130 pages, this is an incredibly fast-reading book, which leaves you “hungry” for more! It’s the perfect book for any wine lover who has a few minutes to spare for some excellent wine writing. You don’t need to read it all at once, nor do you have to read it in any particular order. Pick up the book at any place and read a chapter. Just don’t forget to pair it with a glass of wine!

To order Hungry For Wine: Seeing the World Through the Lens of a Wine Glass, see Amazon.com.