Godforsaken Grapes: A Slightly Tipsy Journey through the World of Strange, Obscure, and Underappreciated Wine (Hardcover)
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There are nearly 1,400 known varieties of wine grapes in the world—from altesse to zierfandler—but 80 percent of the wine we drink is made from only 20 grapes. In Godforsaken Grapes, Jason Wilson looks at how that came to be and embarks on a journey to discover what we miss.
Stemming from his own growing obsession, Wilson moves far beyond the “noble grapes,” hunting down obscure and underappreciated wines from Switzerland, Austria, Portugal, France, Italy, the United States, and beyond. In the process, he looks at why these wines fell out of favor (or never gained it in the first place), what it means to be obscure, and how geopolitics, economics, and fashion have changed what we drink. A combination of travel memoir and epicurean adventure, Godforsaken Grapes is an entertaining love letter to wine.
About the Author
Jason Wilson is an award-winning journalist and the author of Boozehound and Godforsaken Grapes. The series editor for Best American Travel Writing since its inception in 2000, Wilson has also written for the Washington Post, the New York Times, The New Yorker, and many others. He lives in the Philadelphia suburbs.
"One of the Five Best Wine Books of the Year"
— The New York Times
"One of the Ten Best Books About Food of 2018"
— Smithsonian Magazine
"Wilson’s signature wit and wisdom returns as he recounts the travel shenanigans that lead him around the world in a rabbit hunt for these obscure and under-the-radar wines. You’ll walk away with a better understanding of the wine industry and an itch to book a ticket to destinations you’ve never heard of before."
— Imbibe Magazine
“Funny, enlightening [and] prodigiously researched.”
— San Francisco Chronicle
“Part travelogue and part journey to realize his own taste preferences, Wilson offers a spirited, highly personal argument for drinking more adventurously.”
“Godforsaken Grapes will be sure to amuse the adventurous wine lover in your life, and perhaps also inspire them to raise a glass of Mondeuse Noire.”
“I can’t decide whether Jason Wilson’s Godforsaken Grapes is more edifying or more entertaining, with more wit or more wisdom. Either way, it’s a delightful dive into more esoteric grapes, and especially timely given that local importer/distributors have started bringing the likes of rkatsiteli and chasselas to this market.”
— Minneapolis Star-Tribune
"This wonderful book is about so much more than wine. It's also about taste, and aging, and history, and travel, and culture. Above all else, Jason Wilson's Godforsaken Grapes will make you want to live more adventurously and drink more curiously—and never order another pinot noir again."
— Tom Bissell
"Armed with an archeologist's fanatical determination, a traveler’s deep curiosity, and an encyclopedic knowledge of his subject, Jason Wilson takes a deep dive into the world of rare wines. Original, obsessive, and wildly insightful. Drink it down!"
— Andrew McCarthy