Reflections Of A Wine Merchant

reflectionsIn the late 1970s, Neal Rosenthal set out to learn everything he could about wine. He opened a small wine shop and, shortly thereafter, a wine-importing business. Today, he is one of the most successful importers of traditionally made wines crafted at limited production, family-owned vineyards in France, Italy, Switzerland and Catalonia.  His book ,“Reflections of a Wine Merchant”, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 2008, is (as described in the Publishers Weekly (starred) review: “one of the outstanding wine books of recent memory. From long experience [he] writes that wine should be first understood  as an expression of soil through fermented grape juice and begins his memoir of a tradesman’s life with a short manifesto on … terroir.  … [He] narrates [his] discoveries with … details that bring moments to vivid, sensory life. The period he chronicles was one of enormous development in wine … and he writes intelligently of the problems that came with the progress. Yet neither the trade nor this title is romantic. Rosenthal makes clear the hard, often unpleasant work of winemaking and its trade and the setbacks that are part of the process.  He has had and been responsible for countless wine-related experiences of exceptional quality; he has now provided a literary one.”