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By Jay McInerney

In A Hedonist within the Cellar, Jay McInerney gathers greater than 5 years’ worthy of essays and maintains his exploration of what’s new, what’s enduring, and what’s surprising–giving his palate an entire exercise session and the reader an critical, idiosyncratic consultant to an international of virtually countless variety. Filled with delights oenophiles in every single place will have fun with, this can be a assortment pushed not just by way of wine itself but in addition the folk who make it. An enjoyable, impossible to resist booklet that's crucial for a person enthralled via the myriad pleasures of wine.

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It is a sacramental beverage, a sacred and symbolic liquid. “Do this in memory of me,” Jesus said as he lifted a chalice of wine, and indeed wine can serve as a mnemonic device, a catalyst of memory. But that shouldn’t prevent us from enjoying it unself-consciously. Wine is as serious or as frivolous as we wish to make it. Like sex, it has far too often been shrouded in mystery, hemmed in by taboo, obfuscated by technical blather, and assailed by puritans, though its enjoyment is, or should be, simple, accessible, and entertaining.

Jacques and François Lurton, scions of the great Bordeaux family, have wineries on both sides of the Andes. Their Gran Araucano Sauvignon Blanc is probably Chile’s best—no surprise, since their family produces some of the finest white Bordeaux. Fortunately for the brothers, the plane trip between Santiago, Chile, and Mendoza, Argentina, is just about an hour. The low-rise, canal-laced city of Mendoza is the center of fine-wine production in Argentina. The canal system, which dates back to the original Indian inhabitants, extends throughout Mendoza Province, bringing runoff from the Andes to the orchards and vineyards of the arid region.

You can’t make Montrachet in much of California—it’s just too warm,” says David Ramey, who started making Chardonnay under his own name in 1996. ” Ramey’s recent Chardonnays exemplify the new, crisp, elegant style, although he likes to call it “retro,” since his methods are traditional and minimalist. With his wire-rim specs and salt-and-pepper hair, Ramey is pretty elegant and crisp himself, dressing with a certain minimalist, expensively casual flair, which is unusual in Napa wine cellars. He developed his winemaking chops at Chalk Hill, Simi, Matanzas Creek, and Dominus.

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