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eBook Let's Open a Bottle: My Journey Through the Spanish Wine Revolution download
Author: Brian Murdock
ISBN: 0974335908
Subcategory: Beverages & Wine
Pages 278 pages
Publisher Murdock Publishing Company (May 2004)
Language English
Category: Cookbooks
Rating: 4.1
Votes: 756
ePUB size: 1814 kb
FB2 size: 1435 kb
DJVU size: 1106 kb
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eBook Let's Open a Bottle: My Journey Through the Spanish Wine Revolution download

by Brian Murdock

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Discover new books on Goodreads. See if your friends have read any of Brian Murdock's books. Brian Murdock’s Followers. None yet. Brian Murdock. Brian Murdock’s books. Let's Open a Bottle: My Journey Through the Spanish Wine Revolution.

So begins Let's Open a Bottle ? an original, fascinating and humorous look at the Spanish wine revolution.

My Journey Through the Spanish Wine Revolution. Published May 2004 by Murdock Publishing Company. The genesis of this creation, this story of my discovery of the wine revolution in Spain, came about pretty much in the same way wine itself probably did: by chance.

Finally, Ana Fabiano has given us the definitive book on Rioja, one of the world s most exciting wine regions. Let's Open a Bottle: My Journey Through the Spanish Wine Revolution Paperback. Robert M. Parker Jr. - -Robert M. You won't know Rioja until you own this book! A beautiful book that s equally useful, from a master of the wines of Rioja. Co-Founder, Wine Folly Madeline Puckette -Madeline Puckette. The Wine Region of Rioja is an extraordinary book and groundbreaking addition to wine literature.

So begins Let’s Open a Bottle – an original, fascinating and humorous look at the Spanish wine revolution.

A journey through the books. Not Now. CommunitySee all.

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Spain and its wine. An English teacher and a mission.

So begins Lets Open a Bottle an original, fascinating and humorous look at the Spanish wine revolution. The author, a U.S expatriate living in Madrid for the past fifteen years, takes the reader on his personal journey to search out a three-thousand-year-old tradition undergoing a veritable turnaround of the likes never seen before. Along the way he shares with us an entertaining array of characters and scenes that represent the inseparable bond between a culture and its most venerated drink.

You will travel the diverse countryside that is the Iberian peninsula, visit all the major wine regions and many minor ones as well, and you will discover the great wines emerging from this land.

But there is more in this book for you than just Spanish wine and the revolution. You will also read about the bones beneath the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, the current state of the wild boar in Murcia, what ingredients go into the stew Cocido Madrileño, why some highways are toll roads, what tallar means in the language of Catalan, where the countrys best haunted house is, how the author nearly sold his soul to a tailor and much, much more.

Let's Open a Bottle will appeal to the wine enthusiast as well as the novice; the avid traveler or those looking to take their first adventure to Spain. Or anyone looking to read a good adventure story. This book is fun, easy to read and filled with charm and wit. Open it up and see or yourself.

"Let's Open a Bottle" is an excellent book on the Spanish wine scene. It is also a lot more than just about wine as the stories of the authur's journey through the Spanish wine countries are a lot of fun and insightful. He covers a lot of grounds including the local culture and the ambiance. Sometimes you wish he would go deeper into the many side trips he takes. Many will leave you wanting more. The wine aspect of this book is also excellent, thorough and informative. It offers excellent depth of coverage of each wine region, their characteristics, basic facts and informed opinions. There are a few minor regrets. The type font is very small and makes it a bit difficult to read. There is really no excuse for that. There are also no pictures. Some would have been nice. Lastly, this book is almost five years old. With the innovations and changes in the Spanish wine scene, this book is already beginning to be outdated. More about food would have been nice too. That aside, this book is far more readable than the more updated Spanish wine book "New Spain" and a lot more fun.
Brian Murdock style of writing is very unusual. He handles a very boring subject in a fascinating way. This book is very easy reading, down to earth, very informative and quite enjoyable. He places the reader in the middle of the story, and you walk the sites, visit the regions and taste the wines with him. I liked Lets Open a Bottle so much that I ordered his second book when I was halfway reading this one.
Let's Open a Bottle is a casual travelogue of sorts that covers all major regions of Spain, exploring the winemaking and social life of each region. It is ostensibly a guide to Spain's wine regions, but as the author, Brian Murdock states several times, he went into this not knowing much at all about the topic. He learned as he went. While at times this is charming, it also makes the book a bit difficult to read.

Normally I read through books at a prodigious rate. I get hooked into them and, with books like Harry Potter or the Da Vinci Code, finish them in an evening. I really have an interest in Spanish wines - I took Spanish in school for 6 years straight and my father spent some of his childhood in Brazil. So this was a book I was keen to read through and learn from. But for whatever reason, I kept getting slowed down by the writing and would put the book down. I'd pick it up again a few days later, eager to get back into it, and the same thing would happen. In the end it took me quite a while to get through the entire book. And what did I learn? Right now I am not looking at my notes at all, and I remember -

* Roads to beaches get very congested during vacation time
* Various relatives and kids can be alternately cranky or helpful on wine trips
* One winery was down a long, dangerous road
* One winemaker stood in his vineyards, completely happy to be doing what he was doing

Usually I'm far better at actually retaining content from books I read - so I think you can see the point here. What's funny is that at the end of the book Brian even offers a little quiz to see what you remembered - and he expects that you have forgotten everything. Well, everything except a bit he had just mentioned about a boar. But that's not how a well written book should be! Sure, you shouldn't have all of the wine regions memorized, or know exactly what comes from here. But because of the "then we went here and my kids were crying, and then we went there and the winery wasn't even open", the valuable information gets lost in there with everything else.

That's not to say that there is NOT valuable information in here. I took many pages of notes while I read the book, and I did have some nice information by the time I was done. But that could have been done up front, for us. There's no overall map of Spain and its wine regions. The table of contents just lists the names of the chapters. You get an intro, a few myths, a quick history and then you leap into "Aragon". Now you get a map of the Aragon region, but again, the information is given in a storytelling fashion, so you never really get a good overall sense of what the region's basic output is all about. In fact, in this section the author tells how he bashes friends from giving him a wine from a sub-region here, because he'd never heard of it before. I'm not sure if that is a great attitude for a wine writer to have - to pick on a region's offerings before even tasting it!

Then we move province by province across the country - or maybe around in a spiral - I'm really not sure how the given order was chosen. Sometimes you get summaries at the end of an area of what to see and do there, so it feels like a travel book. At other times it's about a specific winery. Sometimes it's mostly a rambling about what happened along the way. It's amusing because obviously the trips were not taken in the order the book is now set - sometimes there is one child, sometimes there are two.

I struggle to put a finger on just why I had a problem with the book. Maybe it was the whole way in which the writer went about describing his exploits, as he talks with chum Jose about being "raped by a tavern keeper's lusty and lonely daughter" - the "ones with big breasts". On the other hand there is the page-long complaint against Levante turning a lovely beachfront into a concrete jungle. I didn't make notes on either of those - I just now flipped randomly through the pages and stopped to see what I found. There's a lot of non-wine verbiage to weed through to get to the nuggets of information. And with how the book is laid out, it's hard to make use of the information unless you compile your own notes.

My suggestions? Start with an overall map. Have a table of contents that briefly describes each region, and keys it to that map, so you can go to the section you want. Have an intro that clearly defines the region's wines, the major wineries there. THEN go into a travelogue if you want, to talk about your fun experiences. But even so, I just don't think that the writer's writing style happens to match up with what I like to read. Again, I really love travelogues. They are some of my favorite types of reading material. But this just wasn't something I connected well with.

So how to summarize? Keep a notebook handy. Get a bottle of Spanish wine and a block of cheese. Get your own map of Spain's wine regions and lay it out as a reference. Then start in on the book. Who knows, this style may captivate you and you may read it end to end! But if not, just do a chapter a sitting. Get a bunch of knowledge on each region, and summarize it for yourself. What makes this ironic is that the writer is a teacher. In any case, when you finish, you'll have more information about Spain than you began with, and know far more about Brian's family, friends, and secret desires for plump serving wenches than you ever cared to learn!
Books on Spanish wine are difficult to find, good books on Spanish wine are rare and books such as Brian Murdock's are unique. Not only is it up-to-date and thorough but it blends a current knowledge of the Spanish wine industry with insights into Spain's history and culture. Robert Parker (aka God), the world's leading wine critic, has said of Spanish wine that,"Spain has done an outstanding job of maintaining respect for its traditions of the past and also looking forward to the future." This wine revolution is perfectly captured in Murdock's book.

However, this is not just a (well above) average reference book on Spanish wine regions and their wines. This book is far more. It is a personal journey, literally, among the highways and byways- most Spanish wineries are on byways- where the author talks to a wide cross-section of individuals involved in wine-making. This allows the reader to hear the voices of those actually making the wide variety of quality wines which Spain is now producing.

In this personal account the author's acute perceptions, deep knowledge, wit and sheer passiopn of and for Spanish wines burns through. At the end of this excellent read Murdock modestly states that he is no 'expert' but '...after a helluvah lot of work, I also should know what I am talking about.' Indeed he does.

As a wine merchant based in Spain and having visited many of the same places and tasted the same wines as the author I can bear witness to its accuracy and insight. This first-class book will appeal not only to all those who wish to explore Spanish wines but also ita charming people and rich culture.
As someone who's trying to learn more about the "wine culture" after years of clueless intrigue, I finally found the perfect source. While it primarily discusses wines from a lesser known country/producer(Spain), this book provides a firm backbone that's easily translatable across wine regions around the world. Not sure what to expect when I started, I was quickly taken by the extreme detail discussing individual wines and vineyards, and how they vary from region to region. As much as I learned about various "reds" and "whites", I received an equally thorough education on the history of each region. Humor and a lighter tone throughout make this a fun, interesting, and very informative read.