Sunday, May 6, 2012

?How Could He Possibly Have a Nose Left??

Now he is 57, and his wine life involves winning James Beard awards, writing a column in the Wall Street Journal, collecting 4,000 bottles at his house on Long Island, and calling the urge to collect a sickness. He is America?s leading literary oenographer, a non-snob whose prose benefits from an insouciant skepticism about the conventional wisdom of the Robert Parkers of the world?and a generous expense account. He has a special privileged disdain for the moneymen who jump into the game by playing with $400 bottles: ?If you helicopter to the base of Everest, you miss a lot of the climb.? And it says something about his taste that while he is sober-minded on the matter of drinking itself, he is intemperate, sometimes delightfully so, about the other elements of his hobby?about the pursuit, the possession, the scent of the soil, the myth of the grape, the search for lost time.

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