Secrets of the Wine Whisperer, by Jerry Greenfield. Creative Book Publishers International. 313 pages. $17.95.
Mixing encyclopedic how-to with personal narrative, Fort Myers marketing guru Jerry Greenfield has written a hilarious memoir of his passion for wine. Even someone with little or no interest in wine, like myself, will find Mr. Greenfield’s grapacious journey delightful. For those who want to learn the ins (and inns) and outs of wine as delicacy, wine as hobby, wine as business, wine as investment, wine as social lubricant, wine as vocabulary builder, or wine as geography, “Secrets” is a must.
The enthralled author carefully and wittily traces the steps of his passion for vino. His breezy chapters show us a man (accompanied by his wife) learning how to educate his palate, learning how to shop, learning how to store, learning how to appreciate the connection between the liquid in the bottle and the culture and soil of its origins.
Once smitten, Mr. Greenfield and his wife heard themselves talking like this: “Well, there’s some cedar on the nose, but the first thing that hits me on the palate is the dark plum, with a little bit of eucalyptus kicking in at the finish.” He continues, “We truly deserved to be severely beaten about the head and shoulders. Some of our friends began to hate us, while others called us during office hours from a wine store, wanting to know if 1997 was a good year for Burgundy. (It wasn’t.)”
To allow yourself to be seduced by the wine muse requires that you become prepared to spend beyond your means – always. You will sign up for wine tastings large and small, praying for an opportunity to sip a bit of what you can never afford to buy. You will need to meet the vineyard owners and wine masters, as well as the renowned critics and standard bearers.
You will manipulate invitations to exclusive wine events and to the European estates at which the perfect mating of wine and (other) food is realized.
Early in your mania, you will convert a guest room to a wine storage and tasting facility. Later on, you will build a house designed to feature the spoils (not spoilage) of your ferocious collecting: the wine shrine. . .
To read the entire review, as published in the December 11, 2013 issue of the Fort Myers Florida Weekly and the December 12 Naples, Bonita Springs, and Charlotte County editions, click here Florida Weekly – Greenfield 1 and here Florida Weekly – Greenfield 2.