A Glass of Pinot and a Good Book
The Good Life, A Chris Garrett Novel. David G. White, Harmon and
White Publishing, Napa, CA, 272 pp, hardcover, $24.95. Available at
Amazon.com, book retailers and by phone at 707-213-1202.
What a great read for wine aficionados - a good murder mystery written
by a winemaker. The author, David G. White, graduated from the Professional
Writing Program at University of Southern California. He also
assists in winemaking at Carneros della Notte in the Napa Valley.
When winemaker Chris Garrett discovers his mentor and boss, Vic
Maranda, has drowned in a vat of fermenting wine, he immediately
rejects the idea that his death was an accident. Using his winemaking
experience to build his case and discover clues, he investigates the
murder with a friend and Deputy Sheriff, Jeff Beckwell. His search is
fraught with danger and mysterious characters, escaping death when
someone tries to run him off the road on Spring Mountain Road.
Pour a good glass of Pinot and settle in for some entertaining storytelling
sprinkled with the lexicon and life of winemaking in the Napa Valley.
Love by the Glass, Tasting Notes from a Marriage. Dorothy J.
Gaiter and John Brecher (authors of The Wall Street Journal’s
“Tastings” column. Random House Trade Paperbacks, New York,
316 pp, $12.95. This is a captivating tale of two wine lovers who
become husband and wife. Their life together is told around
events shared with wine with instructive insight into the many bottles
they have enjoyed. Beginning with André Cold Duck, which
they drank on their first date, and later through many train trips
highlighted by Taittinger Champagne, theirs is a gifted romance
that anyone who has a passion for wine can appreciate. Be forewarned
that their approach to wine is unpretentious, so if the
reader harbors any smugness about common wines, they might be
disappointed. As the book concludes, “It’s just wine. It’s not life.
It’s just a wonderful part of everyday life. Relax and enjoy it.” The
couple still writes the “Tastings” column in The Wall Street Journal
and I look forward to reading it every week.
California Wine Country, A Sunset Field Guide. Peter Fish and Sara Schneider, Sunset Books, Menlo
Park, CA, 160 pp, paperback, $19.95. This is a handy guide to each of the major California wine regions
from Mendocino in the north to Baja in the south. Each of the chapters has a short description of
the major wineries (alas, the small, appointment-only producers are omitted and the tasting room
hours of wineries listed are absent), things to do, where to eat, places to stay, and decent, although not
extensive maps of the winery locations. It is written primarily for newbies to wine touring, but it has
something for everyone and fits neatly into your auto’s glove compartment.