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Godforsaken Grapes

A Slightly Tipsy Journey Through the World of Strange, Obscure, and Underappreciated Wine
Narrated by: Jonathan Horvath
Length: 9 hrs and 52 mins
4 out of 5 stars (1 rating)
Non-member price: $25.36
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Publisher's Summary

There are nearly 1,400 known varieties of wine grapes in the world - from altesse to zierfandler - but 80 percent of the wine we drink is made from only 20 grapes. In Godforsaken Grapes, Jason Wilson looks at how that came to be and embarks on a journey to discover what we miss. 

Stemming from his own growing obsession, Wilson moves far beyond the “noble grapes”, hunting down obscure and underappreciated wines from Switzerland, Austria, Portugal, France, Italy, the United States, and beyond. In the process, he looks at why these wines fell out of favor (or never gained it in the first place), what it means to be obscure, and how geopolitics, economics, and fashion have changed what we drink. A combination of travel memoir and epicurean adventure, Godforsaken Grapes is an entertaining love letter to wine.

©2018 Jason Wilson (P)2018 Abrams Press

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Well written and well read, if a little meandering

Among the better wine books on audible, and I've listened to several of them. The author is likeable and a skilled writer. He's good at describing wines intricately and colourfully, without getting pompous or dry at all. The book feels as much a travelogue as a wine book, and sometimes he goes off on non-wine related tangents, like a prolonged section about blueberry risotto, for example. Other sections are also a bit undisciplined, like the Riesling section, where he hammers the same basic point (people think Riesling is too sweet, but it often isn't) for a good half hour. Overall, though, a good listen.

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  • Kate
  • 27-12-2018

An entertaining and informative listen

I'm in the wine business and I love books about wine, but a lot of times they are just not made for listening. They can be super dry--much better to read on the page. Godforsaken Grapes is definitely the exception to that. The narrator is wonderful, text is entertaining, and it is highly listenable. Learned a lot, but also just enjoyed the personal stories and the humorous flow of the book. Highly recommend!

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  • Dr. S
  • 19-12-2018

Enjoyable listen

I hesitated to order this, because I have read a lot of other books about the origin of wine and obscure grapes, but I’m happy I did. It was like traveling with the author particularly in Austria and Switzerland. The narrator did an excellent job.

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  • Buretto
  • 05-12-2018

Useful for a casual wine taster

I bought this book as a resource for investigating new wine regions for travels with my father, who is closer to being the true connoisseur. I think the book provided some good ideas for further study. The author has a personable style, though his reliance for pop culture references seems a strained effort to establish common man bona fides. And there are a lot of references to hipster sommeliers, seemingly without awareness of his own hipster-ish tendencies. But all in all, a likable trip through wines and vineyards, and assurances that you needn't be overly impressed by wine snobbery.