Last Monday, in a New York Minute

An "Oxford Companion to Win": the Gods of wine are currently smiling on me.

a companion in wine

bottlerocket wine and spiritWhen I arrived home from New York last night, I was carrying back with me a quite a haul. I scored myself an autographed Oxford Companion to Wine, 3rd edition from the Jancis Robinson, wine writer extraordinaire, in the flesh.

Jancis is one marvelous individual -- the kind of person for whom the phrase down to earth seems to be invented.

At dusk on Monday she sauntered into Bottlerocket Wine & Spirit on West 19th St, near Union Square, and proceeded to chat with the wine lovers who had flocked to the wine shop for her appearance. After a brief talk followed by a Q & A period, she took to signing copies of her big and heavy new release. It's an enormous tome and she announced that her children had christened it her fourth child. Her kids must be as sharp as she is to toss around keen analogies like finishing a book and giving birth. Too bad they were not there. Nick Lander, her husband and restaurant critic, was also absent, though in the environs on assignment.


Advice to the author-hungry at book launches like these: Always purchase the book you're taking to the signing table before you ask to have it signed. (It's poor form to get an author to deface a volume that you do not yet rightfully own.) Unfortunately, a wine-and-cheese reception like the one at Bottlerocket and an 800-page hardcover make for odd bedfellows. It's not exactly the best venue for hoisting around double-layered shopping bags that seemingly contain bowling balls.

jancis robinson oxford companion to wine signing new yorkSo it's three kilograms suspended from one hand, and it's a glass of Sauvignon Blanc in the other. You cope. You schlep. What's more is that you have to be sure to purchase your book early on. You do it especially if you don't feel like waiting in the unavoidably long signing line that snakes up to a worldly writer like Jancis Robinson (I suppose I should say wordy writer in the instance of the Oxford) who politely receives reader after gushing reader.

I say get the business part out of the way and pay for the book early on. I did and I was third in line to get my book autographed and meet the author. But that's only because I got my copy at around 6:30 pm, which was about 30 minutes ahead of the signing -- my sales receipt says so.


At precisely 6:29 pm, New York wine lovers who weren't at the launch in Chelsea were reading Basic Juice -- what else? -- which had at that moment published to the world the results from Wine Blogging Wednesday's first contest called WBW #26: Where's Wino? which I won.

Takes one to know one I guess.

Watch out Jancis here I come. (Too bad I didn't ask for an autograph made out to Winning Wino WBW #26.) Out of 19 wines from six different countries, I used tasting notes to correctly identify the provenance of 14 of them. That's 74%. Not exactly at a Master of Wine level but not bad for a boy from Niagara who had landed in the big city.

1 comment:

caveman said...

very cool.. signed and everything. It is the best book out there and mega congrats on the big win..