Wednesday, July 18, 2012

M.F.K. Fisher on Wine

It had been some time since I last read anything by Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher, though several of her books are in my library.  I read them years ago, but they've been gathering dust for awhile.  Although primarily a food and travel writer she loved good wine and great martinis. Her biographer from a few years ago, Anne Zimmerman, has collected her writings on liquid subjects into the volume Musings on Wine and Other Libations

It's a different approach to wine since it's not review oriented, it's simply older essays on travels and dinners revolving around wine and ranges from Europe in the 1930's to Napa and Sonoma through the 1970's and 1980's.

There is no sense of urgency or immediacy about her writings, these essays are calm, reserved, elegant, and in soft focus.  They invoke a different place in time and have that glowing aura of old memories about them.  Time can often be a very flattering filter.

The book is a series of essays in semi-chronological order and though I read them in order, that probably isn't necessary.  Each stands on its own.  I particularly liked the second entry, Long Ago in France which covers restaurants in Dijon along with old wines and old waiters. 

This would be a perfect book for winter - sit by a window or a fireplace and disregard the outside weather.  I read it in this hot summer and it is equally good now.  It's a burgundy with some age on it, not old but showing class and elegance.  It's a treat for the mind as well as the eyes.

Published in 2012 by Sterling Epicure, New York.  $15.

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