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Inspiring Thirst: Vintage Selections From the Kermit Lynch Wine Brochure 

Intelligent, mouthwatering excerpts from Lynch's wine catalogs

Wednesday, Jan 26 2005
By Kermit Lynch

Ten Speed (2005), $40

A worthy follow-up to Lynch's irresistible, highly readable, picaresque Adventures on the Wine Route: A Wine Buyer's Tour of France, this beautifully produced volume (on heavy paper, profusely and stylishly illustrated with black-and-white photos) is for the strong of heart, because it anthologizes excerpts from Lynch's wine catalogs, written between 1974 and 2003, designed to elicit both thirst and purchase. To that end, the intelligent descriptions, though nicely terse, are mouthwatering, and the prices, especially at the beginning, are heartbreaking. (A 1961 Grand Cru Burgundy for $14.95 in 1974? A mixed case of 1959 German Rieslings, in 1976, for $135?) Tucked in among the selling points are graceful little essays about serving red Burgundy at cellar temperature, sediment, and what Lynch terms "vintage chart maniacs"; musings on wine suggestions for Elvis and Nixon; and reminiscences about great meals, sometimes with recipes. It's not going too far to say, as his publishers do, that "Kermit Lynch has changed the way Americans drink wine and the way the French make it." You can get on Lynch's mailing list by calling (510) 524-1524 and try some of his wines, or, a plus for local readers, join him at the annual feast staged with Alice Waters in honor of Provence that he holds in his Berkeley store's parking lot every September, a garlicky description of which closes out these pages. Let the Domaine Tempier Bandol rosé flow!

About The Author

Meredith Brody


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