Bacchus & Me: Adventures in the Wine Cellar, by Jay...

Editor's Choice

April 07, 2002|By Michael Pakenham

Bacchus & Me: Adventures in the Wine Cellar, by Jay McInerney (Vintage paperback, 278 pages, $13).

For a dozen years in the 1970s and 1980s, I wrote a weekly newspaper column on wine while earning an honest living editing editorial pages and opinion columns. It began largely because in the early 1970s my fellow editors at The Philadelphia Inquirer and I could not find a syndicated column that we trusted. Already a serious enthusiast, I learned a lot, had a great deal of fun and continued to find that though there was a swiftly increasing tribe of wine writers, few of them offered much in the way of delight. When I stopped the column, my interest went on, but I ceased reading much about the fancy. Thus it is with both joy and astonishment that I discover Jay McInerney's 2-year-old collection of columns from House & Garden, which sought him out to write about wine in the mid-1990s. His prose is delightful and crystal-clean; his judgment and knowledge are impressive. The best writing about wine I have read since I stopped doing it myself.

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