donderdag 28 november 2013

Pinot Noir: The New Zealand Story - John Saker (Boek)

Pinot Noir is a phenomenon - a global cult has developed around it over the last couple of decades - perhaps because its personality is hard to pin down. Often described as an iron fist in a velvet glove, its contradictions evoke a great deal of discussion, debate and passion.
Cult membership rose steeply in the wake of the hit movie Sideways, released in 2004. The obsession of the film's hopelessly Pinot-struck leading male, Miles, rubbed off on cinema audiences everywhere, inducing an upward swing in demand that came to be known as the 'Sideways effect'. AC Neilsen reported that in the US alone, sales of Pinot Noir rose 45% during the year following the film's release.

New Zealand is now a dominant player in the Pinot Noir world, and the pace of this growth has been little short of staggering. In the space of a couple of decades the country became a South Pacific stronghold for the grape and its attendant culture. Importantly, it showed that the local industry wasn't a one-trick pony, based around Marlborough's vast holding pens of Sauvignon Blanc. Pinot Noir - Burgundy's demanding, delicate, revered red grape - has added a new layer of sophistication to New Zealand wine.
This is the story of the grape and its history in New Zealand, lavishly illustrated with beautiful photography by award-winner Aaron Mclean.

Author Biography

John Saker is the NZ wine writer for Cuisine magazine and the author of How to drink a glass of wine.

Leading New Zealand wine columnist and Cuisine regular John Saker first encountered Pinot Noir as a young man while living in France in the mid-1970s. He had heard a lot about the great Pinots of Burgundy and decided to give them a try. “I felt gypped,” he writes. “They were pallid, acidic, ungenerous wines.” Little did he know then how much the capricious, mysteriously seductive Pinot Noir would come to mean to him.

John’s sister Nicola, an early convert, rekindled his interest after his return to New Zealand. Utterly seduced, he has now written the first comprehensive book about New Zealand Pinot Noir.

Pinot Noir traces the history of the variety in New Zealand in detail, from the first recorded planting of Pinot by the Marist brothers of the early Mission Estate in 1889. Although, we learn, a Frenchman called Jean Désiré Feraud may have been the Pinot pioneer, having produced a “Burgundy Wine” in the 1870s.

John then takes us on a tour of New Zealand’s great Pinot regions, describing their origins, what makes them special and profiling his “personal selection” of key producers in each region. Written in John’s personable style, and illustrated with the atmospheric photography of Aaron McLean, Pinot Noir is a friendly, informative and insightful read. Everybody with an interest in New Zealand wine should have a copy.

Ralph Kyte-Powell

Reviewed in Cuisine Issue 143, November 2010

John Saker
John began his working life as a professional basketball player in France, which was also where he first slipped into wine's embrace.

A career in journalism veered towards wine writing almost a decade ago and he now writes regular wine columns for the Weekend Herald and BMW Magazine.

His first wine book - he promises there will be more - How To Drink A Glass of Wine, was published in 2005.

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