Magazine article The Spectator

BOO K E N D S One for the Road

Magazine article The Spectator

BOO K E N D S One for the Road

Article excerpt

Jay McInerney is best known for his first novel, Bright Lights, Big City (1984), which winningly combined sophistication and naivety. In The Juice (Bloomsbury, £14.99), his third collection of wine columns (most of them for Hou se & Ga rd en and the Wa l l St ree t Jou rna l), he exhibits a similar mix of qualities, contriving to be both jaded and puppyish, sometimes simultaneously, as when he boasts of his 'Bad to the Beaune' T-shirt.

Like the cha racter in the f i lm Sideways, McInerney deplore s what he ca l l s the 'r ipe , f ru ity, oaky, overmanipulated Frankenwine' that has been typical of so much New World production, and loves the subtle yet ea r thy cha rm o f pinot noi r, above a l l the sublime reds of Burgundy, which he w r ite s about w ith knowledge , pa s sion and w it .

In his keenness to escape 'the mu sty, upper-cla s s stench o f oenophilia', though, he can be exce s sively blokey. …

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