Thursday, August 23, 2007

Delicious Reading Review #1 - I Am Now a Mondavi Groupie

The House of Mondavi: The Rise and Fall of an American Wine Dynasty, by Julia Flynn Siler

Admittedly a relative novice in the wine world, having only been in the business for about five years, I did not know a lot about the Robert Mondavi Winery. I'd always thought of them as mass-produced supermarket wines, and although I had some sense in the back of my mind that they were a bigger deal than that, I really had no understanding of the history. So when I caught wind of The House of Mondavi earlier this summer, I figured it was my duty as a baby in the biz to see what all of the Mondavi fuss was about. The daunting four hundred page hardback sat on my shelf for a few weeks before I broke the back, expecting to merely trudge through and learn a little something.

Um, holy crap.

Brother against brother, mother against sons, friends against friends - my jaw literally dropped several times while I flew through this captivating book in a little over a week. Siler chronicles the soap opera-ish history of the Mondavi wine empire from a completely neutral standpoint, leaving the reader to take their own sides based on which family member they relate to more and pass their own judgement on how certain events went down.

This book is both informative and compelling, and I'm actually disappointed to be finished with it. I am left hungry for more information on the Mondavi family, daydreaming of my next visit to Napa so that I can pass under the famous arch and take a tour of the Oakville winery myself - something I would have considered myself too sophisticated to do before taking this literary journey. Hell, maybe I'll even pick up some Woodbridge Chardonnay to drink with dinner tonight.

Ok... maybe not. But I do highly recommend the book to anyone with even a smidgen of interest in the California wine industry, or just loves some good 'ole family drama.


Anonymous Pete the sicilian said...

you compelled me I just ordered this book on Ebay. Go Mondavi!!

6:32 PM  
Anonymous Natalie MacLean said...

Great review Erin! I'm in the middle of this book and enjoying it.

Thanks for advertising my book on your site :)


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