For readers of Anthony Bourdain, Susan Orlean, and Mary Roach, a surprising, entertaining and hilarious journey through the world of wine
Like many of us, tech reporter Bianca Bosker saw wine as a way to unwind at the end of a long day, or a nice thing to have with dinner—and that was about it. Until she stumbled on an alternate universe where taste reigned supreme, a world in which people could, after a single sip of wine, identify the grape it was made from, in what year, and where it was produced—down to the exact location, within acres. Where she tasted “wine,” these people detected not only complex flavor profiles, but entire histories and geographies. Astounded by their fanatical dedication and seemingly superhuman sensory powers, Bosker abandoned her screen-centric life and set out to discover what drove their obsession, and whether she, too, could become a “cork dork.”
Thus begins a year and a half long adventure that takes the reader inside elite tasting groups, exclusive New York City restaurants, a California winery that manipulates the flavor of its bottles with ingredients like “Mega Purple,” and even a neuroscientist’s fMRI machine as Bosker attempts to answer the most nagging question of all: what’s the big deal about wine? Funny, counterintuitive, and compulsively readable, Cork Dork illuminates not only the complex web of wine production and consumption, but how tasting better can change our brains—and help us live better.
“Reading Bianca Bosker is like sitting down with a brilliant, curious friend for an after-work drink, and suddenly finding it’s midnight and the table is littered with empty bottles. Between her hilarious exploits and thoughtful meditations on wine and life, you’ll want to stay for just one more.”
–Lauren Collins, author of When In French
"In this delightfully written and keenly observed book, Bianca Bosker takes readers on a year-long romp through the realm of wine lovers, experts, cultists, sommeliers, and poseurs. Along the way, she helps us become connoisseurs not only of wine but also of people whose passions would more aptly be described as obsessions.”
–Walter Isaacson, author of The Innovators
From the Trade Paperback edition. Download and start listening now!