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The World in a Wineglass

The Insider's Guide to Artisanal, Sustainable, Extraordinary Wines to Drink Now


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About The Book

Food & Wine editor Ray Isle does for wine what Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma did for food—showing readers how to choose more delicious, interesting, and environmentally friendly wines without breaking the bank.

So much of today’s wine is mass-produced, industrially farmed, corporate-owned, and essentially, ordinary. In The World in a Wineglass, veteran wine writer Ray Isle explains that the way a wine is made, and who made it, can make a huge difference when you drink it—and why that information matters much more than knowing it scored 90 points. Or that it tastes like blueberries. Or “hints of violets and black pepper.”

Drawing on his deep knowledge and genuine appreciation of winemaking, Isle takes us on a tour of several hundred independently owned wineries around the world—everywhere from France’s Burgundy to Oregon’s Willamette Valley to the Itata Valley in the southern reaches of Chile—bringing the local vintners to life and describing the different wines they produce in vivid detail. Isle’s enthusiasm for the grape growers and winemakers who are working sustainably or organically shines through as he shares his love for the way a glass of wine can express the place it comes from and capture the essence of the person who made it. Focusing on wines people can afford, rather than $500 rarities, Isle shows us where and how to find the most interesting bottles out there today.

Whether you prefer a hearty cabernet, a crisp chardonnay, or something more off the beaten path, Ray Isle’s affable, accessible guide to finding unusual or undiscovered varieties offers a window into a whole new fascinating world for wine lovers everywhere.

About The Author

©Marc Fiorito

Ray Isle is the longtime executive wine editor for Food & Wine as well as the wine and spirits editor for Travel + Leisure. He writes Food & Wine’s monthly “What to Drink Next” column as well as regular feature articles for Food & Wine and Travel + Leisure’s print issues. His writing has appeared in Departures, Wine & Spirits, Time, The Washington Post, and many other national publications. He has won the IACP award for narrative beverage writing three times, the American Food Journalists award for beverage writing, and the North American Travel Journalists Association gold award, and has been nominated three times for a James Beard Award in beverage writing. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Scribner (November 14, 2023)
  • Length: 720 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781982182786

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Raves and Reviews

“Isle’s writing is poetic but never precious, and he focuses on vintners as people, showing how their personalities joyfully come through in their wines. For the one-third of Americans who consume wine regularly, Isle offers helpful direction on how to choose bottles thoughtfully.” Booklist

“Isle’s lively guide will help you find delicious, environmentally friendly offerings for the holiday season and beyond.” People

“Ray Isle is not only one of the most knowledgeable guys in the wine world, but he also has the taste and discrimination to steer us towards the very best producers of the Old World and the New World—specifically those who are producing distinctive, value-driven, exciting, and environmentally sensitive wines that transmit their place of origin. This is one of the most useful and elegantly written wine books to come along in years.” —Jay McInerney

“With authority and charm, Ray Isle leads readers brilliantly into the world of organic, sustainable, biodynamic, regenerative farming, and also explains what the hell natural wine actually is. This book is for the curious wine drinker looking for both up-and-coming and familiar names in the wine world. I truly enjoyed reading it. Cheers!” —Aldo Sohm, Wine director of Le Bernardin and author of Wine Simple

“Worth its weight in vinous gold... Written with Ray’s trademark combination of wit and wisdom, it’s a book for every wine lover’s collection.” San Francisco Bay Times

“A joy of discovery... Isle has pulled off a rare feat in the world of wine writing, presenting a book as relevant for those just getting into wine as it is for connoisseurs. An extremely engaging, thoughtful treatise on how to make every bottle count.” —

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