Thursday, January 03, 2008

The Wine Book Club: the First Edition

In the spirit of the New Year, a group of bloggers decided to start an online Wine Book Club. Many of us want to read more--hands up if you've got a stack of books sitting on your bedside table with an inch of dust on them--and anyone reading this blog probably wants to learn more about wine. So let's give it a go in 2008 and actually read some wine books together. (potential logo for the Wine Book Club to the right, complete with a bottle of Bordeaux and a wine book from 1927 sitting on my dining room table)

Inspired by Lenndevours' Wine Blogging Wednesday, the Wine Book Club will be an opportunity for wine lovers around the world to read a book and then post reactions and discuss them on their blog. No blog? You have two options (three, if you are willing to start a blog): while you're reading you can use one of the public sites and discussion forums that are already set up on Shelfari and Facebook; or you can hop around the web and respond to the discussions that will be taking place in the comments sections of your favorite blogs. The host will post a round-up of contributions after the dust settles, and thanks to the generosity of Tim Elliott and Ryan Opaz we will also make use of a central website for announcements, roundups, themes, etc. When it goes live it will be at, but there's nothing there yet.

Unlike Wine Blogging Wednesday, however, we're going to start by meeting every other month. Baby steps are the name of the game when it comes to New Year's resolutions. New book selections will be announced on the first Tuesday of March, May, July, September, and November. The Wine Book Club will reconvene for reactions/reviews/discussions on the last Tuesday of the following month (so February 26, etc.) If there is a lot of interest in the club, and people want a book a month, we can move to that format in 2009.

The host of the very first Wine Book Club is David McDuff, the intrepid wine retailer and blogger who leads readers down McDuff's Food & Wine Trail. And the book we're reading? It's tied into the Wine Blogging Wednesday themes for January and February, to give it some extra momentum. So head over there to see the title. Locate your library card or start alphabetizing the wine books you already own but haven't read, because this first book might be on your shelf already. Interested in hosting an upcoming event? Let me know, and we'll put you down on the list.

To keep everyone motivated between club meetings, Dr. Vino suggested we might play "Spin the Bottle" and invite wine bloggers to contribute reviews on books with more specialized content. When the bottle stopped spinning it pointed in two directions: Tim Elliott of Winecast and me. So look for coordinated reviews of the same book later this month, and if you see me in your inbox be warned: the bottle stopped at you this time. Have an idea for "Spin the Bottle"? Let me know that, too.

I'd like to extend a special invitation to those of you reading this from somewhere other than the US/Canada/UK: please set up a chapter where you live and let's make this an international, polyglot event. I would consider it a triumph if there was a Spanish Wine Book Club, a French Wine Book Club, an Italian Wine Book Club, a Greek Wine Book Club, an Israeli Wine Book Club, and even (yes, I know you are there, my Finnish readers!) a Finnish Wine Book Club. You may have to select different books, but it would be great.

We're just starting out, so there are bound to be glitches along the way (not to mention confusion). Let me know in the comments or by email if you have any input, questions, or concerns. Please publicize this new event on your blogs, and please consider participating. I am thrilled that so many bloggers are already on board with this event, and I want to thank them for the enthusiasm and generous help that they have given and continue to give as we get this up and running. So thank you, in alpha-blog order, to: Behind the Vines, Catavino, Celebrate Wine, domaine547, Dr. Vino, el Bloggo Torcido, Indiscriminate Ideas, LENNDEVOURS, McDuff's Food & Wine Trail, My Wine Education, Passionate Foodie, Through the Walla Walla Grape Vine, Wannabe Wino, West Coast Wine Country Adventures, Winecast, Winehiker, and the Wine Scamp.

Given this group, we're in for a fun time. Why not join us? Check out what we're about at one of our sites on Shelfari, Facebook, and Make room for the wine books on your nightstand, and get reading!


Anonymous said...

Hi Dr Debs
Count me in!!!!


Anonymous said...

Just ordered my copy...and I ordered a book by you too!

Sonadora said...

Joy of all joys, I hope this isn't a system glitch and I can again comment on blogs during my lunch hour!

Great idea Dr.Debs, I'm certainly much looking forward to this book, though I have to procure it since no one got it for me for Christmas!

MonkuWino said...

I just ordered the book today and am looking forward to participating in the group! This will help make good use of that Amazon Prime membership as well..

Unknown said...

Sounds great, I'm in. I just bought the book on Amazon and can't wait to start.

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...


Count in at least one-half of This sounds like a great idea.

Plus, even though both of us at InterWined are Americans, we live in London, so that kind of helps fulfil your idea of an international club.

And a new collection of recipes is never a bad thing.

Wilf G.K said...

Great way to start the new year Dr. Debs. I have just ordered Vino Italiano along with Wine and Philosophy. Good thing there are 24 hours in a day.Any suggestions as to what wine to drink while reading it?

Robert McIntosh said...

Sounds like a good idea, but I'm not very good about keeping up with reading, never mind resolutions, but it would be useful to keep the motivation high.

Any other UK bloggers out there involved?

Anonymous said...

I'm in!!

Anonymous said...

Great idea, Dr. Debs! And a nice way to share one's excitement about a good wine book with others who have similar interests. I don't always stumble over such soulmates at Barnes & Noble!

Dr. Debs said...

Thanks for all the enthusiasm, folks! Sorry for the silence on my end, I was at a conference. Wilf, you will have so many Italian wines on your "to drink" list after reading just the first chapter that I'm not going to give you any suggestions here--except to say maybe a white from Friuli, just in time for WBW? Friuli is the first chapter in the book, too. I've started it an I'm really enjoying it so far.