(K. Brent Tomer),
Cork Dork. By Bianca Bosker. Penguin; 329 pages; $17.
FOR a subject that purports to be an arcane niche, the milieu of obsessive sommeliers has attracted much media attention recently. First came “Somm”, a documentary released in 2012 about four students preparing for the gruelling Master Sommelier (MS) exam. Its success spawned both “Uncorked”, a reality-television show that shadows a new crop of budding MS candidates, and a feature-length sequel called “Into the Bottle”, profiling winemakers. Now this select fraternity of (mostly male) service professionals has come in for literary star treatment as well. In “Cork Dork” Bianca Bosker, a technology journalist by trade, chronicles her immersive year-long quest to join the club, and the transformation it wrought on her senses and psyche.
Readers who have yet to watch any instalment of the “Somm” or “Uncorked” series will find Ms Bosker a skilled guide as she escorts them on her journey through many of the weirder crannies of the wine-consumption world. (Farmers and winemakers, save for the industrial “masstige” producers in California, are…Continue reading