“Lineage” by Steven Kent Mirassou
There is pure poetry not only in the way wine tastes, but also in the way it is made.
That’s no more evident than in the new book, “Lineage: Life and Love and Six Generations in California Wine” (Val de Grace Books), of which I received a review copy, by Steven Kent Mirassou.
If the name sounds familiar, it should. He hails from six generations of winemakers in the Bay Area, responsible for crafting wines under the Mirassou Winery, La Rochelle Winery, Steven Kent Winery labels.
Salinas-born Mirassou didn’t follow in the family’s wine-making immediately. Instead, after graduating from George Washington University with a BA in American Literature and New York University with a MA in Literature, his intention was to teach literature and to write novels. But after getting married and wanting to start a family, he wanted to come back to San Jose so his children could be near their grand-parents.
It was then that his passion for wine-making was ignited. He partnered with his father to produce IvÃ¡n TamÃ¡s wines, before selling the brand to Wente Vineyards. Father and son followed that up with Steven Kent Winery in 1996.
His literature background is evident from the first pages, which recount his family’s rise in the wine industry. The prose is evocative, sensual, and yes, downright poetic.
Consider how he describes the effect of a new experience — or wine — that rocks you to your core:
“The process of considering anything deeply, be it great wine, fine food, book, movie, or your lover’s naked hip is necessarily one of opening up, of being willing to jettison commonplace shapes in favor of those that put the lie to the contemptibly familiar. To taste some new bottle of wine, to slurp air through it in your mouth, and feel it, to remark on the flavors and the way the wine makes your mouth feel, dryingly astringent or wetted by acid, and to let those sensations rebirth past experiences is to insist upon living an un-ordinary moment.”
Uncork a bottle of wine and fill your senses completely with “Lineage.”
“Every Cake Has A Story” by Christina Tosi
Milk Bar Founder Founder Christina Tosi has many cookbooks to her credit. Now, she has her first children’s book, “Every Cake Has a Story” (Dial Books For Young Readers), of which I received a review copy.
The charming book, whimsically illustrated by Emily Balsley, tells the story of what happens when Sammi of Samesville decides to break from baking the same vanilla cake with chocolate frosting over and over again. A whole new kaleidoscope world of friends and delightful cake flavors enriches her life like never before.Read more