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Wine and Philosophy: A Symposium on Thinking and Drinking

Fritz Allhoff (Editor), Paul Draper (Foreword by)
ISBN: 978-1-4051-5431-4
328 pages
November 2007, Wiley-Blackwell
Wine and Philosophy: A Symposium on Thinking and Drinking (1405154314) cover image
In Wine & Philosophy, philosophers, wine critics, and winemakers share their passion for wine through well-crafted essays that explore wine’s deeper meaning, nature, and significance
  • Joins Food & Philosophy and Beer & Philosophy in in the "Epicurean Trilogy
  •  Essays are organized thematically and written by philosophers, wine writers, and winemakers
  • Chapters include, “The Art & Culture of Wine”; “Tasting & Talking about Wine”; “Wine & Its Critics”; “The Beauty of Wine”; “The Metaphysics of Wine”; and “The Politics & Economics of Wine”
  • Accessible to a general audience while at the same time covering some serious philosophical ground
  • Incorporates traditional areas of philosophical study, including philosophy of language, philosophy of perception, aesthetics, metaphysics, ethics and political philosophy
  • A great complimentary text to any guided-tour visit to the Napa Valley or other wineries
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List of Figures viii

Foreword by Paul Draper ix

Acknowledgments xi

Planting the Vines: An Introduction 1
Fritz Allhoff

I The Art & Culture of Wine 13

1 Wine in Ancient Greece: Some Platonist Ponderings 15
Harold Tarrant

2 On and Off the Wagon: Wine and the American Character 30
Jonathon Alsop

3 Muse in a Stem Glass: Art, Wine, and Philosophy 44
Kirsten Ditterich-Shilakes

4 In Vino Sanitas 63
Frederick Adolf Paola

II Tasting & Talking about Wine 79

5 Mmmm . . . not Aha! Imaginative vs. Analytical Experiences of Wines 81
John Dilworth

6 Talk about Wine? 95
Kent Bach

7 Winespeak or Critical Communication? Why People Talk about Wine 111
Keith Lehrer and Adrienne Lehrer

III Wine & Its Critics 123

8 What the Wine Critic Tells Us 125
John W. Bender

9 Experiencing Wine: Why Critics Mess Up (Some of the Time) 137
Jamie Goode

IV The Beauty of Wine 155

10 You’ll Never Drink Alone: Wine Tasting and Aesthetic Practice 157
Douglas Burnham and Ole Martin Skilleås

11 Who Cares If You Like It, This Is a Good Wine Regardless 172
George Gale

12 Listening to the Wine Consumer: The Art of Drinking 186
Steve Charters

V Wine & Metaphysics 203

13 Is There Coffee or Blackberry in My Wine? 205
Kevin W. Sweeney

14 The Soul of Wine: Digging for Meaning 219
Randall Grahm

15 The Notion of Terroir 225
Matt Kramer

VI The Politics & Economics of Wine 235

16 Wine-Tasting Epiphany: An Analysis of the 1976 California vs. France Tasting 237
Orley Ashenfelter, Richard E. Quandt, and George M. Taber

17 The Old World and the New: Worlds Apart? 248
Warren Winiarski

18 Taste How Expensive This Is: A Problem of Wine and Rationality 257
Justin Weinberg

19 Shipping across State Lines: Wine and the Law 275
Drew Massey

Notes on Contributors 288

Index 295

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Fritz Allhoff, PhD, is an assistant professor of philosophy at Western Michigan University. He is the co-editor of Food & Philosophy (with Dave Monroe, Blackwell, 2008). He enjoys, especially, Napa and Russian River wines as well as wine travel around the world.
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  • Units include The Art & Culture of Wine; Tasting & Talking about Wine; Wine & Its Critics; The Beauty of Wine; The Metaphysics of Wine; and The Politics & Economics of Wine
  • Essays are accessible to a general audience while at the same time covering some serious philosophical ground
  • The volume incorporates traditional areas of philosophical study, including philosophy of language, philosophy of perception, aesthetics, metaphysics, ethics and political philosophy
  • Contributors include philosophers, wine writers, and winemakers
See More
"The complexity and subtlety of the distinctions made by master tasters is quite astonishing, and is all the more interesting when comparing notes with others." (Network Review, 1 June 2011)

"It turns out that not only have reputable psychologists at well-respected institutions done experimental studies on this effect, but it also serves as a kind of foul point for various philosophical questions. The works set out to address the intersection between philosophy and areas of everyday general concern: food, wine, and beer. In addition to straightforward philosophical discussions, the volumes include historical discussions, legal questions, some personal reflections.” (Gastronomica, Fall 2008)

"It has some of the best, thoughtful essays about wine and health, winemaking, wine appreciation, wine jargon and wine writers...a very smart book about wine." (InsideBayArea.com)

“A truly well rounded view…and a critical reflection on what and how we eat can contribute to a robust enjoyment of gastronomic pleasures.” (Gourmet Retailer)

“A rare treat. These grape-stained craftsmen dive into their subjects with Socratic gusto. Nuggets of wit … throughout.” (Wine Enthusiast)

“A fascinating symposium that proves one thing: wine is worth thinking about.”
–Hugh Johnson, author of the World Atlas of Wine

“Most wine books are narrow in scope. Not Wine & Philosophy: these far-ranging essays are fascinating and diverse, placing the wine in your glass in a context spanning civilizations and centuries.”
–Stephen Tanzer, editor/publisher, International Wine Cellar

Wine & Philosophy is remarkably accessible; the writers and winemakers contributing to this work are amazingly accomplished and all have an abiding interest in philosophy, literature, and wine. This combination of scholarship and passion makes for a fascinating, illuminating, and highly entertaining work.”
–Larry Stone, Master Sommelier

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