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Publisher's Summary

Amateur drinker and professional tech reporter Bianca Bosker didn't know much about wine - until she stumbled on an alternate universe where taste reigned supreme, a world of master sommeliers who could, after a single sip, identify the grape a bottle was made from, in what year, and where it was produced, within acres. Where she tasted wine, they detected not only complex flavor profiles but entire histories and geographies. Astounded by their fanatical dedication and seemingly superhuman sensory powers, Bosker abandoned her screen-centric life and set out to discover what drove their obsession and whether she, too, could become a "cork dork".

Thus begins a year and a half long adventure that takes the listener inside elite tasting groups, exclusive New York City restaurants, a California mass market wine "factory", and even a neuroscientist's fMRI machine as Bosker attempts to answer the most nagging question of all: What's the big deal about wine? Counterintuitive, compulsively listenable, and hilarious, Cork Dork illuminates how tasting better can help us live better - and will change the way you drink wine forever.

©2017 Bianca Bosker (P)2017 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"The Kitchen Confidential of wine." (Madeline Puckette, Wine Folly)
"Bianca Bosker is an enthusiast. Her passion for wine expertise makes this fun and fact-filled audiobook an extraordinary listening experience. She narrates her text with joy, and her pursuit of the special knowledge and wisdom possessed by sommeliers comes through in every syllable of her journey from oenology novice to working cork dork.... She narrates her audiobook with verve and self-deprecating humor." (AudioFile)

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Average Customer Ratings

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Vivid

A vivid lively highly engrossing account of the wine. A lovely story that will make you love wine if you don't already or take you further on your wine journey. Beautifully written !

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Interesting but not educational

If you are looking to learn about wine, this is not the book for you. If you want to hear the story of a 20 something journalist trying to insert herself into the world of high wine, this book is great!

I found it to be entertaining but I really did not learn very much about wine aside from the general consensus that the best and most expensive stuff comes from Burgundy and that if you don’t want to spend more than a couple dozen dollars per bottle, maybe finely tuning your wine tasting apparatus is not such a good idea.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A Fun Listen, and Lots of Information About Wine

I enjoyed Bianca Bosker's story and narration of her year-long journey with wine and sommeliers. She somewhat demystifies the process of choosing a wine and communicating with a server. Overall its a fun listen, though it runs a bit long I think. There's a lot of detail I could have done without, and I certainly would have preferred fewer f-bombs. Seriously, after enduring about a dozen during two of the latter chapters I was considering deleting the book from my ipod. It's not as if the word has never left my lips, but it was a bit much considering the topic. Some people in this book take their wine way, way too seriously.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Absolute must read for wine drinkers

I live in wine country, have made wine for years and know dozens of people in the industry and I still learned more about it's craziness than from any other source. The author (and reader) is wonderfully self deprecating, full of bust out loud humor and incredibly knowledgeable. I have not only recommended it as a read -although with the author's voice it really come alive- but have purchased it for many others. A home run and if she decides to do this with another industry I hope I get word.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Why are so many syllables clipped off?

This is an interesting book, read intelligently by the author, but nearly ruined in production. Good Lord! For some reason, not only initial phonemes are frequently missing, but fairly frequently, entire syllables at the beginning of a phrase. It rarely impedes understanding the text, but it does on occasion. Otherwise, it's just like reading a good book with many typos. If you don't notice, good. If you do, you'll be pulling your hair out.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Wow! What an amazing book!

This was a great read! It turned out to be more than I expected as it not only dug deep into the wine world, but also gave some insight to the restaurant industry from a wine and writers perspective. well done!

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Personal account learning about wine, not a guide

The author is a gifted writer and a spirited narrator. The story is fast paced, the language peppered with profanities. In fact, the crude language describing interactions among sommeliers in high-end Manhattan establishments makes the stories understandable to the common man. What's missing are steamy sex scenes in the wine cellar or under the counter in the wine bar.

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Love to learn

Amazing program that cover all aspects of learning and loving wine. Easy to understand with a definite connection between author and reader

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Root and essence of an obsession

This read was overall quite informative and very well written / performed. Bianca pulled aside some of the curtains to show what, seemingly, goes on in the world of a somm. As a non-member of the industry it was great to hear that side of the wine world and all that goes on. Has definitely changed the way I look at wine and given me some tools to be a more informed drinker.
Had a bit of an issue with the authors kind of self-indulgent, egocentric tone as the book progressed. There were times were it sounded like she was pumping her own tires quite actively, as if to convey how amazing she is as a neophyte coming in and turning heads so quickly and also showing off that she 'got' a seat at the table with some of NYs top somms. Story also glossed over how she was financing this monumental journey from novice to certified expert.

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Thorough intro to the world of wine

Bianca Bosker follows the path of a sommelier trainee, and then some, working in the trenches of the wine world and exploring the science behind taste and smell. She joins tasting groups, learns to decant—with a few hiccups—hauls crates of wine through impossibly small passageways in crowded NYC restaurant cellars, makes and studies thousands of flash cards containing wine facts, and attends wine conventions where she learns how wines are manipulated to please customers’ tastes. She explores the world of wealthy wine collectors, attending La Paulee, a wine-sharing “potluck” dinner that pulls out all the stops, and shadows professional sommeliers, learning the intricacies of proper wine service, before taking her certified somm exam.

I am very new to wine, which is why I bought Cork Dork. There was a lot to absorb, and at times the science got a bit thick, but I am grateful to the author for including us in the minute details of her exploration into wines. The vocabulary alone was worth the read, but the fact that she immersed herself into the world of wine going in and knowing little more than I do made it feel as though I was learning along with her. A good read/listen.