Vintage Humor for Wine Lovers

It's fair to say that there are a group of people who will enjoy this book, and another group who will find it fairly silly. The book is meant to be lighthearted. It's meant to be irrelevant. So people who take wine quite seriously might not see the humor in it. Those who see wine as a fun, enjoyable drink will enjoy poking fun at the industry.

Many of the jokes here are old hat enough to be cliche. One joke reads:

Q: How do you make a small fortune in the wine business?
A: Start with a large fortune and buy a winery.

This was probably funny the first time I heard it at a winery, and the second, but somewhere around the 20th time it became a bit silly. By the 50th time I'd heard it, I wished they'd come up with a new joke.

And then we have jokes designed by ten year olds -

Q: Who intenvented the first champagne with no bubbles?
A: Dumb Perignon

There are nasty responses to pick-up lines in a bar -

Man - What do you think of the wine here?
Woman - Better than the company.

Hopefully if I was sitting around in a bar I'd be a bit gentler to the men who came to talk with me.

And the French primer, saying:

Maitre d' - restaurant supervisor who makes sure wine is properly aged by delaying your entrance.

I think we see where the book is going here. It's aiming to be cute by poking fun at pretentious aspects of wine. And I am absolutely all for making wine friendly to all and something every person can enjoy. But I also resist the stereotype that wine is pretentious in the first place. Most restaurants serve wine. Most homes have wine in them. Wine is a fun, every day, delicious drink. Do we need to feel better about our enjoyment of wine by making fun of others who drink wine? Do we need to perpetuate the idea that wine is about snobbery? I don't think I've run into a wine snob in years. Sure, some people enjoy their wines. But they enjoy them in the same way that some bicyclists enjoy their bikes or kayakers enjoy their kayaks. They simply adore the atmosphere. And I don't see a need to ridicule them for their love or to denigrate them.

Certainly the book is harmless enough as a book to bring to a wine party and pass around. It's a fun hostess gift for a wine tasting. But I suppose it's not a book I'd be keen to own and keep re-reading. Many of the jokes and stories are aimed to trounce people who enjoy wine. Many are about insulting or hurting people. I think I'm at a stage in life when my aim is to support and nurture people, which is a different style of atmosphere.

I'll give it 4/5 stars for its specific purpose.

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