With books that are a combined effort between a writer and an artist, it seems to be the norm that on the cover the writer’s name goes first. But in this little gem, the artist’s name is the first on the cover. Is it because K comes before S? Or is it because the illustrations, that are so perfect in every way, stand out more than the writing?
I like to think this could be the case, as the illustrations really are quite lovely – gorgeous quirky little drawings, bold but not overpowering use of colour, that capture so succinctly equally well worded snippets of wine trivia that Mr Saker has so neatly defined for us. Together the two make this a very nicely produced little book that is a pleasure to pick up, open, randomly read, chuckle, put down and very quickly pick up again.
I wonder how much wine passed Mr Saker’s lips while he was researching and formulating his definitions? Some really are quite funny – “Entry Level Wines – Entry level wines are like ground-floor apartments. It’s where you start out, pay less, get no kind of a view and wonder how good it must be up there in the penthouse. (Or how hideous down in the basement.)”Or Quaffer – “Quaff a quaffer to quickly quench, but factor in the quality quotient, for down so easy can go quite queasy. ‘He made me a quaffer I should have refused!’ “ And so it goes on for the other 24 letters of the alphabet.
I know Christmas has been and gone, and this book was in the shops then. But it really is the most perfect little gift book, and you don’t have to be a wine expert to enjoy the match between words and pictures. I bet Mr Kennedy and Mr Saker had way more fun putting this together than we could ever have reading and re-reading it, but that joy and passion for what they do comes flying off the pages for us to enjoy. With a glass of wine and a companion to laugh with. And you couldn’t possibly get the same enjoyment from reading this on an E-Reader. After all where would all the red wine drips and drops, evidence of a good time, go?
Reviewed by Felicty Murray who blogs as Kiwi Flora Reads
Vinacular: A Wine Lover’s A-Z
by Scott Kennedy and John Saker
Published by Awa Press