Popular Posts

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Sediment - The Hardback

A review of Sediment
The best wine writing concerns itself not so much with the liquid in the bottle as with certain fundamental truths.
In much the same way as great travel writing touches on history, politics and psychoanalysis, features people and places as if characters in a novel and is both literate and articulate, so writing about wine should consider more than just fermented grape juice.
Sediment, a collection of essays from The Sediment Blog pulled together to form chapters of a book contains at its heart a gleefully ironic paradox; styling itself as two gentlemen and their mid-life terroirs, it is old-school, lofty and self-deprecatingly superior in a way that only old money can be.
And yet its focus is unashamedly on the cheapest end of the (mostly) supermarket selection.
Rather like Sir John Gielgud's Master of Trinity College discussing the fiery undergraduate sprinter Harold Abrahams in Chariots of Fire, the writers of Sediment, known as CJ and PK, take a quizzical and aloof interest in the cheapest of wines - in much the same way that you might inspect a particularly unattractive bug under a microscope with a combination of horror and fascination.
The set-up, then, is hilarious - as is often the text, with dry, caustic put-downs and quaint observations delivered with withering condescension.
The other strapline of Sediment is "I've bought it so I'll drink it". And occasionally this sentiment tips over into the writing. The risk with any confessional narrative is that of over-worked self-indulgence. "I've thought of it, so I'll write it" or "I've blogged it, so I'll publish it" might sometimes be an apter observation.
Like many a "Greatest Hits" collection - for that is effectively what this is - the best cuts are at the beginning whilst those in the middle occasionally drag a little.
At their best, the essays that make up Sediment inform, entertain and reveal a truth about ourselves; often, they are not actually about wine at all but are stories about the curious rituals surrounding wine and its consumption; PK's English Aspirations holds up a mirror to a host of society characters and gently teases their bumbling ridiculousness in the way that Richard Curtis did with Four Weddings and A Funeral.

£10.99 in hardback from amazon; provided for review.

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: John Blake Publishing Ltd (6 Nov 2014)

  • Other related articles

    No comments:

    Post a Comment