The SOMM Journal

June / July 2018

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10 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } JUNE/JULY 2018 { editor's notebook { book reviews } CORRECTION In "A Diverse Range of Sparkling Wines" in our December 2017-January 2018 issue, the term liqueur de tirage should have been used in place of liqueur d'expédition. We regret the error. IN TODAY'S WORLD, it's about the small victories—here's another little one that also feels pretty big. According to a press release from PETA: "In response to disturbing video footage released by PETA Asia showing handlers repeatedly beating elephants at Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort's 2018 King's Cup Elephant Polo Tournament in Thailand, event sponsor Banfi Vintners has informed PETA that it will no longer support the cruel competition, which touts itself as a charity event for elephants. In thanks, PETA sent the company elephant-shaped vegan chocolates. PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that 'animals are not ours to use for entertainment'—notes that elephants used for polo tournaments, rides, or any other type of entertainment are typically beaten into submission. Between matches, they're often shackled so tightly that they can barely take a step. Because of this cruelty, The Guinness Book of World Records has struck all mention of elephant polo records from its pages. Banfi joins several other companies—including the Campari Group—that have ended or suspended their sponsorships of the King's Cup Elephant Polo Tournament following PETA Asia's investigation. PETA is calling on Anantara and its parent company Minor Hotel Group, the organizers of the event, to end the tournament altogether." ALTHOUGH THE BOOK is literally a list of 101 wines, it's far more entertaining than you'd expect from a simple catalog. Perhaps the best part is a suggestion regarding "what to say if you meet the winemaker" for every wine. For instance, in author Margaret Rand's review of La Romanée Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair (the tenth wine), she recom - mends asking, "How's the horse?" Subtle humor like this is peppered throughout—even in the practical, useful bits, like notes on each producer's trophy vintages. Rand is an exquisite wordsmith and her ex - perience in this industry certainly gives her the authority to compile these wines. However, after the 101th wine (the Vergelegen G.V.B. White from Stellenbosch), I was left searching for a handful of well-deserving domestic wines. Perhaps I am less of a Francophile than Rand, but when I remind myself that this isn't necessarily a ranking of all the wines in the world and more so a group of suggested "to try before I die," then I would tend to agree. Heck, there are a few in here that I have yet to try, so here's hoping I don't die soon. Meanwhile, I'm quite happy to give this a place on my bookshelf and happier still realizing I might know enough to assemble my own list one day. —Jessie Birschbach 101 Wines to Try Before You Die by Margaret Rand Banfi Vintners Takes a Stand Against Animal Abuse PETA COMMENDS NORTH AMERICA'S LEADING WINE IMPORTER FOR WITHDRAWING SUPPORT FROM ELEPHANT POLO TOURNAMENT

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