A Taster's Journey is a newsletter on food, wine and travel. After 15 years of studying, tasting, teaching, and selling wine, I created this newsletter to not only share my passion about wine, but of food and travel as well. Each month I hope to share wines that I am drinking, food that is in season, restaurants that I have enjoyed, and places I have traveled. Enjoy!"

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Books to Whet Your Travel Appetite

January 26th, 2005

I wish I could travel every month, but that’s not realistic. So to transport myself to a foreign land, I read books. Books can relate the author’s experiences climbing Mt. Everest, watching the Medoc marathon, or farming. As you might expect in these travel stories, there is usually also a focus on food. Here are a few of my favorite books:

Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer is a fascinating story about climbing Mt. Everest. Obviously it is an experience few of us will accomplish personally, but you will gain an appreciation of the difficulty of this feat while getting a glimpse of this natural beauty. After reading this book, who wants to climb Mt. Everest?

Too Much Tuscan Sun by Dario Castagno is yet another book on life in Tuscany, but it is different than the Frances Mayes style. Dario grew up in Tuscany and gives tours to Americans and other foreigners. These tours focus on historical tours around Siena combined with winery visits and great lunches. We are treated to an interesting mix of Tuscan history interlaced with a hilarious recap of many of the tours, as well as the characters that were his clients.

On Rue Tatin by Susan Herrmann Loomis provides a fascinating window into life in Northern France. Although it contains the common theme of rebuilding a home in a foreign land, it provides a beautiful description of the people, culture, and food of the region.

French Lessons by Peter Mayle is another book about France, but very different. Each chapter, broken down into the months of the year, focuses on a different food festival. The marathon in Medoc is one of these chapters, and this is not your typical marathon…it is a party. Runners drink wine and eat oysters during the race, and most dress in costumes similar to those worn on Halloween.

Dirt Under my Nails by Marilee Foster describes life in Sagaponak. Although this area is better known as one of the chic areas in “the Hamptons”, her perspective is as a farmer. Having experienced first hand the obnoxious wall streeter racing his Ferrari through this town, Marilee almost turns back time with a beautiful description of the natural landscape.

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