09 Jul Love by the Glass
by Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher
Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher are well known for their exquisite taste in wine. Their weekly wine column for The Wall Street Journal, “Tastings,” has been an extremely popular feature from its inception in 1998. Famous for their laid-back style and insistence that neither wine lovers nor wine merchants need be pretentious, this husband-wife team pens columns about how to find inexpensive bargains, develop a relationship with a local wine merchant, or pair just the right bottle of wine with just the right meal.
In their joint autobiography, Love by the Glass: Tasting Notes from a Marriage, Gaiter and Brecher (or Dottie and John, as I now feel welcome to call them), share the extraordinary story of the lives together. From their first meeting in 1973, through job changes, travels, illness, children — in short, the kinds of every day experiences that everyone has in common — two things have remained constant: their passion for each other and their passion for wine.
Every event in their lives, great and small, has been accompanied by a wine experience, which they were insightful enough to record and generous enough to share.
They write their story as they write their wine columns: with one voice, occasionally punctuated by personal digressions at various points in the story for clarification or insight (or if a rare disagreement occurs!). Some of their stories are humorous; others tearfully poignant. And always, always, there is wine. Their wine-tasting notes are recounted in vivid, mouth-watering detail. As they journeyed from wine novices to recognized experts, I felt I was being educated right along with them. The most important lesson they share is that wine is accessible to everyone and should be enjoyable — recurrent themes in their weekly column.
Dottie and John are inspiring and remarkable people for many reasons: They are still madly in love with each other and their two daughters; they share a hobby that they have successfully, and somewhat unintentionally, turned into a shared career; and they are united in their quest to empower those newly intrigued by the world of wine to enter it fearlessly.
In short, they are two people with whom I would love to share stories, laughter, and of course, a bottle of wine.
Review by guest contributor Jenn Casey, who lives outside of Atlanta, GA with her husband and two children. She has been known to enjoy an occasional glass of wine. (Okay, slightly more than that, but only on days that end in “y.”)