Cork Dork by Bianca Bosker
Reviewed by Chris, Business Librarian at Bridgewater

In Cork Dork, Bianca Bosker, an average person with an average person’s understanding of wine (that is: barely any), decides to not only educate herself on the subject, but to do so in such a thorough manner as to pass the Certified Sommelier exam.

In the process, Bosker takes it upon herself to learn whether or not wine tasting is an actual skill or just a scam. She tests herself on every wine she comes across and joins exclusive wine-tasting gatherings. She even has her brain scanned to see if it differs from that of a layperson’s when tasting wines.

Through it all, Bosker discovers that she is opening her world to flavor. She tastes and smells dozens of other things to prepare her palate for the inescapable comparisons of wines to things like fruits or other food and non-food items, but she also learns to really taste things. Taste and smell are the two least studied senses, and are historically seen as less important than sight, hearing, or touch. The training is not just theoretical — she also does a few stints at high-end restaurants to learn the art of wine pairing.

Bosker does get in enough practice to eventually take the exam, and I won’t spoil the results for you. She learns a lot more about life than just about wine while doing so.

A quick and engaging read. Recommended for those who love wine, food, or want to know what the big deal is about either.