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Wayward Tendrils of the Vine

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by Ian Maxwell Campbell
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Spanning an incredible period of change in the wine world, Wayward Tendrils of the Vine (1948) recounts the history and personalities encountered by British wine merchant Ian Maxwell Campbell (1870-1954) in a career that spanned an era when pre-phylloxera vintages—generally those produced prior to the 1860s—were commonly drunk, to the Second World War.

Campbell offers many opinionated and humorous musings about one region being better than another or how to find wine to drink in a region where one simply doesn't like the local product. There is little uncertainty in his approach: "One can say and write more about claret than about any other wine."

There is also a strong whiff of a bygone era when one could write of drinking with "the Dowager Lady Swaythling (less dowager-looking than any other Dowager I ever saw)," and claim without irony that, "I suppose we all have pleasant recollections of Oxford."

Wayward Tendrils of the Vine is one of the Academie du Vin Library's Classic Editions, chosen, in the words of Hugh Johnson, for being "elegant, informative, inspiring, often eccentric and frequently witty."



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