Four years ago, I decided to start working on a book on the philosophy of wine. This weekend, I finished the draft. (Celebrated with a nice Vouvray on a very hot Sunday afternoon). Notice I didn’t say the book is finished. It won’t be finished until I hit the publish button. There are still tweaks and editing to do, but all the heavy lifting is accomplished.
Entitled “Beauty and the Yeast: A Philosophical Exploration of Wine, Life, and Love”, the book explains why some wines have the appeal of great works of art or life long friends. The thought that wine is expressive in the way that complex living beings are expressive is the foundation for a new aesthetics of wine, which I work out in the book.
Of course writing the book is only half the battle; it must also be published if people are to read it. I have made the decision to forgo the conventional route to publication. I will publish the book myself.
Conventional academic publishing moves at a glacial pace even in the best of times; and these are not the best of times. Using a conventional publisher, it would likely take 1 1/2- 2 years for the book to appear and it might sell for well north of $40 per copy depending on the publishers marketing strategy.
That is too long and too much. It will take me about 3 months to self-publish the book and I can set a reasonable price that will encourage more readers.
That means I will have to hire my own book designers and editors with many upfront costs, but after careful consideration, at this late stage in my career, I think the benefits of self publishing outweigh the costs. I’ve set a tentative publication date for November 10.
Here is the table of contents.
Chapter 1 Wine’s Promise
Chapter 2 Vinous Vitality
Chapter 3 Winemaking and Creativity: The Slow Art of Wine
Chapter 4 Ambiente: It Takes a Village to Raise a Wine
Chapter 5 Wines of Anger and Joy: Vitality and Expression
Chapter 6 Wine Criticism and Appreciation
Chapter 7 Wine and Aesthetic Experience
Chapter 8 Metaphor, Imagination, and the Language of Wine
Chapter 9 Beyond Objectivity and Subjectivity
Chapter 10 Beauty, Pathos, and Rhythm
Appendix: Tasting Vitality