Beauty and the Yeast: A Philosophy of Wine, Life, and Love

By Dwight Furrow

Ebook and paperback available at Amazon. (Outside the U.S., check your local Amazon site or favorite book retailer. The book is available world wide in both the ebook and paperback versions.)


W. Blake Gray on Wine Searcher.

“‘Furrow is a professor with a wine critic itching to get out, and it’s notable how he describes the duty of a wine critic: “The primary purpose of wine criticism is to aid in the appreciation of a wine by revealing what is there to be appreciated.” It seems that writing the book is his attempt to fulfill this purpose for the entire world of wine.”

Terry Theise at A word to the wines…

“Wine? What’s the big deal?” It’s a question my own books have striven to answer, in my intuitive, barely-educated way, but in place of my lyric entreaties, Furrow has constructed a splendid cartography of thought that answers that question explicitly, thoroughly and at length.”

Book Summary:

Wine is more than a beverage. Like great works of art, great wines have originality, dynamism, emotional resonance, and personality. Discover how wine can be so expressive in this remarkable philosophical romp through the aesthetics of wine production and wine appreciation.

Beauty and the Yeast is a work of philosophy but is written to appeal to non-academics and people in the wine community who take a thoughtful approach to wine.

Previous work on the philosophy of wine has shown wine to be an important source of aesthetic experiences. “Beauty and the Yeast” takes this argument in surprising new directions. It analyzes wine as an expressive, living organism that challenges our assumptions about creativity, beauty, good taste, and objectivity and explains why the changing landscape of wine requires that we rethink the role of established wine traditions. The book offers unique philosophical insights into the nature of wine appreciation, wine language, and wine criticism, and explores a novel approach to wine tasting that reveals our emotional attachment to wine.

After reading, you will never taste wine the same way again.

1. Wine’s Promise
           The Epiphany
           Love and Value
           The Importance of Origins
           Nature’s Murmur
2. Vinous Vitality: Wine as a Living Organism
           Biological Accounts of Life
           Wine and “Thing-Power”
           Natural Wine
3. Winemaking and Creativity: The Slow Art of Wine
           Artists, Winemakers, and Their Materials
           Artistic Intentions
           Creativity in Winemaking
4. Ambiente: It Takes a Village to Raise a Wine
           The Importance of Traditions
           Stasis and Change in the Wine World
           Wine Criticism and Stylistic Innovation
           The Threat of Homogeneity
           The Difference Machine
5. Wines of Anger and Joy: Vitality and Expression
           Representation vs. Expression
           Expressing Vitality
           Music, Wine, and Emotion
          Wine and Vitality Forms
6. Wine Criticism and Appreciation
           What Is Appreciation?
           The Role of the Wine Critic
7. Wine and Aesthetic Experience
           Burnham and Skilleås on Aesthetic Practice
           Aesthetic Attention
           Wine Tasting and the Sublime
8. Metaphor, Imagination, and the Language of Wine
           Metaphor and Interpretive Challenges
           Conceptual Metaphor Theory
           Imagination and Metaphor
9. Beyond Objectivity and Subjectivity
           Smith’s Realism
           The Non-Realist Account of Objectivity
           Cain Todd’s Limited Relativism
           Burnham and Skilleås and the Authority of Traditions
           Non-Realism and the Clash of Values in the Wine World
           Dispositional Realism
           The Failure of Representation
           An Apprenticeship of Signs
          The Skill of Wine Tasting
           Creative Wine Tasting: Tasting the New
           Objectivity Revisited
10. Beauty, Pathos, and Rhythm
           Mystery, Ephemerality, and Pathos
           Rival Communities and the Normativity of Beauty
           The Sensual Dimension
Appendix: Tasting Vitality