18 September 2013

card catalogs, NYPL
Room 100, including card catalogs, 1923. New York Public Library Archives.

I like book indexes because of the tantalizingly incomplete sense they give of a large, impossible object broken down into its constituent parts. And because I like lists of words.

Anyway I was at the wine store the other day paging through the Jancis Robinson-edited Oxford Companion to Wine (it is as crazy authoritative as the title would suggest), and next to the introduction there’s a two-page double-column list of 300 new entries added to the third edition. If you like, it gives a rough sense of how the canonical wine world might have changed between 1999 and 2006—you know, black-magic big industrial processes in commercial production on the one hand (plastic corks, reverse osmosis, flavour scalping, Yellowtail), formerly forgotten regions, young new wine drinkers, and nerdy, nearly-extinct indigenous grapes brought back from the dead on the other (Lacrima Nera, Xinomavro, vegetarian & vegan wine). Also, the Internet: websites finally have an entry! Did I mention I like lists of words? Like so:

Asian Lady Beetle
black dead arm
California sprawl
diotomaceous earth
direct shipping
flavour scalping
glassy winged sharpshooter
Gorbachev, Mikhail
Kangaroo Island
Lacrima Nera
macèration pelliculaire
philosophy & wine
plastic corks
reverse osmosis
vegetarian & vegan wine