Tony Aspler

Tony Aspler — “a card-carrying member of Pack Rats Anonymous.”

Tony Aspler—one of Canada’s most prolific wine writers—has again put pen to paper, this time with a fun-to-read memoir that spans 35 years of what he describes as “chasing the grape.”

The world of wine is writ large, so what makes Aspler’s ‘The Five Minute Wine Book’ even more appealing is that the author has packaged his passion into an impressive 90 chapters, any one of which you can digest in five minutes or less.

The Five Minute Wine Book is a really enjoyable romp through just about every topic imaginable, and some not. Aspler tackles everything from careful wedding planning (his Balthazar of Drappier Carte d’Or Brut turned out to be corked) to how to thwart wine snobs (take a Bulgarian red spiked with ruby port …), wine and pregnancy, critter labels, TCA (corked wines), counterfeit icewine, Canadian hybrid varieties and plenty more.

Says Tony: “As a card-carrying member of Pack Rats Anonymous, I have kept everything I have ever written about wine.   This volume is a selection of those writings that goes back to 1976 when I was working for the CBC in London. The first article I ever wrote was on the subject of champagne; it was commissioned by Robert Fulford, then editor of the late-lamented Saturday Night magazine. I didn’t include that one but you’ll find several pieces about champagne in these pages. Champagne (it’s tautology to say French Champagne) has played an integral part in my own story as the drink of both celebration and commiseration.”

The style is just like that—light and humorous, with endless anecdotes—and you’ll probably learn a whole lot more about wine than you thought possible. It’s an e-book, available from Amazon Canada (and US), Kobo and Smashwords. Well worth the price of admission: $5