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Wine writer to speak at Books on Wine Festival

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Alder Yarrow, author of “The Essence of Wine: Celebrating the Delights of the Palate,” will be speaking at the eighth annual Books on Wine Festival from 4:30-6:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 20, at the St. Helena Public Library, 1492 Library Lane in St. Helena.

Yarrow, founder and editor of Vinography: a wine blog, ( will talk about the ideas and the development of his new book, which he says is “unlike any wine book ever produced.” The book offers a new entrance to the experience of wine tasting — a guide that focuses on the olfactory sensations that differentiate how we experience a wine.

“Each of the 46 flavors described in the book is accompanied by a full color photograph of objects — everything from pears to graphite — that instill an aroma in a wine,” Yarrow said. The photographs by Leigh Beisch are luscious, while the descriptive passages of the flavors can only be described as inspired. For instance, his description the flavor of apple begins, “In one simple fruit are all of man’s sins remembered” and goes on to document the sharp tang of malic acid.

The book, which started as a Kickstarter project, is now in its second printing. It is available at for $75 plus shipping.

Yarrow will be speaking and signing his book at the eighth annual Books on Wine Festival at the St. Helena Library. A reception begins at 4:30 p.m. followed by his talk from 5-6 p.m. with book signing after until 6:30. Admission is free.


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Tom Stockwell is currently a staff writer for the St. Helena Star. He is an author of fiction and non-fiction books and has been a working journalist for a variety of technical publications as well as a consultant for numerous wineries in the Napa Valley.

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