Campbell has always been one of my most favorite wine journalists because he is not afraid to wear his beliefs proudly and has always been an unabashed supporter of Australian wine and the rightful positions of our "icon wines" alongside the best of Hermitage, Montrachet et al.
I will return to comment on this book because it focuses on issues with the Australian wine industry that has had me concerned, and as an aspiring wine maker, more inclined to pursue my dream in California.
But for now I wanted to share a anecdote from the opening chapter where Campbell recounts the moment that wine became more than just "booze" :-
...something changed in me forever, at the sip and the taste and the sensation of a particular wine. I was bitten by Dracula or a werewolf or, more appropriately, by a malaria-carrying mosquito. Something went funny in me. My heart got an erection. From that moment, I may have looked the same, but I was changed. I had become a mad wine hunter. I suddenly wanted to be on intimate, personal, intense terms with all of the most beautiful wines that I could afford - or could wangle to drink.
While being a "wine geek" for many years, it was that fateful 2003 Kosta Browne Sonoma Coast that I ordered off a wine list in Scottsdale, Arizona that changed me forever. The exquisite beauty, the artistry, its ephemeral chameleon-ish morphing from one sensation to another broke me. In that moment I knew that I had found my life's calling - I had to craft a wine as outstanding as this and I would travel to the ends of the earth to apprentice with the greatest wine artisans to acquire the tools and inspiration to make it happen.