Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The New Yorker Book of Wine Cartoons

The New Yorker Book of Wine Cartoons (2004)
Illustration by Michael Witte
The New Yorker Book of Wine Cartoons (2004), Back Cover
Cartoon by J. P. Rini

Wine would seem an excellent topic for The New Yorker's cartoonists. After all, we have all sorts of impossible attitudes and expectations regarding the vintner's art, and there is an entire specialized and readily-abused vocabulary aimed at describing its many nuances. A vintage of wine is a unique thing, and we pride ourselves on our supposed ability to select just the right one for any and every occasion.

This thirst-quenching 2004 collection was sponsored to my surprise by Restoration Hardware, apparently because the company's home base in northern California is not too far from a number of wineries. OK, the firm has been known to sell a few wine racks as well.

While this is perhaps not the funniest cartoon collection ever assembled, there are enough superb examples of the cartoonist's art to make it worth even a teetotaler's while. To give just one taste of what I mean, I don't think anybody will ever surpass James Thurber's brilliant caption, "It's a naive domestic Burgundy without any breeding, but I think you'll be amused by its presumption." Amused indeed!

Image added November 2, 2013



  1. Thanks for adding this to the library - something just a little bit different. Cheers