A coffee table book writ small, Ana Fabiano’s first piece of writing is both beautiful and a bit scattered. A full color, photo-filled, large format experience, it’s the kind of book you’d buy at the airport after spending a week in Spain’s Rioja region, to remind yourself and your houseguests what you ate, where you toured, and what you drank.
Fabiano’s book is more about the region and somewhat less about the wine, mind you. While grapes and specific wineries are discussed quite a bit, the majority of the book covers this area’s unique history and geography, profiling many of the people (past and present) who are local celebrities in Rioja.
I’m not sure that the book gets the mix right. Pieces on specific vintages and even a suggested tapas crawl feel out of place for a photo-driven experience. The wines will be off the market soon enough, and the restaurants included will eventually close. In a format like this, I’d expect something a bit more timeless.
Fabiano’s writing isn’t the most refined, but she has a lot of heart and passion for the area. Definitely worth a look if you’ve been to Rioja and want a colorful reminder of what the region is like.
B- / $23 / [BUY IT HERE]