Every business, sport, and industry has game changers. These are folks who either set the bar at a new level in their vocation or innovate so many changes that they influence what comes after them. In the world of wine, Randall Grahm is such a person. Whether it’s his pioneering affection for Rhone varietals and the like long before others in CA truly embraced them or his decision to switch to screw caps earlier in the game than most, he’s been a game changer. And now he’s got a book. Been Doon So Long A Randall Grahm Vinthology is first and foremost an excellent and entertaining read. But it’s more than that too. I think it’s appropriate that the size and shape of the book most closely resembles a textbook. Because, the truth is that just about anyone reading Been Doon So Long is going to learn a lot; about Randall, about wine and probably about themselves too.
Whether it’s the detailed discussion of the evolution of Bonny Doon labels, Randall’s, poetry, song lyrics, His essay about Syrah or various other topics Been Doon So Long, is wildly entertaining. It’s unlikely that any other book will teach as much about the world of wine, especially as it relates to California as this one. You could read it straight through, but there’s no real need to do that. I went back and forth reading the things that appealed to me most in the order that struck me. Pretty quickly I realized I needed to read the whole thing. It’s hard to put down, but if you do it’s easy to pick back up and jump into again.
If you’re going to read a wine book, anytime soon, there’s no question this is the one. Anyone with even a passing interest in the history of California wine over the last couple of decades should read this. In fact this book should be part of the curriculum for anyone looking to get into the wine industry. In case it’s not clear, by now, I love this book. At the very least I guarantee it’ll put a big grin on your face.