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Wine writer teams with top illustrator


Wine writer teams with top illustrator
to produce witty takes on wine lingo

New Zealand wine columnist John Saker and illustrator and artist Scott Kennedy have teamed up to create a new book that will have wine lovers chortling into their chardonnay.

Called Vinacular – a wordplay on ‘vernacular’– the book takes 26 wine phrases and expressions, one for each letter of the alphabet, and adorns them with Saker’s near poetic descriptions and Kennedy’s utterly hilarious illustrations.

Among the expressions to get a serve are ‘bead’, ‘jammy, ‘kero’, ‘herbaceous’ and ‘noble rot’.

Vinacular is the latest offering from innovative Wellington publisher Awa Press, which recently partnered with the Arts Foundation for a series You Call This Art, featuring Saker and fellow Awa Press authors Nick Bollinger and Matt Vance. The series will air on National Radio this summer.

Scott Kennedy, whose distinctive illustrations regularly appear in magazines, newspapers and books in New Zealand, Australia, the United States and Canada, approached Saker with the idea for the book after deciding the language of wine was ripe for a bit of fun.

Saker readily agreed. ‘The wine culture here and around the world can take itself far too seriously,’ says the author of How to Drink a Glass of Wine and Pinot Noir: The New Zealand Story. ‘Wine is certainly a serious business but at its heart it’s about people relaxing and having a good time together.’
Saker is wine columnist for Cuisine and The Sunday Star-Times and has also written for the Listener, North & South and National Business Review. His passion for wine began when he spent time in France as a professional basketballer.

Kennedy’s paintings and prints are held in collections around the world.

Vinacular will be launched at Martin Bosley’s award-winning Wellington restaurant on October 29.


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