Edward Behr Rocks the Jura

The new quarterly installment of The Art of Eating is out, and it features a synapse-searing profile of wines from France’s Jura vineyards.

The feature rolls on for nearly 30 pages, detailing the region’s viticultural history, the area’s chief winemakers, the best food to pair with Jura wines, the “method versus soil” argument about what makes the wines distinctive, the unique flavor profile of the Jura’s famous vin jaune (“yellow wine”), and the best places to eat and shop the next time you find yourself hanging around Arbois.

The wine itself sounds like something best loved by connoisseurs; the writer, Edward Behr, builds up steam for several hundred words before confessing that the main flavor of vin jaune is often described as “rancid walnut,” albeit with some non-rancid nut undertones accompanied by notes of caramel and curry.

Specific sensory details aside, “Wines of the Jura” is everything a slightly unhinged oenophile could possibly want from a piece of writing. It’s elegant and well researched. It’s as sprawlingly detailed as the Manhattan Yellow Pages. And it’s mind-bendingly complete. This isn’t an article you browse or surf. It’s a story that you go and live in for a few days. And in an era when 300-word fluff features and … uh … food blogs define the way most edibles and potables get written about, it’s paradoxically refreshing.

Now, if we could just get Edward Behr to turn his Borgesian talents to the commercial history and cultural implications of the Hardee’s Monster Thickburger, we’d have some food writing that would really richochet around the blogosphere.