Despite the fact that she has spent her life being parented by him, Kathryn Borel feels that she doesn't truly know her father. Phillipe Borel is a retired hotelier and a former chef, and wine is his passion- something that he has tried to pass on to his daughter and failed. Despite the fact that Kathryn and her father are so much alike in many other aspects, this is one way in which they differ. After a death and an accident Kathryn realizes that life is fragile and that her dad will not be around forever, so she embarks on a two-week wine tour with her father in an attempt to get to know him better.
Kathryn and Phillipe tour through Alsace, Burgundy, Cotes du Rhone, and the Languedoc tasting wines, liquor, French breads, and cheeses along the way. They encounter a bout of food poisoning, rude winery owners, and new friends, and at the end of the trip they will either have killed each other because they are so alike or Kathryn will understand more about her father because she has explored his great passion in life- wine.
I love a great memoir; I like being able to walk a mile in someone else's shoes, experience a new era or way of life, or travel through countries that I've never been to. Unfortunately "Corked" didn't do anything for me. I found myself feeling indifferent as I read, often thinking "So what?". I'm not sure why exactly this one didn't resonate with me more than it did, seeing as I also have a father who loves me deeply, but whom I am too similar to, so frequently arrive at misunderstandings with. The journies through wine country, the wine tastings, and the vineyards just didn't make me care enough about the story to actually enjoy it. At times I found it to be rather forced, this journey to understand her father. At the end I felt that although she did learn a little (it had its moments), she didn't come to fully understand her father's passion. Then again, that would be difficult to understand in only two weeks.
I'm not sure how the book could have been improved so that I could have enjoyed it more. Perhaps if it read more like a personal journey than like a tour guide through wine country it may have held my interest longer, but maybe not. If you're a fan of wine and everything that goes into making it, give this one a try, but those who aren't fans may want to give this one a miss.