I hate book reviews that don’t tell you whether the book is any good.
I read “Cork Dork: A Wine-Fueled Adventure Among the Obsessive Sommeliers, Big Bottle Hunters, and Rogue Scientists Who Taught Me to Live for Taste” because it was on the NPR best books list for 2017.
I liked it.
Why ‘Cork Dork’ is Great
How many of you wonder what it’s like to try something new but worry that you don’t have the skills to pull it off? How many of you doubt that you can change your life?
Bianca Bosker quit her job as a technology journalist and transformed herself into a wine expert, but the change didn’t happen overnight. “Cork Dork” tells the story of a woman who knows nothing about the wine industry — or how wine tastes — and decides through a series of life-changing events to pursue a sommelier certification through The Court of Master Sommeliers.
She gives herself a year.
“Cork Dork” goes undercover into some of the best restaurants and wine cellars in the world and gives you an inside view into the glamorous, fascinating and decadent world of wine. Bianca also drills deep on the science and business of wine to help answer one question: Is all of this bullshit?
The answer is that some of this is science, some of this is art, and some of this is bullshit.
Cork Dork is About Work
You might wonder why “Cork Dork” is a recommended HR book. Why would some VP of HR or talent acquisition leader read a non-fiction book about wine? The answer is simple. It’s because “Cork Dork” is about identity, meaning, passion, purpose and vocation.
Bianca Bosker covers so many important themes that intersect with the world of human resources. She writes about wealth, privilege, entitlement, working conditions in restaurants, gender equality in the service sector, women in science, and, ultimately, what it’s like to work for eccentric people and business owners who are more passionate about wine than creating healthy work environments.
Work sucks for many people in this book, including Bianca, but the characters are passionate about wine and fine dining. They’re willing to overlook micro-aggressions and toxic work environments to achieve their dreams of working in the wine industry.
In that way, “Cork Dork” reminds me of so many other industries and jobs including HR. If all work is temporary, does it matter if you love your boss or your colleagues if a job brings you closer to a personal mission in your life?