Evan Dawson Summer in a Glass


Matt Kramer, Wine Spectator columnist and author of  Matt Kramer On Wine:

“Every wine region of real quality deserves not just a champion–it’s too easy to be a mere booster–but a storyteller of grace, insight and affection. The Finger Lakes region in upstate New York has just such a storyteller in Evan Dawson, who brings to life–fires your imagination, really–the triumphs, travails and intimate personal decisions that are the real ingredients of fine wine. For once, the folks in Napa Valley should envy the Finger Lakes in winning the articulate affection of a writer as fine as Evan Dawson.”


Mary Ewing-Mulligan MW, co-author of Wine for Dummies:

“In the process of telling the fascinating personal stories of local winemaking compatriots, Evan Dawson has created an invaluable human chronicle of the Finger Lakes region that will warm the hearts of those who read it, while claiming a place in the history of the region. These stories will bring a new dimension to your appreciation of Finger Lakes wines.”

Eric Asimov, wine writer for the New York Times:

Mr. Dawson is an empathetic listener and understated observer who weaves together the various strands with great skill and insight. Many of the winemakers come from somewhere else, settling in the Finger Lakes in search of a second chance, or even a first one. Mr. Dawson gets inside their tales of love, passion and loss, and before you’ve realized it you’ve developed an emotional stake in their success, as well as a desire for the wines.

Dave McIntyre, wine writer for the Washington Post:

Reading his book, you will see, smell and feel the drive along each of the Finger Lakes and emerge on a first-name basis with the vintners who are forging a regional identity with their wines and setting a high bar for quality all along the East Coast. I’ve met and interviewed many of the people profiled here, but only after reading this book can I say I know them.

Kevin Zraly, wine educator and author of Windows On the World Complete Wine Course, 2009 Edition:

“Evan Dawson is able to bring out the essence of each of the wine personalities featured in this book. You feel like you are there with Evan and the people he’s writing about, like you’re part of the discussion and of Finger Lakes winemaking history. He’s able to capture the reader’s attention quickly.”

Anne Zimmerman, writing for Serious Eats online:

“He’s an expert storyteller, and the characters in this book jump off the page. There’s dialogue. Occasionally there’s gossip, but it feels tempered by professionalism. Rather than reading like an industry ‘tell-all,’ Summer in a Glass reads with the intimacy and heart that only a true insider can provide.

“Unlike other books composed of profiles of great winemakers or wineries that often feel outdated the second they are published, Summer in a Glass: The Coming of Age of Winemaking in the Finger Lakes will last. It is a history of a time and a place, a chronicle of people and personalities that will be both useful and enjoyable for years to come. Just like those Finger Lakes whites, Summer in a Glass is bound poetry and promise.”

(Read the full review here)

Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan MW, author of The Great Courses: The Everyday Guide to Wine:

“Evan has the gift of a great journalist and storyteller. Summer in a Glass is an intimate glimpse into the lives, inspiration and perspiration of the brave men and women of wine in The Finger Lakes Region. Evan truly captures the essence and soul of the region and some of its quality pioneers, allowing the reader to personally connect with them.   He takes us on a journey through their exciting lives, revealing a crucial factor behind their great wines, the human element. And without looking, the reader learns effortlessly about wine through entertaining, compelling and heartfelt stories.  It’s a delight!”

Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor and founder, New York Cork Report:

“With his Summer in a Glass,  Evan Dawson — an intrepid journalist and raconteur — reminds us that wine isn’t simply fermented grape juice on a store shelf. It is a confluence of people, place and passion, and he take us inside the lives of those who put all of themselves into the bottles we uncork every day.

Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or a novice, Summer in a Glass will leave you thirsty, not only for Finger Lakes wine, but for more tales of love, loss, frustration and redemption. It’s not a book about wine. It’s a book about hope.”

Steven Kolpan, James Beard award-winning co-author of Exploring Wine and Winewise, and Chair of Wine at the Culinary Institure of America, Hyde Park:

“Evan Dawson’s Summer in a Glass is an important book for those who love wine, and an especially important book for those of us who love the wines of the Finger Lakes. Dawson’s creative, polished and  exciting writing creates just enough exposition for good story-telling, while allowing the voices of the region’s winemakers to express their passion, their commitment, their expertise, their artistry. After reading Summer in a Glass, I want to pour a glass of fine Finger Lakes Riesling. I will not only taste, enjoy, and savor the wine, but I will remember, embrace, and celebrate the story of the gifted winemaker who creates that wine.”

Jane Hebert,

“Dawson (managing editor, New York Cork Report) collects minibiographies of some of the players in the up-and-coming Finger Lakes wine region in New York State. The cool climate is the perfect environment for growing Riesling and thus it has attracted many winemakers and tourists to the vicinity. Though the 12 individuals Dawson profiles have similar goals, no two are the same. Their backgrounds and philosophies vary, from the graduate with a viticulturist degree to a winemaker who learned by reading every book in the library to the grower who is in tune with his land. While each character alone may be appealing, together they represent an amazing array of experiences.

Verdict Like the concerted effort of the three Tierce “brothers” who together create wonderful wine, Dawson stitches together diverse portraits to compose a useful travel guide, lessons in Wine 101, and, most important, a reminder of what makes wine so alluring. A fast, engaging read for wine lovers, especially those planning to visit the Finger Lakes region.”

Jeff Lefevere, The Good Grape: A Wine Blog Manifesto

The Finger Lakes Finds Their Voice – The darkly comedic, wine-soaked, buddies-on-the-road fiction book has already been written.  If another similarly resonating wine book were to find market success it might be non-fiction, combine elements of self-discovery that occur in “Coming of age” stories, and provide a rooting interest for the underdog.

And now, that book has been written, too.

(Read the full review here)

Keith Levenberg, author of Cellar-Book online

There are several different ways one can approach writing about a wine region… Dawson’s method is by far the most engaging to read. What makes these winemakers spring from the page in novelistic fashion is the way Dawson dramatizes what pushes them at a basic, human level.

(Read the full review here)

Jack Porcello, Joining Hands Ministries – Rochester Spiritual Humanists

Most books about wine that I have read have been just that – books about wine.  The authors attempt (and sometimes succeed in) the arduous task of conveying in print the description of offerings from a region, winery, or vintage.  Often these works are filled with techno-babble and describe the tastes and smells of wines in terms that try to be objective, but are truly driven by the writer’s nose and tongue.

Most books about wine are books about wine.  Summer in a Glass is that, but so much more.

(Read the full review here)





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