I received a press release about a lawsuit brought by New York City attorney David Bamberger which cited noted wine writer Harriet Lembeck as having written the worst wine book ever written. As an attorney practicing in New York Cit and wine collector living in Melville, LI with a cellar of more than 5,000 bottles and a wine library with more than 500 volumes, I was intrigued. So I purchased “Harriet Lembeck’s Guide To Deciphering A Wine Label,” the book subject of the press release, from Amazon.com. The press release was right on – I have never seen anything as awful as Ms. Lembeck’s book – it’s writing is horrific and confusing and its maps drawn by William Lembeck are simply dreadful and of no useful purpose. The book has some chapters of just two pages and even a chapter of just one page! What a ripoff! And the book contains advertising – no self-respecting wine writer would sell advertising in a consumer book. In addition to Amazon, this book is everywhere, all over the Internet. Given that it is indeed the worst wine book ever written far surpassing the silliest and stupidest of wine books in my wine library, Ms. Lembeck’s selling it for $18.95 is the biggest ripoff the wine industry has seen in recent times. The Complaint in the lawsuit recites that Ms. Lembeck devoted three years to write this book and complete it after numerous delays and excuses and that the manuscript is totally inadequate and confusing. Any competent writer could have dashed out this book in a month or less. This book is total drivel. Ms. Lembeck includes numerous totally useless maps but makes no reference to them in her text. The book’s meager text is padded with large wine labels that are frequently not referred to in detail to create an understanding of the wine. After reading this book, a novice wine consumer will certainly be more confused about deciphering a wine label than before reading it. Do not buy this book. It is a total ripoff. Ms. Lembeck should hide her head in shame for offering it to the public.
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