Walton, Stuart

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Walton, Stuart

PERSONAL:

Male.

ADDRESSES:

E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Author, journalist, and wine writer.

WRITINGS:

NONFICTION

World Encyclopedia of Wine, Smithmark (London, England), 1996.

The Complete Atlas of Wine, Smithmark (London, England), 1997.

(With Norma Miller) Spirits & Liqueurs Cookbook, Lorenz Books (London, England), 1997.

The Book of Wine, Hermes House (London, England), 1998.

Complete Guide to Spirits and Liqueurs, Lorenz Books (London, England), 1998.

The New Guide to Spirits and Liqueurs, Lorenz Books (London, England), 2000.

(With Norma Miller) An Encyclopedia of Spirits and Liqueurs: And How to Cook with Them, Southwater (Bath, England), 2000.

Wines of the World: A Complete Guide to Great Wines and Wine Regions, Southwater (Bath, England), 2000.

(Author of wine notes) Janette Marshall, Food and Drink, BBC (London, England), 2000.

The Complete Guide to Wine, Lorenz Books (London, England), 2000.

(Author of wine notes) Katie Stewart, The Sociable Cook, photographs by Graham Kirk, BBC (London, England), 2001.

Out of It: A Cultural History of Intoxication, Hamish Hamilton (London, England), 2001, reprinted, Harmony Books (New York, NY), 2002.

You Heard It through the Grapevine: Shattering the Myths about the Wine Business, Aurum (London, England), 2001.

The Cook's Encyclopedia of Wine, Barnes & Noble (New York, NY), 2003.

The Bartender's Guide to Cocktails & Mixed Drinks, Barnes & Noble (New York, NY), 2003.

The Complete Guide to Cocktails and Drinks, Lorenz Books (London, England), 2003, published in paperback as Complete Guide to Cocktails and Drinks: How to Create Fantastic Drinks Using Spirits, Liqueurs, Wine, Beer and Mixers, Southwater (Bath, England), 2006.

The World of Wine, Lorenz Books (London, England), 2003.

(With Jeffrey Benson) The Right Wine with the Right Food, Elliot Right Way (Tadworth, England), 2003.

(With Jeffrey Benson) The Definitive Cocktail Book, Elliot Right Way (Tadworth, England), 2004.

Complete Guide to Wines and Wine Drinking, Southwater (Bath, England), 2004.

Humanity: An Emotional History, Atlantic Books (London, England), 2004, published as A Natural History of Human Emotions, Grove Press (New York, NY), 2004.

Understanding, Choosing, and Enjoying Wine, Hermes House (London, England), 2005.

Illustrated Encyclopedia of Classic Cocktails: Mixed, Blended and Fruit Drinks, Lorenz Books (London, England), 2005.

The Complete Cocktail Maker, Southwater (Bath, England), 2005.

The New Encyclopedia of Wine, Lorenz Books (London, England), 2006.

Author's works have been translated into eight languages.

Wine correspondent for the London Paper. Contributor to periodicals and Web sites, including World of Fine Wine, Wine-Pages, and the Guardian Unlimited book blog. Also author of the blog Thought Reading.

SIDELIGHTS:

British journalist Stuart Walton is a highly regarded wine writer who has published such works as World Encyclopedia of Wine and Complete Guide to Spirits and Liqueurs. Walton is known for his often controversial views regarding the industry. According to a contributor on Wine-pages.com, "His work frequently touches on taboo issues and sets out to debunk accepted truths."

In You Heard It through the Grapevine: Shattering the Myths about the Wine Business, Walton examines wine trade practices, noting especially the disappointing quality of famous brands and the failure of high-street retailers to satisfy the consumer. Walton saves some of his harshest criticisms, however, for his fellow wine writers. "The great wine prose stylists have largely gone to a better place now, leaving the way clear for people who've come from PR and advertising backgrounds, or just people who quite like the idea of receiving free wine samples for as long as they can still move their limbs unassisted," Walton told Wine Anorak Web site contributor Jamie Goode. Nicholas Lezard, writing on the Guardian Unlimited, Web site, called You Heard It through the Grapevine "anecdotal, chatty, tough-minded and, for us, the poor beleaguered punters, generous and considerate." Lezard added that the volume "is splendidly written, in the kind of prose that makes you realise you have virtually finished the book at a sitting." Though Goode noted that that "tone of the book is unceasingly negative," he also stated that Walton "writes well, is sometimes genuinely funny, and I was entertained from start to finish." Goode concluded, "I'd recommend this book as a truly entertaining read that has some serious points to make."

In Out of It: A Cultural History of Intoxication, Walton "delivers a thought-provoking and highly readable account of the use of intoxicants through the ages," observed a reviewer on the Spannered Web site. Discussing the use of alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, opiates, hallucinogens, and "designer drugs," Walton contends that intoxication is a basic human appetite. According to Harper's Magazine contributor Daniel Kunitz, "Walton elaborates his chronology in a dry, journalistic tone, which rises to a pitch of impassioned indignation only when relating the comparatively recent and misguided forays of government into prohibiting drug use. Intoxication, he believes, is a fundamental human right." Out of It "is the kind of book that should be read not only by anyone given to intoxication but those who are concerned about it, from the knee-jerk legislator to the anxious parent," observed Lezard. "It might not allay fears, but it will clarify them."

Using Charles Darwin's 1872 survey of emotions in people and animals as a focal point, Walton examines the social implications and manifestations of ten emotions in A Natural History of Human Emotions. Identifying the core emotions as happiness, sadness, anger, fear, surprise, disgust, jealousy, contempt, shame, and embarrassment, Walton "explores the psychological dynamics of these ten and how they have been evoked in our cultural lives," observed a critic in Kirkus Reviews. "An impressive wealth of scholarship helps readers define each emotion and understand how humans experience—and provoke—it," noted Booklist reviewer Bryce Christensen, and a contributor in Science News wrote: "Walton provides a clear overview of emotions and a compelling argument for their universality."

Walton told CA: "I am a firefighter's son from Lancashire in the northwest of England, and I have been writing since I could move a pen over a piece of paper unaided, i.e. since about the age of five. Indeed, it's the only thing—apart perhaps from tasting wine—I thoroughly know how to do. I consider my major acheivements to date to be Out of It and A Natural History of Human Emotions, where I have had the intellectual space to spread myself more broadly than before.

"We are living through a rather demented period in English letters at the moment. U.K. publishers remain mesmerised by celebrity biographies, fictionalised memoirs, sex, interiors, gardening, and sudoku, and are finding their editorial decisions driven more and more by marketing considerations that often turn out to be hopelessly wide of the mark. It is to be hoped that the emerging handful of genuinely imaginative independent publishers can brave this riptide of philistinism. In the meantime, my experience in other territories where my books have appeared, such as the United States, Spain, Brazil, and Mexico, has been nothing but engaged and considerate. It is good to know that thriving literary cultures do still exist around the world, and even better to be a small part of them."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, November 15, 1996, Alice Joyce, review of World Encyclopedia of Wine, p. 561; October 15, 2002, Mike Tribby, review of Out of It: A Cultural History of Intoxication, p. 369; September 1, 2005, Bryce Christensen, review of A Natural History of Human Emotions, p. 23.

Harper's Magazine, October, 2001, Daniel Kunitz, review of Out of It, p. 91.

Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2002, review of Out of It, p. 1209; July 15, 2005, review of A Natural History of Human Emotions, p. 784.

Library Journal, August 1, 2005, Heather O'Brien, review of A Natural History of Human Emotions, p. 106.

Publishers Weekly, July 29, 2002, review of Out of It, p. 62.

Reference & Research Book News, February 1, 2006, review of A Natural History of Human Emotions.

Science News, November 19, 2006, review of A Natural History of Human Emotions, p. 335.

Wilson Quarterly, winter, 2003, Andrew Barr, review of Out of It, p. 112.

ONLINE

Guardian Unlimited,http://books.guardian.co.uk/ (May 19, 2001), Nicholas Lezard, "Our Right to Get High," review of Out of It; (June 9, 2001), Nicholas Lezard, "Vine Land," review of You Heard It through the Grapevine: Shattering the Myths about the Wine.

Overload,http://www.overloadmedia.co.uk/ (September 21, 2004), review of Out of It.

Spannered,http://www.spannered.org/ (July 1, 2001), review of Out Of It.

Spike Online,http://www.spikemagazine.com/ (September 21, 2004), Chris Mitchell, review of Out of It.

Wine Anorak,http://www.wineanorak.com/ (April 15, 2007), Jamie Goode, review of You Heard It through the Grapevine, and "Stuart Walton Interview: Quizzing the ‘Myth Shatterer.’"

Winedoctor.com,http://www.thewinedoctor.com/ (September 21, 2004), review of You Heard It through the Grapevine.

Wine-pages.com,http://www.wine-pages.com/ (April 15, 2007), "Stuart Walton."