Corked: A Memoir

Front Cover
John Wiley & Sons, Dec 4, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 256 pages
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Meet Kathryn Borel, absurd bon vivant and daughter of duty. Now meet her father, Philippe, former chef, eccentric genius, and wine aficionado extraordinaire. Kathryn is like her father in every way but one: she doesn't get it when it comes to wine. And although Philippe has devoted untold parenting hours to delivering impassioned, oenological orations, she has managed to remain unenlightened. But after an accident and a death, Kathryn realizes that by shutting herself off to her father's greatest passion, she will never really know him. So, she proposes a drunken father-daughter road trip. As they drive through the country, meeting with vintners, touring vineyards, laughing, screaming, panicking and fighting, they watch the birth, development and maturation of a very special part of their relationship: the ability to connect over wine. This is the uncensored account of their tour through the great wine regions of France. Kathryn's tale is uniquely told in her fervent and personal voice, and her stories are passionate and unpredictable, shocking and very funny. By turns uproarious, poignant, and filled with cunning little details about wine, CORKED is a book for any reader who has sought a connection with a complex family member or wanted to overcome the paralyzing terror of being faced with a restaurant wine list.

Corked was featured as one of the best books of 2009 in Quill & Quire, the National Post, Eye Weekly, and The and was shortlisted for the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour.


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Corked is not for the purient, but worth the read.

User Review  - DeGarage - Borders

The author of this tale tells of things sometimes you don't want to speak of. Relationships with parents will never be complete, because they were there in the story before you...they will always have ... Read full review

Selected pages


Part One
Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Part Two
Chapter Five
Chapter Six
Chapter Nine
Part Four
Chapter Ten
Chapter Eleven
Chapter Twelve
Part Five
Chapter Thirteen
Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Seven
Part Three
Chapter Eight

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About the author (2009)

Kathryn Borel Jr. was born in 1979 in Toronto, the daughter of a hotelier. After several years she became the older sister to Nico, who was named after the family cat. She spent her early years living in hotels in Paris, Bermuda, Dallas and New Jersey, finally settling in Quebec City.

In 2002 she moved to Toronto to follow a man. The relationship ended.

She continues to live in Toronto with her extensive robot collection. In her decadelong journalism career, she has written and broadcast for many local and national top-rated programs on CBC Radio One, including Metro Morning, GO! and As It Happens. She was one of the founding producers of Q, where she holds the official title of "Producer" and the less official title of "Mayor of Awesometown." She has a popular wine column on Ontario's weekend morning show, Fresh Air. Corked is her first book.

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