...a wonderfully engaging memoir of both her father, Clifton Fadiman, and of what it was like to grow up in a highly bookish and privileged household ... By recording both her past experiences and her current thoughts about those experiences, she keeps The Wine Lover’s Daughter consistently absorbing and, once begun, you will be hard-pressed to stop reading, even though the book should probably be savored like a grand cru rather than guzzled down like cheap beer. Either way, though, you’re in for a good time ... Anne Fadiman’s prose, like a proper gentleman’s suit, is beautifully tailored without drawing attention to itself ... [a] clear-eyed and loving memoir.
...a deliciously rich, well-balanced portrait ... But Fadiman’s memoir uncorks much more than a remembrance of drinks past or a daughter’s filial intoxication. By allowing her memories to ripen over the many years since her father’s death in 1999, the result is a superbly evolved, less tannic pour ... like her father, Fadiman has that rare ability to wear her erudition lightly. And what he said about wine also applies to The Wine Lover’s Daughter: it is a delectable ode to cultivation and civilization.
The Wine Lover’s Daughter is alert to the complications of cultural assimilation—in this case, her father’s tortured struggle to outrun his childhood as the son of poor immigrant Jews...The elder Fadiman’s alienation from his ancestry, a recurring theme of the book, is painful to read about ... The Wine Lover’s Daughter emerges as an elegy not only for Fadiman but also for a way of life.