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Red White & Drunk All Overby Natalie Maclean
Synopses & Reviews
Award-winning writer Natalie MacLean sweeps readers behind the scenes of the international wine world, visiting its most evocative places and meeting its most charismatic personalities. Red, White, and Drunk All Over showcases the engaging wit, investigative curiosity, and sharp eye for obsessive passion that has made her free e-newsletter Nat Decants one of the most popular in North America.
Natalie tastes sensuous pinot noir in the ancient cellars of Burgundy while discovering the mysterious tenets of biodynamic viticulture from such colourful characters as the tiny, ferocious Lalou Bize-Leroy, part-owner of France's acclaimed Domaine de la Romanée-Conti. She pulls on sturdy boots to help with the grape harvest at Californias Bonny Doon Vineyards-and gets to the root of the anti-establishment philosophy of owner Randall Grahm, notorious for his experimental wine techniques, love for unfashionable grapes, and fondness for naming his wines “Cardinal Zin,” “Heart Has its Rieslings,” and “Big House Red” (whose grapes are grown just down the road from one of Californias state prisons).
Natalie takes a job as undercover sommelier at a five-star French restaurant, spends a day helping customers in a high-end New York wine shop, wades into a famous feud between Robert Parker and Jancis Robinson, two of the worlds best-known critics and, back home, invites friends over for a casual wine tasting. Along the way she teaches us-painlessly and often hilariously-how to face a telephone directory-sized wine list without fear, what questions to ask to get exactly the wine you are looking, what those scores out of 100 really mean, and how properly to expectorate (its best to start out in the shower!)
This wine-soaked blend of Kitchen Confidential and Sideways is a fascinating tour from the grape to the glass that will drive readers to drink. And think. And laugh.
After three years of sipping, spitting, and slogging her way through bushy vine leaves and cellar cobwebs, award-winning writer Natalie MacLean takes readers behind the scenes of the international wine world, exploring its history, visiting its most evocative places, and meeting some of its most charismatic personalities.
In Red, White, and Drunk All Over, Natalie travels to the ancient vineyards of Burgundy to uncover the secrets of the pinot noir, the heartbreak grape from which some of the most coveted and expensive wines in the world are made. She visits the labyrinthine cellars of Champagne to examine the myths and the mystique of luxury bubbly and the grandes dames who made it the drink of celebration the world over. She pulls on sturdy boots to help with the harvest at the vineyards of iconoclastic Californian winemaker Randall Grahm and goes undercover as sommelier for a night in a five-star restaurant with a wine list the thickness of a phone book. She looks at the influence of powerful critics, notably Robert Parker and Jancis Robinson, invites readers into her dining room for an informal wine tasting, and compares collecting notes at a bacchanalian dinner with novelist Jay McInerney.
As funny and engaging as she is knowledgeable, Natalie has an unconventional wit, curiosity, and obsession with all things related to wine that make for a tour both amusing and informative, from grape to bottle to glass.
About the Author
Natalie MacLean has won numerous awards for her writing, including a prestigious MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award. Her articles have appeared in Bon Appetit, Chatelaine, Food & Wine, the National Post, and many other publications. Natalie lives in Ottawa with her husband and son.
From the Hardcover edition.
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