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Red, White, and Drunk All Over: A Wine-Soaked Journey from Grape to Glassby Natalie MacLean
Synopses & Reviews
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.
"Beginning in fabled Burgundy and ending with a dinner in New York with novelist and wine writer Jay McInerney, Natalie MacLean writes about wine with a sensuous obsession. Hop-scotching from wine region to winery to wine boutique, interviewing everyone in the world of wine from winemakers to purveyors to critics, Red, White and Drunk All Over is an eclectic compendium about everything concerning wine. Never pedantic, but always erudite and eminently readable — and often laugh-out-loud funny — MacLean's book is a terrific beginning for the new wine connoisseur. Here one will find advice and information on everything from cellaring to proper stemware, how to order wine in a restaurant, differentiations of grape varieties and regions, the myths of winespeak, and much more; in other words, a great jumping-off point for more serious exploration if one becomes so inclined. After reading this book, the wine neophyte is likely to, so enthusiastic about her love for the grape is MacLean." Rex Pickett, author of Sideways, made into the Oscar-winning movie
"The ideal way to deepen one's appreciation of wine would be to taste and discuss with the people who make the stuff. Natalie MacLean does just that, and reports her adventures in a style as accessible as your favorite pop song. There are revelations galore, and the Randall Graham conversation especially should be printed across the sky." Kermit Lynch, author of Adventures Along the Wine Route and wine merchant
"There's everything here: old stories and new, an enquiring mind and bags of enthusiasm." Hugh Johnson, author of The World Atlas of Wine and The Oxford Companion to Wine
"At last, a wine writer who admits flat out she likes the alcohol part about as much as...all the other esoteric nuances." Kirkus Reviews
Sommelier Natalie MacLean shares her passion and knowledge about wine through colorful stories and insider information about the evocative places and charismatic characters in the wine industry.
After three years of sipping, spitting, and slogging her way through bushy vine leaves and cellar cobwebs, Natalie has collected a host of captivating stories. She tastes pinot noir in the ancient vineyards of Burgundy, picks grapes in the hot California sun, and discovers how champagne differs from still wine both in method and mystique. She works retail at a high-tech shop in New York City, looks at the influence of super-critic Robert Parker, Jr., whose opinion can make or break a wine, and compares collecting notes with novelist and wine enthusiast Jay McInerney. Whether disgorging champagne bottles (and nearly taking out the cellar master's eye) or dripping red wine across the table linens at a five-star restaurant, Natalie delivers a tour both engaging and informative, from grape to glass to gullet.
In this bodice-ripping wine book that got widespread and excellent reviews in hardcover, multiple James Beard and IACP award-winning writer Natalie MacLean's journey through the international world of wine is the perfect companion for neophytes and wine aficionados alike.
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 wines in the world are made. She visits the labyrinthine cellars of Champagne to examine the myths and the mystique of bubbly. 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 telephone directory. 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.
With her signature engaging style, Natalie MacLean takes you on a whirlwind journey through the world of wine, searching for great taste at a low cost. By turns confessional—with guilty admissions from a penny-pincher who loves simple pleasures—and spirited, Unquenchable! is informed by MacLean’s decade-long career as an award-winning wine writer.
MacLean recounts her adventure with the most passionate personalities in some of the most gorgeous, off-beat places in the world—from the crazed vintner who explains his wine philosophy while speeding down the Autobahn to the Sicilian winemakers you don’t want to disappoint with your tasting notes. Yet there’s plenty to take away, from her inspired recommendations for food pairings to favorite value wines and wineries, plus many pointers that will enhance your own drinking pleasure.
About the Author
At the 2003 World Food Media Awards in Australia, Natalie was named the World's Best Drink Writer. The competition received more than 1,000 entries. An international and independent panel of 47 food and wine experts selected her from a short-list of 14 nominees from the U.S., Canada, U.K., New Zealand and Australia. Natalie has also won four James Beard Foundation Journalism Awards for her writing about drinks, including the MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award, in memory of one of America's greatest food writers. This award was given out at the end of the ceremony for work of literary merit. She was also nominated for this award in 2005. Natalie has also won an unprecedented five Bert Greene Awards for excellence in food journalism, presented by the International Association of Culinary Professionals, four awards from the American Association of Food Journalists, four from the North American Travel Writers Association and three honorable mentions at the National Magazine Awards.
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