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 Romanee-Conti. She pulls on sturdy boots to help with the grape harvest at California's 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 California's 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 world's 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 (it's best to start outin 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.
From the Hardcover edition.
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.
Sommelier 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.
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
Natalie MacLean is an accredited sommelier and has won four James Beard Journalism Awards, including the MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award; five IACP Bert Greene Awards; four Association of Food Journalists Awards; and four North America Travel Journalists Association Awards; and she was named the World's Best Drink Writer. Her work has appeared in Best Food Writing, and she has written for Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, Wine Enthusiast, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Chicago Tribune, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. More than 65,000 wine lovers subscribe to her free E-Newsletter at www.Nataliemaclean.com.