Red, White, and Drunk All Over: A Wine Soaked Journey From Grape to Glass Paperback – Deckle Edge, Aug 28 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
MacLean's enthusiasm for wine is contagious. For the winner of the prestigious MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award, each glass represents a personal history, "a secret cellar in our minds where we collect our empty bottles filled with memories." Her passionate desire to learn about all aspects of wine increases its sensual pleasure, and her goal "to demystify an intimidating world" succeeds. MacLean interviews everyone from grape growers in Burgundy to upstart zinfandel producers in Sonoma Valley. Every encounter incorporates vivid descriptions of tastings and colorful personalities. Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon Vineyards in Santa Cruz, Calif., bucks the trend of his California competitors, insisting a "great wine is... not a confection of the laboratory, but a subtle expression of the soil from which it sprang." For casual wine lovers, MacLean deciphers the perplexing dilemmas of appropriate wine aging without pedantry. For the purist, however, "life is too short to drink good wine out of bad glasses." That observation leads to the explanation for 103 different shapes of glassware. Solid research, a breezy style and commonsense advice prove invaluable for the novice, while her good humor will delight the connoisseur. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
A GLOBE & MAIL BEST BOOK OF 2006
Praise for Red, White, and Drunk All Over: A Wine-Soaked Journey from Grape to Glass
“Red, White, and Drunk All Over is immensely enjoyable. MacLean has managed to realistically show an industry that is lively, colourful, and filled with people who are defined by their passion for wine. Here is a world of wine that is the antithesis of the dull, dry and dusty one we’ve come to expect.” —Calgary Herald
“As fond of vintage culinary writers (such as M.F.K. Fisher) as she is of the sound of corks popping, MacLean is a companionable and literate guide. She keeps her sipping adventures and travels lively and upbeat in this tour of the international wine world.”–Elle Canada
“Wonderfully infectious. Her convert’s enthusiasm sheds light on obscure corners of viticulture and answers questions any fledgling wine connoisseur might be eager to pose. What’s more, her keen interest in everything from grape-ripening philosophies to the cork-versus-screwcap debate deepens our understanding of the myriad decisions that lie behind every bottle (or, ahem, box). . . . MacLean speaks of loving wine hedonistically, as well as intellectually. Ably reflecting the two faces of her love, Red, White, and Drunk All Over artfully conveys the esthetic pleasures of wine and thoughtfully examines the nuances of its production.” —Vancouver Sun
“Ms. MacLean is the disarming Everywoman. . . . At times her enthusiasm gushes like Champagne opened improperly. But ultimately, it’s a winning formula, aimed at women who are intimidated by wine, and at men who feel that way, too, but won’t admit it.” — The New York Times
“Red, White, and Drunk All Over is a great rainy-night read–by the fire, with a glass of something deep, dark, and slightly sinful at your elbow.” —Georgia Straight
“[This is] not your grandfather's wine book. . . . We may have a new genre here: The wine book as bodice-ripper. . . . Throughout, [MacLean] remains engaging, colorful and informative.”
“A refreshingly accessible and good-humored entrée into the world of fine wine.” –Kirkus Reviews
“MacLean delivers clarity and taut, crisp prose. . . . MacLean may well fashion beckoning, lasting wine prose the way Elizabeth David once did, or Jancis Robinson continues to. Revel. Imbibe. Hector. Seduce. Should MacLean do more of it in her next book, it will soar as a Canadian wine book never has. As for this first one . . . well, there is little that has been as cosmopolitan or as pleasantly complete.”
–The Globe and Mail
“A refreshingly accessible and good-humored entrée into the world of fine wine.”
“MacLean's enthusiasm for wine is contagious. . . . Every encounter incorporates vivid descriptions of tastings and colorful personalities. . . . Solid research, a breezy style and commonsense advice prove invaluable for the novice, while her good humor will delight the connoisseur.”
“A quirky ride. . . . With patience and lightness, MacLean explains terroir and tannins, acidity and fruit, oak and smoke as she tries to demystify wine. . . . The book is like dry champagne, a sparkling aperitif that whets the appetite for more vinous knowledge.”
–Quill & Quire
“MacLean is informative and entertaining, and her literate, anecdotal style of writing brings to life her delightfully charming characters.”
“Natalie MacLean has put the oomph back into words about wine. . . . Natalie is extremely likeable, and her vulnerability attracts us both to the author and subject.. . . [The boook] overflows with humor, with revelation and with a sense that we have shared her more private world.”
–Saltscapes magazine (Atlantic Canada)
“Move over, Robert Parker. Make way, Jancis Robinson. A fresh, new wine story-teller has just exploded over your terrain. . . . Red, White and Drunk All Over is a pure delight for the mind and senses. . . . Be a bright star this upcoming season, and wrap up her debut book as a nice gift for the hostess, or for your sweetie under the Christmas tree. Trust me, good times will follow.”
–Grand magazine (Kitchener-Waterloo)
“There's everything here: old stories and new, an enquiring mind and bags of enthusiasm.”
–Hugh Johnson, author of The World Atlas of Wine, A Life Uncorked, and others
“Who better than Natalie MacLean to lead us through the world of wine? She takes us to the best vineyards and the deepest cellars, knows hot to spot the eccentric geniuses and charms them as she charms us, with self-deprecating, irreverent prose and steely objectivity. Above all, she reminds us that behind the oenology and the marketing hype, wine is a warm and sensual treasure, to be drunk — and written about — with love.”
–James Chatto, Toronto Life Magazine restaurant critic, author of The Greek for Love
“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 Grahm conversation especially should be printed across the sky.”
—Kermit Lynch, author of Adventures on the Wine Route: A Wine Buyer’s Tour of France
“Natalie MacLean is a voluptuary. Her reactions are deeply physical. But Natalie also has brains. So when she takes you on a journey to meet the most interesting people in the world of wine, be prepared to learn everything there is to know about wine — while gleefully abandoning your inhibitions.”
—Louisa Thomas Hargrave, author of The Vineyard: a memoir
“Red, White, and Drunk All Over is an engaging and very accessible guide to the world of wine. Natalie MacLean takes on the dual role of drinking companion and advisor as we travel with her to individual vinyards and wineries in France and California. Along the way we meet, and then quickly develop personal feelings for, the growers, the wine-makers, the vines themselves, and the wines they produce.”
—Naomi Duguid, co-author of Mangoes & Curry Leaves, HomeBaking; Hot Sour Salty Sweet
“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 an almost concupiscent glee. Hopscotching 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 of loosely-woven pieces about everything concerning wine. Never pedantic, but always erudite and eminently readable, MacLean's book is a terrific beginning for the inchoate 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-nominated movie
“Teetotalers, beware! Natalie MacLean's book is such an engaging and delightful read that it's bound to make a wine lover out of everyone who picks it up. We found the entertaining and instructive stories of how wine is made, evaluated, and enjoyed -- featuring some of the wine world's biggest personalities -- almost as delicious as drinking one of our favorite bottles with dinner. This book is an absolute gem.”
—Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page, James Beard Award-winning authors of Becoming a Chef, Culinary Artistry and What to Drink with What You Eat
“Natalie MacLean is a true original. She combines her vast knowledge of wine with a keen eye for a good story and great wit. I raise my glass to her.”
—Bonnie Stern, award-winning and bestselling author of HeartSmart, Bonnie Stern’s Essentials of Home Cooking
“Natalie has taken a brilliant approach to this book. It is highly entertaining, full of great stories that reveal the people, the places and the things that matter most about wine. You will learn just about everything you need to know without even realizing it. A must read for beginners and experts alike”
—John Szabo, Master Sommelier
“Robert Parker to Jay McInerny, Burgundy to Zinfandel, Natalie MacLean wears her heart on her sleeve as she journeys into the minds and mysteries of wine personalities around the world. While on the trail, she pauses to step into her own fantasies by taking a brief whirl at wine retailing by day and dispensing advice as a sommelier at night. Full of vinous insight, this is a great read for the wine savvy, the thirsty adventurer, the gossip hounds and those who want to understand the world of wine from a more human aspect.”
—Lucy Waverman, Globe and Mail food columnist and award-winning author of A Matter of Taste, and other books
“Natalie MacLean imparts much knowledge and history of wine without ever preaching to us. Rather, we are drawn into a fascinating historical essay. Woven into the history we are also introduced to the debate driven world of wine today. The whole package is punctuated with insights that are placed easily within the grasp of people interested in wine at any level. All of this is accomplished without simplifying anything. I think this is the strength of her work. So much research and thought goes into her presentation. Ms. Maclean equips her readers with enough information to come to their own conclusions on subjects that are at once so diverse and yet entwined within the realm of gastronomy. All of this is delivered in a tone that is inviting and that betrays the passion and love that she has for her subject.”
—Jamie Kennedy, chef and author of Jamie Kennedy’s Seasons
From the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
It is a triumph and a must for those of us whose evenings may be seduced by a fine wine.
MacLean travels to Burgundy, France, and writes of her encounters with prestigious vineyards and their owners. It was an eye-opening experience to read of her travels, and she describes each vineyard's wine-making process so clearly, that one really gains an understanding of the aging and bottling processes. Throughout her book, MacLean covers red, white and rosé wines, champagne, and other sparking wines. Thus her reach is expansive and great for comparison among wines.
She discusses the influence of powerful wine critics, yet is careful to not glorify their ratings. This was much appreciated as a beginner wine reader like myself, because it allowed me to form my own opinion about numerical ratings. This was common within in chapters - she rarely (if at all) formed a strong opinion on anything controversial. Again, this neutral stand point was appreciated as an new, easily-influenced wine book reader.
MacLean also explains in simple, direct english the complicated concepts of biodynamics, vintage charts, aging processes, and (for me) the dreaded Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée system.Read more ›
Natalie Maclean writes like the love child of Peter Mayle and Jancis Robinson, who has trained as a stand-up comic. It's fun, funny, humble and very informative. I've always wondered as to the origins of the Kir Royale and what makes Riedel the leader in wine glass technology (I figured that if it didn't leak from the bottom, it'd do!). The author clearly has not only the talent of the palette, but that wonderful sommelier's vocabulary that is so different from mine that allows her to communicate what she's tasting, when she slows down to taste it :-)
Red, White and Drunk All Over reminded me immediately of Architectural Digest with exceptional writing substituting for the glossy images of fantastic places. Right from the beginning, I found myself immersed in the world of wine. The writing is so good, I could imagine myself in Natalie's shoes as she traipsed around the world of wine. While evoking these images, Natalie very stealthily weaves in necessary and, in many cases, little known facts about wine that are critical to active participation in any dinner party conversation on the subject. In fact that's one of the best things about the book - you learn more than a few things about wine - no matter how expert - while having a great time in the process.
Most recent customer reviews
Found information of interest, but a little dull. Only finished it because it was requirement for book club. Bathe highest rating there was 6 out of -0.Published on Jan. 28 2014 by Barbara Graham
I read both her books, signed up for newsletters, bought too much wine, added apps to the phone and bought a wine fridge. A 55 bottle wine fridge. Read morePublished on Jan. 23 2014 by Peg
This is well written, interesting, humorous as well as very informative book. I would recommend it to anyone interested in learning about wines. Read morePublished on Sept. 20 2013 by Satch
Natalie makes reading about wine not only enjoyable but sippable through chapters that are whole and complete unto themselves. Read morePublished on Jan. 14 2012 by Eric Lutz
Excellent. Nothing like most other wine books which are incredibly dull and boring. I have only been getting into wines in the last few years, so I needed help. Read morePublished on Feb. 20 2009 by Verlaine M. Leonard