Monday, 19 May 2008

Book ~ "Red, White and Drunk All Over" (2007) Natalie MacLean

From ~ 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, CA, 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.

I found some parts of this book to be interesting. I will admit that I got bogged down at times, especially in the beginning when she was visiting the various wineries.

I am not close to being an expert about wine and I found this book was over my head at times. I guess I need more of a "Wine for Dummies" style of book.

Considering MacLean is Canadian (born in Nova Scotia and now living in Ottawa), I would have liked her to spend some time talking about our wines since we have excellent regions in Niagara, British Columbia and Nova Scotia.


Jay said...

I love the title of this book, but I'd probably be in the same boat as you - I'm not exactly a connaisseur.

John Mutford said...

I'm probably somewhere in between the Baby Duck drinkers and the wine snobs. Fortunately that leaves a lot of room.

The book you describe here reminds me of Sideways. Did you see it?

Congrats on finishing the challenge!

Natalie MacLean said...

I loved Sideways! The author of the book on which the movie is based, Rex Pickett, was kind enough to endorse my book. My other favourite wine flick is Mondovino: more of a documentary than a movie.


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