Natalie MacLean deserves all of the buzz that her first collection has garnered since its release in 2006. Red, White, and Drunk All Over: A Wine Soaked Journey from Grape to Glass (978-1582346489) is a phenomenal work of wine writing that manages to touch on all aspects of wine from producer to consumer, with a freshness and vivacity that more than lives up to its reputation.
You might be familiar with Natalie MacLean through her highly rated and visited website, Nat Decants. You might have even read her article about Valentine’s Day ideas here on WineLog.net. Ms. MacLean has built up a very strong following of wine enthusiasts in her native Canada, as well as around the rest of the world. Her writing has garnered her prestigious awards from numerous food and wine organizations including the James Beard Foundation, the Association of Food Journalists and the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. Her website has a tremendous food and wine pairing tool and her free newsletter is read by tens of thousands of readers every month.
Ms. MacLean writes from the angle that wine and food are tactile, sensual experiences. As such, descriptions of both should reflect that sensuality, particularly when it those experiences titillate the body like a fine, brooding Brunello or a viscous and dripping demi glace. Descriptions such as “I close my eyes as the aroma envelops me, a silk drapery of scent brushing my cheeks and settling gently around my shoulders,” given while conveying the experience of tasting an elegantly aged Burgundy abound in the book where all of the senses are considered necessary to explain a wine.
The stories cover all aspects of the wine trade and you follow Ms. MacLean all over the world as she investigates wine-making, drinking and even wine marketing. Her ability to maintain dignity while still displaying an unusual amount of self-deprecation in her writing only adds to the story-telling. Ms. MacLean finishes her book with a great guidebook to food and wine pairings.
Red, White… is one of the most entertaining and riveting wine books I have ever read. The wine facts and knowledge are continuously purveyed in a manner that almost leaves you surprised at your new status as a fount of wine information by the end…you don’t realize how much you’ve learned after all the fun you had following her adventures. I highly recommend this book for wine newbies and seasoned, purple-lipped winos.
Disclosure: I received this book compliments of Natalie MacLean and her publisher.
Nat Decants FREE Wine E-Newsletter Wine picks, articles and humor from Natalie MacLean, named the World’s Best Drink Writer at the World Food Media Awards in Australia. Natalie is also the author of Red, White and Drunk All Over: A Wine Soaked Journey from Grape to Glass. For more details on this book and to sign up for the newsletter, visit www.nataliemaclean.com.