Earlier this month, the smashingly charismatic founder and leader of Bonny Doon Vineyard (Twitter) wrote an article that got me thinking...again. Randall Grahm (Twitter) is as much a household name as can be found in the wine biz, as the founder, longtime winemaker and quixotic leader of the alternating huge and boutique Bonny Doon winemaking endeavors over the decades. Part devoted vigneron, part Biodynamic cheerleader, part shaman and part brilliantly funny and educational writer...it is difficult to try and put Grahm in a box. Indeed, if you were to try, he'd probably try and find the best, most neglected grape variety in which to grow in that shaded box. One thing that cannot be said about Grahm is that he isn't willing to risk everything in order to find the best place to grow the best grapes.
I received a very intriguing book sample a few months back, "Sipping On Top of the World: Toasting Good Times and Better Days," courtesy of the author, David White and his organization, the Institute of Wine & Spirituality. I say intriguing because while I've also considered the premise of the book, to actually see an entire life philosophy designed around its topic is quite novel, no pun intended! David proposes that wine can help to direct oneself to the necessary reflection, introspection and celebration of life through its vinous pleasure. Coming from a lifelong interest in philosophic and religious texts, I was very interested to read through this book.
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.