Monday, October 6, 2008

A Book Review Of: “Red, White and Drunk All Over” by Natalie MacLean

The experience one derives from wine is not like any other beverage; it is an adventure of exploring the land and the people from which it comes. It is an expression of the Providential weather, climate and soil as well as the blood sweat and tears of those who pour out their lives into the craft of wine making.

There are many books on wine that provide facts about the history of wine, viticulture regions, step by step instructions on how to make wine and a lot of “how to” tips on enjoying it. But they tell you little about the soul of the writer and nothing of the adventure of traveling the wine country, meeting the people or what it is like to have first hand experience in the wine making process.

The difference between Natalie MacLean’s book Red, White and Drunk All Over and so many others is that while many authors provide a lot of technical information, Natale shares her knowledge of wine she has gained from personal experiences, “ real wine education has largely been through the people I’ve met and the places I’ve been.” Like most wine enthusiasts I have met, Natalie has a story to tell of her discovery of the grandness of wine that sounds almost like a religious conversion experience. It is a moment when the light comes on and the mystery of wine grabs hold of you “that evaporates with the cold touch of analysis.” You develop an insatiable appetite to learn more about wine and why it is the perfect catalyst for enjoying food and fellowship with friends. Natalie shares her personal story with her readers and as you travel with her you will find greater inspiration for exploring vineyards as well as the desire to expand and mature in your appreciation of the culture of wine. In her book Natalie takes you along with her on her wine travels to Old World and New World wine regions and invites you into the inner sanctum of fine wine shops as well as into the battlefields of wine critics.

Sound intimidating?

Well, have no fear for along the way you will learn with Natalie all that you need to know about wine. You will gain a knowledge of various wine varietals, soils as well as the enigmatic and allusive concept of terroir. Along with Natalie you will experience the process of nurturing the nectar of the grapes from vine to wine while gaining an appreciation of the heritage of Old World wineries as well as come to love the visionary souls of those who are pushing the envelope in New World territories. Yet this is no dry textbook, it reads as a Meritage of adventure story, romance novel and an introductory class on enology and viticulture.

If you are looking for a fun, leisurely and yet insightful way to learn about wine then I highly recommend that you pick up a copy of Red, White and Drunk All Over. Then pour yourself a glass, snuggle up to a cozy fire and read along with Natalie. Or, better yet, buy several copies and get together with your family and friends, open a bottle and get ready for a fun time of adventuring the world of wine exploration.

To listen to an interview with Natalie, check out the following video: