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Red, White, and Drunk All Over: A Wine-Soaked Journey from Grape to Glass Paperback – October 16, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA (October 16, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582346496
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582346496
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,201,479 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Praise for Red, White, & Drunk All Over:

“[Natalie MacLean’s] relationship with wine is sensual, very personal and she acknowledges, and occasionally embraces, an aspect of it virtually ignored by most wine books: its delightful effect on the nervous system. She has very cleverly wrapped a wine primer in such appealing anecdote that any reader, male or female, should find learning about wine completely painless.” --Jancis Robinson, author of The Oxford Companion to Wine

“There's something sensuous about Natalie MacLean's new book ... check that: There's a lot that's sensuous about her charming and disarming paean to the wine world. ‘Red, White and Drunk All Over’ is a passion play of sorts (with wine as her religion), starring sundry luminaries of the wine world, not least among them the author...With enough wit and wisdom to fill a magnum-sized decanter, MacLean imparts knowledge without seeming ‘teacherly,’ thanks in part to a conversational style that never seems ‘writerly.’" Minneapolis Star Tribune

 “[A] wonderfully witty wine industry expose...Readers will appreciate MacLean's infectious curiosity and her demystification of a seemingly intimidating world. Like a well aged wine, her enthusiasm is irresistible.”  —Italian Cooking and Living Magazine

“This breezy read, told through the lens of personal experience, is a perfect pick-up for the passionate novice who likes a good anecdote along with a lesson on wine ratings. In short, the wine might be dry, but the writing isn’t.”  —Wine News

“One volume that stood out for me is Natalie MacLean's "Red, White, and Drunk All Over: A Wine-Soaked Journey From Grape to Glass"...Her writing style is most definitely playful, but MacLean harbors an ulterior motive in "Red, White, and Drunk All Over." As she rambles through vineyards and occasionally stumbles tableside in the dining room, she subtly informs the reader on dense subjects like biodynamic farming, food-and-wine pairing, the effects of 2, 4, 6-trichloroanisole on wine and why wineglasses come in so many shapes.” Atlanta Journal Constitution

“Reading about wine can sometimes be as boring as reading about history, but one of the more entertaining wine books this year comes from Natalie MacLean. ‘Red, White and Drunk All Over’ is really a collection of short stories.” —Buffalo News

“Along the way, plenty of wine facts and explanations are woven into the breezy anecdotes; it's a painless way of learning more about wine while being entertained. So often wine books are just a boring regurgitation of the facts written by some stuffy guy with a "been there, done that" attitude. ‘Red, White, and Drunk All Over’ is written with considerable passion and verve; on the basis of its infectious enthusiasm alone, this is my choice for wine book of the year.”  —Santa Barbara News Press

“[Red, White, and Drunk All Over] will please neophytes and connoisseurs alike...informative and funny. Unlike so many esoteric wine books, this one's a page-turner."  —South Florida Sun Sentinel

“Eminently readable.”  —San Jose Mercury News

“The best wine book of the year.”  —Uncorked

“Red, White and Drunk All Over, is a ‘stand out from the crowd’ book about wine. Not just wine, but wine in all of its glory, wine in all of its mystery, wine that is good and wine that is well...not. ….From discovering the intricacies of making a palatable Zinfandel despite it's many idiosyncrasies to unearthing the well-kept secrets of past and present Champagne makers alike, Red, White and Drunk All Over explodes onto the scene with a myriad of wine world nuggets and the insider's scoop that both the seasoned enthusiast and those just tip-toeing into the world of wine will find captivating.”—About.com

“The book is a breezy, laugh-out-loud funny, peek behind the curtain of the wine trade.”—Charlotte Observer

"[MacLean] tackles the subject of wine with unbridled enthusiasm...reading about her adventures in the wine trade is like cozying up with a friend's diary.”—Seattle Times

“Red, White, and Drunk All Over will please the palates of wine lovers everywhere."    —Los Angeles Times

"[Natalie Maclean] manages to cram a ton of practical information into a lively, often droll narrative." –Chicago Reader

"[L]ike a box of open chocolates, it sucked me in and before I knew it, I had finished the whole thing...Natalie MacLean’s writing makes me want to pack a suitcase and order a flight ticket for anywhere she plans to go."—eGullet.com

"[A] blend of Kitchen Confidential and Sideways…an informative and amusing tour from grape to glass and beyond." –Continental Airlines Magazine

"MacLean's guide to wine is engaging, practical, and perfect for novices."—Entertainment Weekly

"Bold, irreverent and playful ...a great read for people who want an adventuresome romp through the key regions of the wine world without ever leaving the comfort of their armchair. ..While some wine books can be a bit dull, this one offers a unique approach, a whirlwind of travel and a refreshing travel partner who 's point-blank honest...her enthusiasm is contagious - whether you're an experienced wine traveler or a rookie."—Santa Rosa Democrat

“MacLean's memoir of her journey into and around wine is a grand start. She tells engaging, sensual tales about her first explorations. No lists, no quickie bits, but a long, satisfying read." –St. Petersburg Times

"Neither an excoriating polemic nor a shameless exaltation of the famous and the fatuous, MacLean's book refreshes with its evenhanded treatment of the outsized personalities populating this industry."--Newsweek

"A smart, passionate writer, a bodice-ripping wine book...not your grandfather's wine book...Throughout, she remains engaging, colorful and informative." –Miami Herald

“Teetotalers, beware! Natalie MacLean’s Red, White, and Drunk All Over 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 voluptuary with brains. Abandon your inhibitions, as she takes you through the wonderful world of wine, teaching you everything you need to know along the way.”—Louisa Thomas Hargrave, director, Stony Brook University Center for Wine, Food and Culture, author, The Vineyard

“Natalie MacLean deepens one’s appreciation of wine as if she were beside you. Her adventures in wine-tasting are as accessible as your favorite pop song.”—Kermit Lynch, wine merchant and author of Adventures on the Wine Route

“MacLean is an exuberant guide to common and uncommon realms of the wine world. I found her enthusiasm not only for her subject, but also for the people who commit their lives to it, impossible to resist and thoroughly enjoyed this book.”—Michael Ruhlman, author of The Reach of a Chef, The Soul of a Chef, and Charcuterie

“Natalie MacLean writes about wine with a sensuous obsession. Hopscotching the globe from wine regions to wineries to wine emporiums, interviewing everyone in the realm of wine from winemakers to purveyors to critics, Red, White and Drunk All Over is an eclectic compendium about almost everything relating to wine. Never pedantic, but always erudite and eminently readable—and often laugh-out-loud funny—MacLean's book is a terrific introduction for the inchoate wine connoisseur.”—Rex Pickett, author of Sideways

“There's everything here: old stories and new, an enquiring mind and bags of enthusiasm.” --Hugh Johnson, author of The World Atlas of Wine and The Oxford Companion to Wine

“Unlike so many wine guides, this one is an adventure story.  Natalie MacLean takes us along as she navigates the sometimes treacherous wine landscape, from vineyard to wine store to restaurant to her own kitchen, putting it all in perspective and even putting a wine snob or two in their place.  We finish the journey far more confident—and with a craving for great wine.”—Edward Deitch, Wine Critic, NBC and MSNBC.com

“A galloping read, which educates, entertains and amuses…[Natalie] is the George Plimpton of wine writers; she shares insights from her ‘day in the life of’ a vineyard worker, a winemaker, a wine sales person and a sommelier. Exciting tidbits also include insider report of the feud between well known wine experts.”—Ann Noble, professor of viticulture, University of California, Davis and creator of the Wine Aroma Wheel

“Many have walked down the path of vinous storytelling before Natalie MacLean, but until Red, White, and Drunk All Over, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen someone so sensibly or surreptitiously provide a starch-free education in wine.  In the guise of a heart- and body-warming memoir, we get to learn what she learns while she’s learning it. Why, you’d almost be under the impression that she wasn’t actually teaching! And beyond being a terrific writer, she’s fun company.”—Danny Meyer, co-author of The Union Square Cafe Cookbook and Setting the Table

"At last, a wine writer who admits flat out she likes the alcohol part about as much as the 'nose' and all the other esoteric nuances...Refreshingly accessible and good-humored entrée into the world of fine wine."—Kirkus

"Her passionate desire to learn about all aspects of wine increases its sensual pleasure, and her goal "to demystify an intimidating world" succeeds...For casual wine lovers, MacLean deciphers the perplexing dilemmas of appropriate wine aging without pedantry...Solid research, a breezy style and commonsense advice prove invaluable for the novice, while her good humor will delight the connoisseur."—Publishers Weekly


More About the Author

Natalie's free wine e-newsletter at www.nataliemaclean.com offers wine picks, articles and humor. Some 50,000 wine lovers in 36 countries subscribe and it was twice named one of the three best food and wine newsletters at the James Beard awards.

At the 2003 World Food Media Awards in Australia, Natalie was named the World's Best Drink Writer. The competition received more than 1,000 entries. An international and independent panel of 47 food and wine experts selected her from a short-list of 14 nominees from the U.S., Canada, U.K., New Zealand and Australia. Natalie has also won four James Beard Foundation Journalism Awards for her writing about drinks, including the MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award, in memory of one of America's greatest food writers. This award was given out at the end of the ceremony for work of literary merit. She was also nominated for this award in 2005. Natalie has also won an unprecedented five Bert Greene Awards for excellence in food journalism, presented by the International Association of Culinary Professionals, four awards from the American Association of Food Journalists, four from the North American Travel Writers Association and three honorable mentions at the National Magazine Awards.

Customer Reviews

Can't wait to start her next book.
rick boyles
Her writing style is personable and easy to read, and makes you feel like you are accompanying her on her journeys.
monkuboy
This is the first book that I've read that actually makes it fun to learn about wine.
Holly E. Stichka

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By monkuboy VINE VOICE on August 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Marketing books will tell you that the way to captivate a customer for your product is to tell a story, rather than recite a bunch of dry facts. The majority of books about wine focus on facts - about the grapes, vintages, food matches, how-to's, etc., and there's certainly nothing wrong with that except for when you've read one, the others get kind of repetitive.

What is refreshing about Ms. MacLean's book is that you learn via her telling you stories, relating her various wine world experiences. Her writing style is personable and easy to read, and makes you feel like you are accompanying her on her journeys. Reading her book is sort of like listening to Forrest Gump while most other wine books are like listening to a lecture. She's also got a great sense of humor - very entertaining.

The book is similar in style to Kermit Lynch's Adventures on the Wine Route; both educate the reader via tales of wine encounters. The difference is Mr. Lynch focuses on his visits to the various producers he imports (and thus writes from the point of view of a merchant and wine lover), whereas Ms. MacLean has a broader scope of topics (and it is obvious she has a passion for wine). What they do have very much in common is a talent for making you thirsty for the subject matter. Consider them both great ambassadors for wine.

One other thing I'd like to add is I admire how the author got started in her career. She came across something that really interested her, she pursued it, and her passion is obvious. We should all find something we love so much!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Lael Atkinson on December 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book will make you thirsty. It is highly recommended that you have a ready supply of wine on hand before you start reading. Natalie MacLean makes you feel as if you are right by her side on her fascinating journey through the world of wine and encounters with its engaging inhabitants. And since she's in the driver's seat, you should relax, uncork and enjoy the ride.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dwavle on April 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book was absolutely the best resource I've read on wine. I use the word "resource" purposely because, while Ms. MacLean has a gift for storytelling, in the end, this book is quite enlightening and educational for folks like myself that are just beginning to appreciate good wine. I've been a wine drinker for 15 years, but couldn't ever keep my interest in any particular book or magazine. However, I couldn't put this book down. I highly recommend it. I have also very much enjoyed her free newsletters.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. Watkins on July 17, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Through this book, Natalie MacLean has achieved something many wine writers strive for but rarely achieve. Her book is educational, yet not at all intimidating -- it's actually fun to read. Natalie covers a wide variety of topics most "average, everyday winedrinkers" are interested in knowing more about -- wine production, marketing, tasting, and sharing -- and she does so with a humorous way of poking fun at herself. Great writing style!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Charles W. Clowdis on December 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Natalie has a fun and unique style; her stories are delightful. This book is best enjoyed with a glass...or bottle...of your favorite wine! And, if you are not a wine lover, you will be after reading this enticing book!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By S. C. Wright on January 3, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Entertaining, fun, light, but educational. A great way to learn about wine! I'd rather travel to wine regions in person, but this is a good second choice.
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Format: Hardcover
A rollicking good time, and the wine book that needed to be written, but she should have spent more time with Josh Raynolds and Stephan Tanzer as Robert Parket and Janice Robinson already have lakes of ink spilt on them. This is a great book for wine geeks, sideline spectators, and those just curious about how the wine industry works. MacLean verges on M. F. K. Fisher's "How to Cook a Wolf" territory with some of her long passages on dining with family and friends, but it is all forgivable. Lots and lots of fun.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By timpotom on March 16, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I am half way through Natalie's book and must say that it is

both enlightening and entertaining. Not only am I learning,

I am smiling too! What could be better? Great Book!

Her newsletter is also a wonderful littany of humor and knowledge.
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