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Unquenchable!: A Tipsy Quest for the World's Best Bargain Wines Hardcover – November 1, 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“I learned so much from Natalie MacLean's humorous, literate, lively adventures in search of great buys in wine. Fun to read, her book introduces you to many winemakers who could be in novels, to out-of- the-way places you'll want to add to your travel list, and, most of all, to an appreciation of vino as integral to the joy of living. I'm restocking my racks with her smart suggestions.”—Frances Mayes, author of Under the Tuscan Sun

"With fully extracted prose that lingers on the palate, Natalie MacLean has wisely headed off the beaten path to get at the essence of wine. As she probes the elusive intersection of quality and value, we are lucky sidekicks on her well-observed journey through the landscapes, people, stories, and-let's just say it-buzzes that make wine so wonderful.”—Benjamin Wallace, author of The Billionaire's Vinegar

“Natalie pulls us along happily into her wide world of wine-you are right there with her at the table or in an underground cellar. The conversations are lively and the wine flows. And when a winemaker pours a glass for her, you might look around wondering, 'Where's mine?' She made me itchy to get on a plane and hit the wine route myself.”—Kermit Lynch, award-winning wine merchant and author of Adventures on the W

“A rollicking travelogue of her journeys around the world in search of the best vino that won’t break the bank.—The Washington Post

“A light, informative adventure in wine appreciation that should have broad appeal. Highly recommended.”—Library Journal

“Natalie MacLean’s Unquenchable is one of this year’s most entertaining—and genuinely useful—wine books.”—Louisville Courier-Journal

“Passionate, witty, honest, and informative. This entertaining read is a must for wine lovers.”—VintageCellars.com

“Highly educational and witty, neophytes and professionals will drink this up.” —Wine Enthusiast Magazine

“The narrative is so captivating that Unquenchable becomes a page-turner after reading a few pages of the introduction.”—Winesworld.com

About the Author

Natalie MacLean is the author of Red, White, and Drunk All Over, which was named the Best Wine Literature Book in the English language at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. An accredited sommelier and journalist, she writes wine columns that reach 5.1 million readers in print, and her free wine e-newsletter is read by more than 125,000 wine lovers at www.nataliemaclean.com.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Perigee Books; 1 edition (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399537074
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399537073
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,169,975 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Greg Dew on January 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Natalie has captured the uniqueness of wine internationally, whether it is here in Australia, or in South Africa, or in Europe, or in South or North America. All the Winemakers she talks with speak with genuine passion about their love of wine and their involvement. We wine lovers, as consumers, should appreciate the "work of art" in each glass of wine we enjoy so much. I thoroughly enjoyed reading of Natalie's adventures worldwide. Of course, special interest to me being a South Australian were her interviews with the eccentric, but brilliant Wolf Blass, along with Peter Gago and Stephen & Prue Henschke. It was of special significance to me when I recently drove past the Wolf Blass Visitor Centre at Nuriootpa (Barossa Valley) and retraced Natalie's talk with Wolf Blass. Very well done, Natalie. I know you would be welcome back here anytime (soon hopefully). Greg DEW, Adelaide, South Australia.Unquenchable: A Tipsy Quest for the World's Best Bargain Wines
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Format: Kindle Edition
Food & Wine Annual 2011: An Entire Year of Recipes (Food & Wine Annual Cookbook)

I loved this book, my bedtime reading which I will now miss. Natalie MacLean changes the way we think,and write,about wine. She is sometimes almost irreverent when interviewing but her passion for wine shines as does her knowledge of her subject. As a writer myself I enjoyed her journeying and her interviewing. Why didn't I think of something like this? I especially enjoyed her Australian section and her travels to discover the best rieslings of Germany. Her South African travels are enlightening especially her tales about emerging ``native'' winemakers.Regrettably my country (New Zealand) does not directly feature although references are made to New Zealand winemakers, especially their innovation using sheep rather than lawn mowers to control grass growth. Such ideas have been adopted in some other wine-producing countries. In Italy she meets winemakers in Sicily working under the threat of a volcano. Was Sicily the birthplace of wine? Her tasting descriptions are appealing and she describes the increasingly popular pinot noir the ``heartbreak grape.'' She once spat out a bad wine, wryly regretting she was in a restaurant. The competitive aspects of Old World and New World winemaking are touched on as is organic winemaking.

Each chapter is summarised with her recommended best bargain wines and food matches. MacLean's travel reading (not always wine related) is also revealed. After this book, uncorking or unscrewing your next bottle of wine will take on a new, smiling, perspective.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This gem of a book combines travelogue and wine tasting, which has been done before. What gives it an ingenious twist is focusing on those regions of the world that for various market reasons produce quality wines at a bargain price. Each chapter explores a wine-producing area from one of eight different countries spread over four continents. The author, a well-known online wine critic, interviews local vintners after giving some background on each area. The accounts of these interviews, invariably conducted during wine tastings, are one of the most charming aspects of the book. Maclean has a novelist's ear for dialogue and eye for detail, which makes the tastings seem personable and revealing of more than just the quality of the wine. Subtly, her biography and that of the vintners are woven into the experience. Instead of being distracting, this tactic highlights the social element that has always made wine drinking such a basic human pleasure.

At the end of each chapter, there are a variety of lists - ranging from the practical, such as "best values" from the region, to the somewhat free-association "reading lists" that represent the author's attempts to capture the essence of a particular locale. Suggested food-wine pairings are also listed and often described in detail in the text. My only criticism, actually backhanded, is that the number of regions was so limited. A sequel seems natural and would be appreciated by non-pretentious wine lovers everywhere!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The author is a born storyteller, and the stories she tells about the world of wine and its creators are fun and fascinating. This is not a book about what wines to drink, although she does make some recommendations. This is more about understanding the wine making business and what makes it tick.
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Format: Paperback
It was a book highly anticipated since I thoroughly enjoyed Red, White and Drunk all over. Red, White, and Drunk All Over: A Wine-Soaked Journey from Grape to Glass
Thus, when I finally got the paperback edition of Unquenchable, it was a let down for me. It was not as fresh and as personal as the first book was. The first book treated the reader as a friend - it was a friend giving friendly advice/suggestions to another friend; it was akin to a friend recommending good stuff, and recounting the joys of one's experiences. However, the second book, Unquenchable, missed out on that. It departed from that winning formula of the first book, I do feel. There was more distance - it was like there were frequent pregnant pauses in the conversation; it was as if riends who had not seen each other for a long time had difficulty carrying a long conversation. It was a conversation waiting to end. The book was written as if it was trying to give the reader a peep into the mysterious wine world, much like other wine books. But this is not what made the first book so successful - the first book was written for friends; the second book seem more to feed fans.
There is also a glaring factual mistake made. The book states that Germany is second only to France for Michelin starred restaurants (p.61; paperback). If you were to check this site,[...], Japan is at the top with the number of 3-star restaurants; France is 2nd to Japan. Total number of Michelin stars (1,2&3 stars) puts Japan second to France. This is a mistake that can be addressed easily, since the facts are easily found by googling.
Not as good as the first book, but eventually I did finish the book.
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