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“[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 OxfordCompanion 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.’" —MinneapolisStar 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.” —AtlantaJournal 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.” —BuffaloNews
“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 BarbaraNews 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 FloridaSun Sentinel
“Eminently readable.” —San JoseMercury 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.”—SeattleTimes
“Red, White, and Drunk All Over will please the palates of wine lovers everywhere." —Los AngelesTimes
"[Natalie Maclean] manages to cram a ton of practical information into a lively, often droll narrative." –ChicagoReader
"[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 RosaDemocrat
“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. PetersburgTimes
"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." –MiamiHerald
“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
1. Chapter 1: The Good Earth
a) Describe the difference in taste between wines from the Old World, such as France, Italy, and Spain, and those from the New World, including California, Australia, and Canada? What do you think causes these differences? (Hint: Try a couple of pinot noirs from Burgundy and compare them to pinots from Oregon, New Zealand or Canada.). For wines in stores now visit http://www.nataliemaclean.com/vintages.asp.
b) What style of wine do you prefer? Do you like a particular region or grape? Why?
c) How do you think France, in particular, will have to change its approach to marketing in order to compete more successfully with new wine regions?
2. Chapter 2: Harvesting Dreams
a) Do you think wine is more influenced by the soil and climate or by the winemaker? Why? Is this changing with wines today?
b) Which wine regions have you visited that were memorable? Why? Which regions would you like to visit?
c) Have you ever dreamed of a career in wine, food, travel or other related fields? Tell us about it.
3. Chapter 3: The Merry Widows of Mousse
a) Describe the difference in taste between bubbly from Champagne, France, and sparkling wines from other regions.
b) How well do you think bubbly marries with variousdishes, such as oysters, sushi and sashimi, creamy cheeses, salads and vegetarian dishes, and even fried food and potato chips?
c) Why do you think women were so successful in running the great champagne houses in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries?
4. Chapter 4: Purple Prose with a Bite
a) What's your view of the role and importance of wine critics? Compare their influence in the world of wine to that of critics in other spheres, such as books, movies, and restaurants. Have you ever dreamed of being a critic in one of these spheres?
b) Does it make sense to score wine? Why or why not? Do you see scores as a useful tool when shopping for wine?
c) It's been suggested that women are better tasters than men? Do you think this is true? Why or why not?
5. Chapter 5: A Tale of Two Wine Stores
a) Describe the best and worst bottle of wine you've ever bought. The cheapest
and most expensive?
b) What are the wackiest wine labels you've seen? Do you think these are just gimmicky or do they help to make wine more accessible?
c) How could wine be marketed and sold differently?
d) Where is you favorite place to buy wine and why?
6. Chapter 6: A Glass Act
a) Describe the difference in taste between wine in a glass designed for it compared to those that aren't or that are too small?
b) Why do you think Riedel has been more successful than other glassware makers in marketing its line?
c) What are some of the strangest wine descriptions you've read or heard?
7. Chapter 7: Partners at the Table
a) Can you recall a time when a wine and food pairing seemed truly spectacular? A time when one ruined the other? Do you think it's really worthwhile trying to match wine and food?
b) Have you ever had any memorable dishes cooked with wine?
c) What are the best dinner parties or dinners you've had with friends or colleagues? Why do you remember them?
8. Chapter 8: Undercover Sommelier
a) What have been your best and worst experiences ordering wine in a restaurant?
b) What do you think makes for good wine service? Have you ever had a nasty house wine?
c) How much should you tip on wine? Does that change for expensive bottles?
9. Chapter 9: Big City Bacchus
a) What have been your most memorable bottles of wine? Why?
b) Why do you think we accord wine such special status over other drinks?
c) What special bottles do you have in your cellar and when do you plan to drink them?
a) What did you learn about wine from Natalie's book? In what ways has reading it made you feel more confident about wine? What were your favorite and least favorite
parts of the book?
b) How would you compare her book to others about wine or food in terms of approach, research, voice, style and other aspects?
c) How was wine treated when you were growing up? Were you allowed to taste it? Was it forbidden? How has that influenced your consumption of and interest in wine?
d) How would you compare your consumption of wine to cocktails? Spirits? Beer? Why are there differences?
If you or your group would like to share your thoughts about Natalie's book after your session, please visit http://www.nataliemaclean.com/book/readers_form.asp to submit them.
Posted February 1, 2013
Posted January 1, 2010
Red, White, and Drunk All Over: A Wine Soaked Journey from Grape to Glass is an enlightening, entertaining, and inspiring read, comprised of her personal stories meeting people and visiting places behind the vast world of wine.
MacLean's book is organized around ten chapters that take you along with her as she visits Burgundy and Champagne for the first time, experiences the crush of harvest in California, expounds on the trials and tribulations of wine writing, hosts a wine tasting event at home with friends, works in a couple of wine stores, goes undercover as a sommelier, explores the world of Riedel glassware, and concludes with the celebration of a meal with a good friend.
It is amazing the level of detail MacLean provides in the recounting of her experiences. I honestly felt as if I were standing next to her at times when she was describing the people she encountered and the places she visited. Even better, this book goes beyond the present, offering useful historical and cultural frames of reference that will help connect many of us to the wines we enjoy. As a result of reading this book, I came to understand the larger context surrounding wine's beginnings as well as its evolution through centuries of time to its current state.
Best of all, I found this book transformative. MacLean not only shares insights into her experiences with wine, but more importantly its lasting affect and impact on her life. I was only seven pages into the introduction when I was struck by an intellectual and emotional honesty not found amongst other wine writers.
MacLean imparts a fresh perspective on wine that many of us have been thirsty for, but until now were resigned to the fact that most wine writing was so dry it left us even thirstier than before. Through her lyrical prose, she helps explain why wine is elevated to such a level not found in other beverages or foods that grace our table at meal time.
Having read Red, White, and Drunk All Over, I am so much better off, not just as wine enthusiast who happens to blog about this topic, but more importantly as a person who is striving to understand the larger context of my existence. I strongly recommend this book to every wine enthusiast, whether you are new to wine or have spent decades pursuing this wonderful beverage.
Posted December 15, 2008
I want to give this book to everyone who's ever had to choose wine for dinner, at home or in a restaurant. Natalie MacLean is not a wine snob. She writes in a simple and humourous way that drew me in and made it easy for me to feel as though I was her companion, seeing, smelling,tasting and listening along with her. She speaks not just about how wine is made but takes you along as she visits the land that the grapes grow on and the people who care for the vines. I am definitely going to read this book again!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 5, 2008
'Red, White and Drunk All Over' gives one information about the regions of the wine world, varying types of grapes and how they become wine using great storytelling. It's a very fine primer with which to begin one's wine education. And it's a very good read. I'm ready to get on to the tasting 'and drinking'.'Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 28, 2007
This is a terrific wine book for novices and experts alike. The writing is strong, peppered with laugh-out-loud stories. You learn a lot about wine yet never feel that you're being 'taught.' It's such an easy read to whip through, you regret when it's over. Fortunately, Natalie has a great web site where she offers a free e-newsletter and a nifty food-and-wine matching tool. (Just Google her name and you'll find it.) I can't wait for her next book!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 18, 2007
Finally, someone who put into words, so eloquently, the effect wine has on all my senses. After years of reading and writing about wine, taking classes, forming a wine club and simply enjoying my own palate evolution, there is a passionate wine writer who captures my ¿WOW¿ experiences. The awards and recognition are well deserved and this book will be recommended to everyone within earshotWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 18, 2006
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 8, 2007
Natalie's book is a learning experience for everyone---From the wine lover to the winegrower.It takes you on a wine journey from the fields, to the aromatic barrel rooms. I have read it twice because there is so much good information to soak in.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 5, 2007
I've just finished reading RED, WHITE, AND DRUNK ALL OVER. It was outstanding. It was so reader friendly. Your writing becomes almost poetic at times, and it never loses connection with the everyday person out there, yet it has lots and lots to teach. Your reporting of your own frustrations with returning a bottle was so helpful. You know your audience. You've simply produced an amazing book. It is the most reader-friendly book on wine I've read. You have nudged LOVE BY THE GLASS and JUDGEMENT OF PARIS out of their previous first places with this book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 16, 2011
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Posted December 5, 2009
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Posted August 22, 2010
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