“Red, White, and Drunk All Over” is written by one of my favorite wine people Natalie MacLean. I don’t have that much time to read these days, but did get a chance to read this book over the summer and good thing because Natalie just came out with another book “Unquenchable” which I can’t wait to crack open.
“Red, White and Drunk All Over” takes you throughout the wine world in a girlfriend kind of way. Natalie takes you to famous renown places like Romanee-Conti, takes you to a day in the life of a liquor store owner, a sommelier in a five star restaurant and shows you that the thoughts going through your head during any wine moment and experience are okay.
While visiting the famous regions in Europe as well as California you will learn the history and winemaking techniques of the region. She sits down and talks with owners, family members and winemakers. At times she gets down and dirty working with Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon during harvest. As she writes about her experiences, she it telling you the thoughts that are going through her mind. Quite frankly, I’d be having some of the same. You would never hear from a Robert Parker or any other wine critic in the way that Natalie speaks to you. You really need that spittoon but can’t get to it….Working as a sommelier Natalie realizes pouring wine standing up three feet above the glass isn’t as easy as when you are sitting down at the table. After she “nailed” every pour she felt like a gymnast who dismounts from the parallel bars doing a back flip and has a perfect landing.
Towards the end of the book Natalie recounts an experience she had at a restaurant that poured her a wine that was off. The one time that happened to me (and it was a local restaurant) I got the same treatment. I felt that I was not alone. (In my instant they copped an attitude that “how can that wine be bad, we only; serve good wine here.” and after our dinner(with a new bottle of wine) the server came over and said the bartender did taste the wine and it as indeed off. Why the hard time to begin with. Needless to say I haven’t been back to that restaurant.)
This is a great book with history, education and some great laughs all over and about wine.
I will leave you with quote from Natalie “Think of wine like clothing: most of us choose it based on comfort, not fashion. So pick wines you like to drink, not because they get high scores.”