Excellent book, June 9, 2013
Reviewer: Vay Blazina (Kensington, MD, USA)
Well written, informative and a pleasure to read!
Reads well with merlot, September 3, 2012
Reviewer: Craig Cormier (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)
A really enjoyable book. The anecdotes are humourous, insightful and provide pertinent information for the budding wine drinker. Reads well with Merlot. Highly recommended.
Wine tips, August 16, 2012
Reviewer: Kimit Rai (New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada)
I have enjoyed your book. It gives good knowledge on wine appreciation and how to use the correct terms in describing the wine's character. The history behind the wines, especially France, was very informative.
I have been to Eperny and Champagne and tasted their coveted golden bubbles. I feel that I am on a journey with you enjoying the special wines you have tasted, my favourite being the Burgundy pinots. Too bad I did not get to taste them while in France.
I have also learnt how to entertain food with wines, encouraging our guests to share the experience of the wine they brought for dinner. It would be great if you paired wines with vegetarian food.
Best wishes from the west coast,
Dr. Kimit Rai
Enjoyed, July 26, 2012
Reviewer: Frank Reppenhagen (Buffalo, NY, USA)
Enjoyed the book enough to have ordered "Unquenchable" and 2 by Jay McInerney based on your comments.
Red, white & a great read, July 13, 2012
Reviewer: Tom Storm (Annville, PA, USA)
Great reading book, very informative. Looking forward to your next book I just downloaded on my Kindle. Keep them coming
Fun, funny and informative, February 22, 2012
Reviewer: David Gerard (Terrell, NC, USA)
The book was a little daunting at first, but quickly became fun, funny, and informative throughout. By the end of the book, I felt much less intimidated about wine selection and more eager to do more selecting. I was so impressed that I bought four more books to hand out to friends.
Seriously sippable!, January 13, 2012
Reviewer: Eric Lutz (Toronto, ON, Canada)
Natalie makes reading about wine not only enjoyable but sippable through chapters that are whole and complete unto themselves.
Really happy I picked this up - makes me really want to pop the cork on her new one!
A feeling for wine, January 8, 2012
Reviewer: Beverly Bigej (Portland, OR, USA)
Even though I'm not a novice wine drinker :) Natalie's book spoke to me from a very basic concept: enjoyment. Understanding terroir is helpful when appreciating any particular wine, but Natalie presents wine from the perspective of personal preference...she gives us all "permission" to enjoy our chosen bottle. Thanks!
Laugh out loud, December 4, 2011
Reviewer: Melody McLorie (Tofino, BC, Canada)
Firstly, let me preface this by saying that I am not a reader, magazines at best, but never novels. Something has to hold my attention and be extremely entertaining and engaging for me to finish an entire book. Natalie MacLean's Red, White and Drunk all Over did just that! I loved the world of wine from a women's perspective, the stories about the personalities that bring us this lovely nectar, peppered with practical information. I was learning and laughing at the same time. Looking forward to Unquenchable.
Joy, pleasure and learning, December 15, 2009
Reviewer: Frederic Etienne (Brussels, Brussels, Belgium)
I bought this book almost by accident on my holidays in Quebec (I usually read in french) but the cover attracted my eye. The promised fun was indeed there but the book was a lot more than I expected. It was very well written, fluent and on top of that very interesting with good insights a touch of humour an all of this with the necessary humility that makes this book nothing less than remarkable.
A charming and well-written book, December 10, 2009
Reviewer: Marisa DVari (New York, NY, USA)
Like most people, I'm sure you think the life of a wine writer is exciting, yes? And romantic. And you are quite right - the life of a professional wine writer is something to be admired. And what are the qualities that make for a professional wine writer, you might ask? Of course, they are many, yet possibly the most important is the ability for the writer to describe a scene so vividly the "armchair reader" feels himself or herself to be part of the unfolding drama of the story. This defines Natalie MacLean precisely.
I first met Natalie MacLean at NYU, when she was speaking on a James Beard-sponsored panel about the Internet along with Julie Powell (of Julia and Julia fame). Impressed by her savvy, I later bought her book, Red, White, and Drunk All Over. Now, if you're reading this review, you probably know that wine books run the gamut from (boring!) encyclopedias to wine-soaked romantic liaisons written by importers about the adventures of their youth. Then, of course, there are the food and wine pairing guides, the Wine 101 books, and all the rest.
MacLean's book takes a happy departure as she shares with us, her readers, a day in the life of many different wine professionals. MacLean has a diploma from the Wine and Spirits Educational Trust (WSET), a two-and-a-half-year wine education that involves many written and tasting exams. As one who has been through the process, I can assure you that a graduate is expected to know everything about every wine in the world. Literally.
So in her charming and well-written book, MacLean describes not only her love of wine and what brought her into the wine world, but also the lives of people in various wine-oriented professions, and in some instances she spends a day or night literally in their shoes. Yet what I like best about the book is MacLean's very colorful, highly descriptive voice in which she captures the absolute essence of the people she is writing about. In Vose-Romanee (a prestigious village in Burgundy, France) she describes the person of Madame Lalou Bize-Leroy, the dynamic head of her family's négociant business. MacLean takes the reader along with Madame Bize-Leroy through the winery, where we seem to see the sorting table and all the other winery equipment in our minds'' eyes. And through this very visual tour, even people who have never seen a winery will get a sense of how wine is made (without that expensive, time-consuming WSET program!).
In the course of this book, MacLean seems to literally take the reader by the hand and introduce them to fascinating characters in the wine world from both the new and old world. You will meet antiquated winemakers, American sommeliers, and everyone in between. It is a great book to read if you are just getting your feet wet in the world of wine, as it is not technical enough to be off-putting, yet when all is said and done, it gives the reader a very keen initial knowledge of the wine business, from viticulture and viniculture to the international trade structure. And for the same reasons, it is a very good gift on its own - or accompanied by your favorite bottle of wine.
She writes with wit and wonder, December 6, 2009
Reviewer: Mari Kane (Vancouver, BC, Canada)
Natalie MacLean is a gal who likes her wine buzz. The Ottawa-based wine writer says as much on page seven of her book, Red and White and Drunk All Over: A Wine-Soaked Journey from Grape to Glass. Right up front, she states,” I wouldn't be writing about wine if it weren't for the buzz.” How can she be any more honest? Despite having alcoholism in the family, she comes right out and admits to what few wine writers will: they like to catch a jag.
I'll second that emotion.
Nat's wine writing has been awarded numerous James Beard and MFK Fisher awards and she writes an immensily popular e-newsletter called Nat Decants, which has become a powerhouse of vinformation since it began in 2001. I especially like the wine and a food matcher, accessible on the right panel of this page.
But, for all the wine knowledge she dispenses to the masses - did I mentioned she is an accredited sommelier? - Natalie''s history lacks front line experience. She's never worked the service side of wine or food, nor the distribution or retail sector, or in the winegrowing fields.
In an attempt to put some balance in her wine life, Nat set out for wine regions she'd never visited to get the first-hand experience she's been craving and to write a book about the wines she'd drunk all over.
Chapters on tasting in Burgundy, Champagne, Bordeaux are rich with descriptive prose and insight about the ancient producers there. And the chapter with author Jay McInerney is like soaking your brain in alcohol. But the chapters I enjoyed the most were the ones where little Miss Intellectual rolls up her sleeves and dives into one-day wine jobs. Like a vinicultural George Plimpton, this is where Nat is at her most vulnerable best, literally.
In Undercover Sommelier, she dribbles red wine on a table she is serving and gets a cold shoulder from the customer. She writes, “For the first time in my life I realize what it's like to feel servile, dismissed,” and you want to say welcome to the real world, princess.
In A Tale of Two Stores she sells wine and decides that “Working in a wine store is a lot like life: you spend most of the time waiting around for just one or two memorable moments, (which you can easily miss because you went to the bathroom.)”
Been there, thought that, too.
And in Harvesting Dreams, Nat gets down and dirty picking grapes in a Bonny Doon vineyard. In a flight of fancy, she says, “At first, I feel like a hero returning to a hometown parade: leafy green vines reach down in front of me on either side, like well-wishers wanting to shake my hand. But after three hours, the streets are deserted and I'm alone. It's backbreaking work carrying an ever heavier pail...”
Oh, her aching back.
These first-hand experiences form the character arc of this book, and create drama, which is what readers, like me, love. Much of the informational interludes - such as the pages on proper behavior on both sides of the table, which should be read by every foodie on the planet - could have been written from her office in Ottawa. But her real-life situations keep readers from falling asleep from wine theory overload. She writes with wit and wonder, and it's a treat to see her learn how the wine industry works, being brought along for the ride.
Ok, enough about Natalie MacLean, here's how you can buy her book, Red and White and Drunk All Over: A Wine-Soaked Journey from Grape to Glass.
It''s a fun holiday read.
Read it now! it’s fascinating! and funny!, December 5, 2009
Reviewer: Eva (Dallas, TX, USA)
I am not a wine girl, with the exceptions of champagne, riesling, and the 'semi-sweet' red wine my Russian host family always got me (I can't find a US equivalent anywhere). I used to really enjoy beer, from microbreweries or overseas, but now that I have a gluten allergy, when I'm out and about I usually just stick with a vodka sour. However, Dewey (who was a oenophile) wrote a marvelous review of Red, White, and Drunk All Over: a Wine-Soaked Journey from Grape to Glass by Natalie Clean, and it's been on my radar ever since. I finally ended up reading it for the Spice of Life Challenge, now that I've upgraded to the feast level (note to self: review cookbooks soon! lol).
I'm so glad that I did! This book is wonderful: while MacLean is obviously very knowledgeable about wine, she's not a snob at all (I strongly, strongly dislike people who are snobs about anything). And there are so many different things packed inside the book, from travel to France, to profiles of wine shop owneries, to a discussion of wine in restaurants, to chapters of advice for those of us at home (how to host a wine tasting party, how to pair wine with tricky food, etc.). I never got bored, because there was always something new and fascinating to discover!
Throughout the book, MacLean's absolute love of wine really shines through. She's even convinced me that maybe I should start trying some non-sweet wines (I got a Pinot Grigio the other day, and I didn't hate it, which is progress). More importantly, since most of the ‘troublesome' food she offers wine pairings for are the only things I eat (vegetarian, spicy, non-European stuff), and she happens to suggest champagne/sparkling wine and Riesling for many of those entrees, she convinced me that wine can be as everyday as a bottle of beer. Of course, the problem is that I don't have any desire to drink on a regular basis, so what do I do after I've opened the bottle and had my glass? I'm not a fan of that tipsy/fuzzy feeling that two glasses in one night brings on, and my body and skin are happier when I don't have a glass two days in a row. (Can you tell I'm not a big drinker? I think it'd be neat to have alcohol-free wine, so I could try the tastes w/o the other issues.) I wish upscale wine came in six-packs like upscale beer.
Um, I'm obviously rambling a bit. Sorry about that-I swear I've had my caffeine! I slept 11 hours, though, so maybe my brain isn't quite functioning yet. Back to the book. MacLean has an easygoing writing style that keeps the book light and readable-I was definitely in the upper end of my ‘pages per hour' rate with this one. So if nonfiction makes you a bit nervous, this would be a great book for you! I was a bit worried about spacing out while reading it, simply because of my lack of interest in wine, but that never happened. MacLean's interest is so strong she'll pull you along with her. :)
I don't think I'm fully portraying the amount of gushiness I feel over this book. I want to say:
Read it now! It's fascinating! And funny! And informing! You will love it, I promise!
I wish I could link to Dewey's review, since then y'all would be convinced, but her blog was taken down. Let's just say that for me, reading this book was also like having Dewey back for a bit (I finished up the Dewey's Books Challenge several months ago, so it's been awhile since I've had that feeling) and closing it made me miss her all over again. I think I want to read a book every other month or so that Dewey read and reviewed, just for that feeling.
I must have a bit of fibro brain, since this post isn't much of a review at all. Sorry about that-this is why I usually steer clear of my blog when I'm feeling weird! :)
You’ve simply produced an amazing book, November 2, 2009
Reviewer: A Wine Lover (Calgary, AB, Canada)
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.
I strongly recommend this book, November 2, 2009
Reviewer: Thad Westhusing (Ottawa, ON, Canada)
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:
“But I have to confess, much as I'm drawn to its nuances, I wouldn't be writing about wine if it weren't for the buzz. I love the way a glass of wine makes me feel-invigorated and animated, released from my natural shyness. After a couple of glasses, I'm mellow, soothed, contemplative…I'm sure other wine writers feel the same way; and yet when I read about wine, I often get the odd impression that is has no alcohol in it. Perhaps this unnecessary seriousness about wine is a hangover from Prohibition; or maybe it's because we think that the body can't be part of anything intellectual.”
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. I found it fitting that she would close this book with the following statement, which puts everything that I enjoy and experience in wine into a proper context:
“…all of us who love alcoholic grape juice, are on a parallel search for wine that tells us where it's from, who made it, and even who we are in drinking it. Fortunately, finding these wines is a journey that lasts a lifetime.”
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. It is a timeless book that I intend to read and refer to again and again in the years ahead.
All you need to know about wine, November 2, 2009
Reviewer: Erik Wait (Boston, MA, USA)
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 historical facts about production, 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 can provide a lot of professional wine making technical information for Natalie, “…my 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 and the desire to expand and mature in your appreciation for the culture of wine.
I have also read countless books, journals and magazines about wine but the telling of her personal traveling experiences is where Natalie MacLean sets herself apart as a writer. As a wine-writer and fellow explorer. I feel a great kinship with Natalie for I too have a “conversion story” and until recently my own education about wine has come from my interaction with wine growers. In her book Red, White and Drunk All Over she shares her experiences as she takes you along with her on her wine travels to Old World and New World wine regions. She will also invite you into the inner sanctum of fine wine shops as well as into the battlefields of wine critics.
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 for 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.
Can’t wait to read the next one!, November 2, 2009
Reviewer: J. Brons (Vancouver, BC, Canada)
Reading the book while I'm in the right environment (France - lovely wheather - Lac Léman - tasting and buying wine - et cetera) gives me lots of pleasure. It's not only informative but also ‘funny' (excusez le mot) and - while I'm half way through the book - puts me in a situation where I have to choose: read the rest of the book or drive to the next planned stop in Marin (Savoie) for wine to taste again… Just decided to follow my nose… and read on in the book when I return.
Conclusion when I finished the book: can't wait to read the next one!
Perfect for a beginning oenophile, October 28, 2009
Reviewer: TruCar Ma (Ottawa, ON, Canada)
I have enjoyed wine for many years before feeling the urge to learn more about it; fortunately, the book I stumbled onto to begin my "wine scholarship" was Natalie MacLean's "Red, White, and Drunk All Over." She's a wonderful, witty, engaging tour guide through French and California wine countries, and I felt like I was right beside her as she tried her hand working as a wine merchant and sommelier. I so appreciate her down-to-earth approach to what can be an intimidating and overwhelming subject, and she's a terrific writer, too. I may never become a sommelier, but Natalie MacLean has definitely encouraged me to become an educated enthusiast of one of life's great pleasures.
Wine perspective with personality, October 28, 2009
Reviewer: Elliot Essman (New York, New York, USA)
Natalie covers the wine spectrum. You wouldn't think we needed another wine book, but it would be a crying shame if this sparkling personality remained silent.
Wine is so individual, and this particular wine individual has got a personality--and a sense of humor--that we all profit by sharing. Yes, everybody thinks they''ve got a sense of humor, and few actually do, but Natalie qualifies (and with a vengeance).
Ferment it all together with Natalie's tremendous wine erudition and you've got a winner. Before you can abandon yourself to wine you've got to think a little. Natalie takes care of that prerequisite. If you like to learn, this is a fun book. If not, this is still a fun book. And it's a smart book.
Education with a twist, October 28, 2009
Reviewer: Edward Cabell (Kelona, BC, Canada)
The world should know that Natalie is an amazing woman. Natalie makes the uneducated look like a professional. If you haven't read her book, your wine life is not complete.
Education with a twist. Travel the world to all the wine regions from the comfort of your armchair by the fire place with a fine wine as your companion. Just waiting for her next book release!
Wine,wit and wisdom, April 21, 2009
Reviewer: Dara Mirenda (Centereach, New York, USA)
Through the vineyards and cellars of France to her own Thanksgiving table Natalie takes her readers on a funny and informative journey into the world of wine. Her insights into all things wine proved to be very educational but never boring, even to a wine novice like me.
Red, white and drunk all over review, April 18, 2009
Reviewer: Joan Seeger (Dubuque, Iowa, USA)
Natalie's book is the one we are reading in our Wine Book Club. I personally loved it and wished it was much longer. In fact, I asked if she has any intention in writing another and YES!!! The book is not only filled with facts, it's fun to read an and written on the level that beginning wine enthusiasts can understand. But most of all - it's FUN! Do yourself a favor and enjoy this book!
Good read, April 18, 2009
Reviewer: Katie Andersen (St. Joseph, IL, USA)
Just within the first few pages I was hooked. It's written in a very easy-to-read style, and with a great sense of humor. As a newbie, I'm trying to learn everything I can about wine, from the grape to the glass and I found lots of very helpful information in the book. She explained all the "wine words" completely and didn't talk over my head. I enjoyed reading about her journey into wine and felt like I was right there with her.
Food for the mind and the soul, April 10, 2009
Reviewer: Robert McConnell (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
What springs from the pages of Red, White, and Drunk All Over
is personality. Firstly, the author's own delightfully exuberant persona and finely-honed sense of humour and, secondly, the personalities of the fascinating people to whom she introduces us. Natalie MacLean paints each of those -- vintners, wine brokers, store owners -- with deft, sure strokes. So, arm yourself with a corkscrew, a fine vintage and a copy of Red, White, and Drunk All Over. The former will be a treat for the nose and the palate, the latter food for the mind and soul.
MERCI BIEN, NATALIE!... ET A LA BONNE TIENNE!
Thanks for your book!, January 3, 2009
Reviewer: Joe Figliulo (Pittsburgh, Pa, US)
Thanks for your book-which I was given for Christmas-and just finished! I'm an avid reader but it was the first non-fiction book that I couldn't put down. It's a testament to your fine writing and great attitude toward enjoying wine unpretentiously that you have written a wine book that is a page turner!
What I appreciate most is your writing reinforces my feeling that the 'finer' things in life can be enjoyed without all of the pretentiousness and exclusion that sometimes surrounds and obscures them. Coming from a strictly blue collar non-wine drinking family has allowed me to discover wonderful things, but without any of the class-relating wrappings that sometimes come with them. That's why you may find me at the symphony in shorts and a sweatshirt, or especially downing a California bubbly with a big mac although I can't eat with French Champagne - I just need to savor it!.
I hope you have wonderful 2009 and are nursing a reasonable hangover this new year's day that is a testament to great merry-making last night!
Capturing wine, November 12, 2008
Reviewer: Allison Marion (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada)
Prior to reading this book, wine was somewhat foreign to me. I knew what I liked when I tasted it, however I didn't fully understand the complexities of wine, the history, or the delicate balance of pairing wine with food. I am still learning all of this; actually I think I'll still be learning this 20 years from now! But at least, I feel more confident now to enter a wine store and competently read the labels, buy a bottle of wine and walk out without feeling like a complete idiot. Wine to me means the sharing friendships, family, and memories. Last winter, both my parents passed away during the holiday season, and many days and nights were spent with my siblings grieving, sharing stories and remembering our childhood days. Wine was a huge part of that. That time of my life, although horribly traumatic for many reasons, opened my eyes to the possibilities of wine. Now when I'm feeling reflective and pour some Chardonnay into a glass, I can remember the time spent with my siblings while we explored our heritage, laughed, cried, and learned, and feel connected to them even though they are miles away from me.
Great book for wine lovers, November 8, 2008
Reviewer: Caroline Wardle Feely (Saussignac, Aquitaine, France)
A wonderful book and a real page turner. It should be prescribed reading for all wine courses - so readable - and yet full of good information for wine lovers. Congratulations Natalie, at last a book chockful of useful wine insight that is also highly entertaining.
Old enough to drink, September 14, 2008
Reviewer: Michele Valiquette (North Bay, Ontario, Canada)
I am 55 yrs old and ready to drink. Long gone are the dirty diapers, the school lunches and the P.T.A. meetings. Also almost gone are the university tuitions, the sharing of the family car (ie kids' car) and the cases of 24 in our downstairs fridge.
My husband and I can now enjoy a leisurely glass of wine at the end of our day. Red, White and Drunk all over was a lovely confidence booster for me in terms of learning more, trusting my instincts and having fun with the whole process of learning about wine. Super book! When you can teach and entertain at the same time you know that you are a great teacher!
A fun read with amazing descriptions!, August 11, 2008
Reviewer: Madelaine Hicks (Lake Country, BC, Canada)
Natalie's book was given to me for Christmas. It turned out to be such a fun read with amazing descriptions ... I am always telling all my friends about it. I don't usually read a book more than once but there was so much information in the book and it was such fun to read that I will definitely read it again and maybe even again!
Yep, wine is fun too, July 6, 2008
Reviewer: Jakob Brons (Apeldoorn, GLD, Netherlands)
A few weeks ago I got the the Dutch edition of the book as a birthday present. Now I'm reading the book while I'm on vacation in France. For me, vacation also means: visiting different parts of countries within Europe - visiting vineyards - tasting wine with "the locals" and enjoy life!
Reading the book while I'm in the right environment (France - lovely weather - Lac Léman - tasting and buying wine - et cetera) gives me lots of pleasure. It's not only informative but also funny (excusez le mot) and - while I'm half way through the book - puts me in a situation where I have to choose: read the rest of the book or drive to the next planned stop in Marin (Savoie) for wine to taste again... Just decided to follow my nose... and read on in the book when I return.
Conclusion when I finished the book: can't wait to read the next one!
(Dutch version) Een paar weken geleden kreeg ik het boek (Rood, Wit ... - de Nederlandse vertaling) als verjaardagscadeau. Nu ben ik het boek aan het lezen terwijl ik op vakantie in Frankrijk ben. Voor mij betekent vakantie ook: het bezoeken van verschillende delen landen in Europa - het bezoeken van wijngaarden - proeven van wijn bij ''de lokale wijnboeren'' en geniet van het leven!
Terwijl ik in de juiste omgeving het boek lees (Frankrijk - goede weersomstandigheden - Meer van Genève - proeven en kopen van wijn - enzovoort) beleef ik er veel plezier aan. Het is niet alleen informatief maar ook "e;grappig"e; (excusez le mot) en - terwijl ik halverwege het boek ben - kom ik in een situatie waarin ik moet kiezen: lees ik de rest van het boek nu of doe ik het volgende geplande uitstapje naar Marin (Savoie) om wijn te proeven... Net besloten om mijn neus te volgen... en het boek verder te lezen als ik terug ben.
Conclusie na het lezen van het boek: kan nauwelijks wachten op het volgende!
I was pleasantly surprised! I couldn't put it down, May 28, 2008
Reviewer: Ronald Bock (Almira, Ontario, Canada)
Last weekend, I picked up a copy of your book to "put in time" waiting at the airport. I confess that I had resisted buying it sooner thinking that it would be a rehash of all the other wine information I had already read.
Was I was pleasantly surprised! I couldn't put it down! You have a way of giving information in the most engaging way, and I felt that I was there with you in the interviews and in the vineyards. I'm sorry that I didn't buy it sooner - but better late than never (and I also got the new chapter by waiting).
One of your avid fans,
I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn about wine, May 28, 2008
Reviewer: Nanook (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)
I picked up Natalie MacLean's Red White and Drunk All Over last week.
My only problem is: I can't put it down.
I'm reading bits every night before bed and taking time out at lunch to read it. It really is fantastic and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn about wine. I can see myself coming back to it again and again, all while learning something new each time.
The book has a wonderful flow to it, as Ms. MacLean weaves a beautiful narrative of her travels in wine regions around the world, all while informing the reader. I learned a bit more about the Robert Parker debate, which I've been following for some time (more about that in another post), as well as how Champagne is made and marketed.
This is the kind of book that makes you want to pop open a bottle of wine after reading only a couple of pages. This could get messy, as you won''t want to put the book or the wine down!
I need an instruction manual, April 28, 2008
Reviewer: Paul Sudolski (St. John's, Antigua)
I found the book interesting from the perspective of tying in regions and vineyards with their vines and the uniqueness of individual vineyards.
Literary & informative, April 25, 2008
Reviewer: Julia Weston (Huntington, New York, USA)
I enjoyed Ms. MacLean's book (Red, White & Drunk All Over) on a number of levels - the descriptions of her various "adventures" were humorous, easy to relate to, and informative. Her style of writing, mixing fact with story, made the facts (numerous, useful and interesting) light and readable and her ability to "circle back" to her chapter's opening thought very conversational. After finishing the book, I felt more confident that my future explorations in the wine world will be fun, productive and, best of all, attainable to this late starting novice!
Red and white and drunk all over, March 31, 2008
Reviewer: Nick Vanwalraven (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)
A lot of wine columns I have read have seemed technical, scientific and/or too eclectic. In short, very dry (no pun intended). Natalie's book is entertaining, interesting, and informative. I liked her biographies of the people involved in the wine industry. The book is easy to read, and keeps you involved. I could write more, but I'm at work right now. I would like another book from Natalie which provides more biographies, perhaps some more information on the wine growing regions, and perhaps some info. on how the marketing system works.
A book to read and enjoy, March 24, 2008
Reviewer: Howard Wang (Teaneck, New Jersey, USA)
This book makes for a wonderful read for any oenophile or anyone with even a mild interest in wine. It covers all aspects of the grape, from deep roots in the vineyard to sore feet at retail and even back pain of being a wine steward (sommelier) in a restaurant. I loved it and suspect you will too.
Tour-iffic, March 23, 2008
Reviewer: Stephen McLaren (Markham, ON, Canada)
Reading RW&D was like revisiting friends as well as traveling to new places. The tour of vineyards, education and knowledge shared has rekindled memories and offered a new understanding of wines enjoyed. It has also fostered a new interest in expanding experiences of the palate and of the world. Cheers!
What is old is new again, March 16, 2008
Reviewer: Phil Morgan (Newmarket, Ontario, Canada)
Red White and Drunk All Over has rekindled my interest in wines I have so long passed over. I, like so many others, have been caught up in the "RP" 90-point syndrome at the expense of many other fine wines that don't meet his big and bold ideals. Natalie's treatment of this was done with balance and detail.
Seems I am now in love with Burgundy wines for the second time. This is a must read for those who want an enjoyable read while at the same being informative and educational.
Natalie MacLean takes you with her on an amazing journey, February 18, 2008
Reviewer: Barb Belohoubek (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)
Wow, what can I say? What a wonderful book. What I was expecting was a book that specifically talked about which wine to drink where, when and how but instead what I got was an amazing story that made me love wine even more and yet learn some wonderful things. I couldn't put the book down and while reading it would spout little tidbits of information to whomever would listen.
I am no longer afraid to open a bottle of Champagne by myself. You took me to deep France, to Sonoma Valley, and to the Champagne region (I, too, adore Champagne and could drink it with anything.) I can't wait to go back to San Francisco just so I can go to the Jug Shop. I sat at your dinner party. Life, like wine, should be savoured and your book reminds us of that. Your fabulous writing made all of these experiences come alive.
Barb Belohoubek, Ottawa
P.S. I bought new wine glasses last week!!
My new wine Bible, February 15, 2008
Reviewer: Elanna Stann-Roth (Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada)
Thanks for your great book Natalie! A friend of mine loaned me a copy to read and I loved it so much I had to go out and buy my own copy so that I could flag it, write in the margins and make it my own. Its a permanent part of my library now.
In the vein of the philosophy of "no more bad chocolate" I have now adopted the mantra of "no more mediocre wine"! I now have the courage - and the knowledge to begin exploring. Good wine is for everyone. I am looking forward to the next book with great anticipation!
PS. Fantastic website - I will visit it often!
Thanks from another woman in the wine business, February 6, 2008
Reviewer: Lara Isbell (Huntsville, Alabama, US)
I just finished your book and i really must thank you. I am in the wine business and have a great passion for wine. I also have two very young sons who make it difficult to read more than one page at a sitting.
Yours is the first book i have read cover to cover in less than a week! I appreciate all of your input. time and dedication. The book felt heartfelt, but also educational.
I appreciated all of the backstories, especially on the houses of Champagne. Thanks for an interesting ride- at just the right time to energize me for the new year!
Delightful & informative, February 5, 2008
Reviewer: Mary Sherwood (Bangor, Maine, USA)
What a delightful, well-written wine book, with a touch of humor - an overview of regions, types, process and pairing with food. Without getting bogged down with specific wineries, learning about wines that are indigenous to different regions is helpful when experimenting with new wineries. Well done.
Ready to begin learning to taste, February 4, 2008
Reviewer: Jane Bunting (Lenni, Pennsylvania, USA)
I now feel prepared to begin to taste with some slight modicum of intelligence. "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 through great storytelling. It's a fine primer with which to begin one's wine education. And it's a good read. I'm ready to get on to the tasting (and drinking).
Follow natalie's journey from the grapes to the glass, January 31, 2008
Reviewer: Hans Mes (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)
An enjoyable book from the start, when Natalie MacLean relates her experience of her first good wine, and her subsequent journey into the world of wine. The book follows this journey with many anecdotes that I can relate to, and along the way gives information on wine and its culture, without being encyclopedic. This is Natalie's quest to learn more about wine, the grapes, the soil, the production, the marketing and rating, the retail, the best glass for wine, the sommelier, and more. Her method of discovery is hands-on and she takes us along on that journey. I have enjoyed her columns and looked forward to reading her book. It did not disappoint me. I especially liked the parts on the retail of wine and the sommelier, about which I knew little.
What a great read, January 31, 2008
Reviewer: Bev Webster (Omaha, NE, U.S.A.)
Red, White and Drunk All Over is a great read! Whether you are a novice wine drinker or a connoisseur, this book has something for everyone. Natalie's humorous style will leave you with a smile. This book, given along with a bottle of wine, makes a great gift. My advice is, pour yourself a glass of wine and kick back with a copy of this fun book!
Thou shalt not be intimidated by wine..., January 31, 2008
Reviewer: Filippo Fortini (Viterbo, VT, Italy)
Drinking and enjoying wine should be a pleasure no matter what one knows about it. It should never be a frightening experience, nor one should ever feel intimidated when buying or choosing a wine.
Ms. Maclean's book is about this simple albeit sometimes overlooked concept. "Red, White, and Drunk All Over" is not a book for the wine freaks who know the ratings of every wine in every vintage and casually quote them as if they were truly important things, nor it is a technical book in the strict sense. Yes, it will teach even the most accomplished wine enthusiast a thing or two, but it's never ostentatious nor boring, but rather quite the opposite.
Through a series of anecdotes, Ms. Maclean declares and shows her love and passion for wine, while at the same time bringing the matter back to earth (where it really belongs) from the heavens where, it seems it usually resides according to many accomplished writers.
Not only is Natalie MacLean witty and resourceful, but also her self-deprecating humor is a breath of fresh air and her book will be dear to all those who want to enjoy and appreciate a good bottle without being too serious and pedantic about it.
A fun and informative journey into all that is wine, January 22, 2008
Reviewer: Geoff Davenport (Vancouver, BC, Canada)
I have just bought my second copy of your excellent book - to give to my sister whom I'm hopeful will (finally) see the light about wine! Your book has helped to re-energize and reawaken my passion for learning more, and of course, for the occasional tasting. I especially appreciated the notes and guidance on food matching. Thank you Natalie for writing this informative, fun book, and for helping all of us improve our understanding of wine and how it can enrich our food, and our friendships.
Finally - a wine book that makes sense!, January 8, 2008
Reviewer: Holly Stichka (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA)
This is the first book that I've read that actually makes it fun to learn about wine. It's relaxed and realistic for the wine novice. I've tried to read so many books and articles about wine, and I can never retain any of it. The way you wrote allowed me to enjoy your experiences, and in that way I've retained more about wine than with any other book or magazine.
Natalie teaches about wine to those who want to enjoy it, not just look impressive ordering or drinking it. I've purchased 2 more of your books for friends of mine.
Two corks up!
A wonderful, funny book!, January 1, 2008
Reviewer: Butch Hale (Sherwood, Arizona, USA)
I was elated when I found this book in Victoria while on a business trip. Having become a faithful reader of Natalie's newsletter I patientlty watched our local bookstores for a copy of Red White and Drunk All Over.
It was worth the wait (or discovery). Like her site Natalie's book is funny and extremely educational. I learned more about wine than I have from the wine magazines and other wine books I have read. Although I passed it along to a friend I can hardly wait to get it back. I made sure he understood it was a loan.
A down-to-earth, laugh-out-loud educational read, December 31, 2007
Reviewer: Sonja Kremer (Cottage Grove, Wisconsin, USA)
I am about two-thirds of the way through your book and am already thinking of people who need to read it! Thanks so much, Natalie, for sharing your views with us. It has been very informative- especially for a newly smitten wine-lover like me.
Great read, December 17, 2007
Reviewer: Norm Alfermann (Oakville, Ontario, Canada)
One of the better wine books I've read. Natalie puts together the facts with story-telling and humour in such a way that it begs the question "What's in the next chapter?" An absolute pleasure to read for both the novice and expert.
One of the best wine books I've read, December 12, 2007
Reviewer: Scott Hill (Norwalk, Connecticut, USA)
I've been in the wine business for twenty years, and over that time have read more than a hundred wine books from many of the most respected authors on the subject: Jay McInerney, Robert Parker, Jancis Robinson, Tom Stevenson, as well as countless magazine articles and reviews. Natalie MacLean ranks at the top of the list!
She manages to capture the pleasure and joy of wine without getting lost in technical jargon or using terminology over the head of the reader. Ms. MacLean has successfully accomplished what any good writer strives to do - explain a complicated and difficult subject in a simple, straightforward, and easily understandable manner. And all the while, she keeps it incredibly entertaining as well. This book is destined to become a must-read for any wine lover, regardless of their level of expertise.
An entertaining and informative read., November 22, 2007
Reviewer: Peter Goode (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada)
I really enjoyed this book and learned much about wine, wineries, the wine industry in general. I particularly enjoyed the chapters describing Natalie's visit to France and her description of the people she visited, their vineyards, their view of wine, and the importance of soil and climate. Her discussion of champagne was another great chapter. An entertaining, informative, and well written book.
Wine is made as much by people as grapes, November 7, 2007
Reviewer: Vaughn McIntyre (St. Andrews-by-the-Sea, New Brunswick, Canada)
I bought the book because I thought I might learn about wine.
Instead I learned about the scenery behind wine and the people who love to make wine. I learned about how important the earth and the climates are in influencing good wine. And I learned that there is only one standard for the quality of wine and that is the person drinking it. In short, I learned how to stop looking for someone else to tell me what is good and to trust my own taste. What an interesting and often humorous read!
Your wonderful book!, November 1, 2007
Reviewer: Sandy Bartel (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)
I just finished reading your book “Red, White and Drunk All Over.” I have to tell you it was outstanding. Like a wine, it kept me captivated, intrigued, and not wanting to put it down. You have managed to awaken the thirst for knowledge in the great field we call wine.
Your book was a pleasant surprise, each chapter delivering humor and grace, and making me feel like I was actually there with you. You have encouraged me to just put one foot in front of the other in this unfamiliar territory, to discover one of life's hidden treasures. I gave myself over to a spontaneous trip to the liquor store, and have now started a wine collection with the knowledge that you equipped me with.
So I salute you and give thanks for offering me a world of wine experiences that await!
Fun, honest and interesting insight into the world of wines, October 31, 2007
Reviewer: Louis Renaud (Gatineau, Québec, Canada)
Thank you Natalie for your wonderful written words. "Red, White, As someone who's not (or wants to be) a connoisseur, I'm more of a drinker; so I never expected to ever read a book about wine. My beautiful daughter thought that I might enjoy reading your book. She was right! What I enjoyed the most, besides your great sense of humour, is the "Wine-Soaked Journey from Grape to Glass," while giving us that honest, fun and interesting insight into the world of wines.
Thank you again,
Red, white...and a whole lot of fun!, October 7, 2007
Reviewer: Allyson Smith (Hollywood, California, U.S.A.)
Learning more about wine can be intimidating, but not so with this book. Natalie MacLean brings beautiful humanity and history into the bottles of wine we covet. From her tales of European widows who, with little knowledge of wine, sustained their families' wineries and built them into worldwide empires, to her visit with the eccentric Bonny Doone vineyard, Ms. MacLean pours personal histories into the bottles, making special wines that much more so.
She also puts a human face on being a wine writer when she puts herself into uncomfortable situations, working wine retail, acting as sommelier in a fine restaurant, and even dealing with the pressures of hosting a tasting for close friends. This book is a must read for everyone who loves wine and its beautiful cover makes it a fantastic gift for wine lovers.
Excellent, September 30, 2007
Reviewer: Patricia Mosley (San Antonio, Texas, United States)
A wonderful piece of writing. I felt like I was right there next to Natalie as she visited wine shops, restaurants and met some of the characters that create great wine. The book was very informative about all aspects of wine, not just how to pair with food or how to judge its quality. I thoroughly enjoyed each page and imagine I will re-read it many more times.
An insiders tour of the world of wine, September 25, 2007
Reviewer: Beverly Brown (New York, NY, U.S.A.)
I love wine, but for the most part don't like reading wine books, which often read like encyclopedias. But recently, I enjoyed “Red, White and Drunk All Over” by Natalie MacLean. Her book is a behind-the-scenes tour of the world of wine, in which she tells the personal stories of winemakers, marketers, retailers, critics, restaurateurs and other players in the wine industry.
Beautifully written, and often funny, she immerses herself in this world - picking grapes, working a shift as a sommelier and as a wine salesperson, generally giving us a “fly on the wall” view of the often eccentric characters that make up this world. It's unusual to find a book that's so informative and entertaining at the same time.
Informative, funny and a down-to-earth good read, September 23, 2007
Reviewer: Judy Grodsworth (Val-des-Monts, Quebec, Canada)
Loved your book, I have certainly learned so much more about wine, and can honestly say that I will be much better informed when purchasing wine in the future. Your style and down to earth attitude was both refreshing and fun. I would certainly give you a 99/100. Great work.
A wow (wonderful on wine) book, August 1, 2007
Reviewer: Bill Dimery (, Auckland, New Zealand)
Started reading this great book by an hotel pool in Thailand and was soon reaching for my mobile phone to call a friend back in New Zealand who is also a wine and literary buff and read excerpts to her from the beginning sections on wine and emotions and language. These, and other bits throughout the book have made me think in new ways about drinking wine.
The human characters, scene descriptions, language, personal insights and funny one-liners throughout the book just kept me engrossed.
I think, like me, Natalie enjoys drinking wine more than just tasting it! And why not. It is one of life's greatest pleasures and her book heightens the enjoyment of it.
Lots of interesting history, facts and anecdotes but also Natalie's humanity, wisdom and some degree of cynicism appealed greatly.
Utterly delightful, July 30, 2007
Reviewer: Michelle Cary-Barnard (St. Albert, Alberta, Canada)
I really loved your description of the vineyards visited. I almost could visualize it myself. Your take on the taste of the wines you were sampling made me somewhat envious that I could not be there to sample as well. Oh to be a respected wine writer, there are some deserved rewards!!!
You also made me laugh with some of your stories. I admire you greatly for your work with picking grapes, selling wines in the shop for the day and especially the time you spent in the restaurant as a sommelier. If only the customers knew how lucky they were to have you. Please do another book. To learn and to laugh... does it get much better?
Now I can appreciate what I'm drinking!, July 28, 2007
Reviewer: Barry Murphy (Beaconsfield, Quebec, Canada)
Finally a book that cuts through the stuffed shirts and stiff collars to get to the basics in a way I can understand. Now I can appreciate the different character in a wine and decide for myself what I like and don't like. The important thing is to know that the possibilities are endless ... so much wine to drink with so many folks for so many reasons ... I gotta get to it!
Drink it in, July 24, 2007
Reviewer: Geoff Rogers (Portland, Oregon, United States)
"Red, White and Drunk All Over" begins with a full, sweet nose that almost belies its depth. But give it a moment to open up, and you will be rewarded with a substantial book that will cellar well and should pair nicely with a Frost, an Auden, or even a Cormac McCarthy.
Natalie MacLean has a penchant for finding highly engaging people and places throughout the wine world and bringing them to life on the page with an easy energy that manages to be both informative and unpretentious. I recommend this book.
I know more now, July 23, 2007
Reviewer: Eric Westcott (Santa Rosa, California, USA)
I found Red White and Drunk all over to be informative, funny and fun. The book takes the reader to many places to find fascinating information, which is not presented on the surface of the places we wine people go to. The reader will follow Natalie to France, to visit the cave system that is underground and talk with the moves and shakers in the area of Champagne, the city and the wine.
Natalie also, visits wine shops on the West coast and East coast, giving an interesting contrast to the different East/West approaches to wine. I enjoyed the insights to the how, why, and what direction this part of the wine business is headed.
While Natalie is on her quest for knowledge she finds ways to tell stories of her own experiences with wine, food, and people. Not to mention the many outstanding wines that she had tasted or come in contact with, one words comes to my mind. Jealous!!! Plus, the wonderful manner in which she discuss the battle between Robert Parker and Jancis Robinson is funny and eye opening. The chapter on glassware is amazing. I believe now, Riedel glasses make wine taste better. Plus, there is a great conversation with Georg Riedel.
In the end, the book was a great experience and I have knowledge of places, people, and wines I did not have before. Thanks for the great work.
A fun way to learn about wine, July 16, 2007
Reviewer: Joe Watkins (Atlanta, Georgia, USA)
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!
Like a fine cabernet, July 8, 2007
Reviewer: Sheila Klimchuk (Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada)
An enjoyable read, just enough information to add texture and enough personal notes to add a lasting impression.
Informative, funny, and poetic, June 27, 2007
Reviewer: Elaine Sherman (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
"Red, White, and Drunk all Over" is a must read for anyone who appreciates the enjoyment of wine. Natalie MacLean writes with such passion that she will take you to an even higher level of appreciation for good food and good wine. Natalie's writing is poetic and flows like a great story teller who is sitting privately with you in your living room. An informative and laugh-out-loud read. Anyone who can quote Dorothy Parker is, in my opinion, a highly intellectual individual who appreciates good writing. Thank you Natalie for sharing and I look forward to a follow-up book.
Delightfully entertaining, June 25, 2007
Reviewer: Sheldon Richards (Napa, California, United States)
While Red, White and Drunk All Over is delightfully entertaining, it clearly provides insight into the heart and soul of the wine industry. Her anecdotes about the wine, the people and the places, which we know of, but can only imagine, is what makes her writing so meaningful. A must read for the wine industry-related as well as the wine lovers.
"Off-dry", June 20, 2007
Reviewer: Ed Lipper (East Brunswick, New Jersey, USA)
Unfortunately, much of today's wine writing is, if you'll pardon the expression, far too dry, but Natalie MacLean has managed to wrap some very informative -- even at times rather technical -- information in a wonderfully entertaining package. She also spices things up with some delightfully sensual language, not least her decidedly female perspective late in the book on opening a bottle of champagne which I'll leave for readers to discover for themselves.
Speaking of champagne, that particular chapter ("The Merry Widows of Mousse") was my favorite, both informative and lyrical, almost poetic perhaps, in its evocation of the glories of champagne and its magical journey from chalky soil east of Paris all the way to our glasses in some of life's most enjoyable and memorable moments. I can't say it better than she does at the end of that chapter:
"For some, the allure of champagne is the image of luxury and celebration; for others, it's one of life's greatest sensory delights. For me, it's the Champagne behind the champagne, a region as old as Roman conquests, as deep as the chalk fissures, as artful as the riddler's hands, and as eternal as the taste itself."
One can't evoke the meaning and joy of wine any better than this.
Engages all my senses, June 15, 2007
Reviewer: Julie Howe (Garfield, MN, USA)
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 earshot.
A fun time, June 15, 2007
Reviewer: Jim Brown (Taino Ridge, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands)
I like to think of wine as a hobby: I enjoy all things 'wine' so this book is just perfect - not too detailed, some gossip and some advice - just like a great conversation with a fellow wine lover!
Engaging read, May 30, 2007
Reviewer: Byron Gracey (Welland, Ontario, Canada)
A very enjoyable read with good insight into how the wine world goes round. Personal experiences and wine producers' stories add information impossible to find unless you've been there and done it yourself. It was over all too quickly as I found I couldn't easily put it down.
Comparison to Harry Waugh, May 21, 2007
Reviewer: Jim Mehl (Los Gatos, CA, USA)
I liked the book very much. It has the same informal, chatty style that I used to get from Harry Waugh's Wine Diaries many years ago.
Greetings from Hong Kong, May 15, 2007
Reviewer: Heather Chase (Hong Kong, China)
Just wanted to say how much I loved reading your book, 'Red, White and Drunk All Over.' I'll be in London, England in July visiting good Canadian friends & am taking them a copy of your book. They, like myself & my husband, enjoy wine so I am equally confident they will enjoy reading your book.
By the way, while reading it, I was drinking a glass of Pinot Noir & in my swirling haste spilled some of the wine on page 103 (The Merry Widows of Mouse) ... so your book is baptized in a very fitting way.
Look forward to your next book!
A rare delight!, May 14, 2007
Reviewer: Tanya Correia (Montreal, Quebec, Canada)
Natalie Maclean's Red, White and Drunk All Over truly stands out among all other 'wine books' I've read to date. At times, I forgot that I was supposed to be learning about wine! Natalie's writing is evocative, informative, and laugh-out-loud funny. Her down-to-earth attitude and tongue-in-cheek humour are so refreshing. Red, White and Drunk All Over should be on every wine lover's bookshelf. A rare delight! Be sure to check out Natalie's wine picks as well. She does not disappoint.
A delightful read, encouraged me to enjoy my wine more!, April 23, 2007
Reviewer: Bee Maione (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)
Natalie Maclean's book is a must read for all wine lovers the world over. She imparts her knowledge so sincerely and encouragingly along with a delightful sense of humour. She made me want to appreciate wines more than I already do, how lovely is that?
One of the best wine books ever, April 11, 2007
Reviewer: Sam Hauck (Coquitlam, BC, Canada)
I am only half way through Red, White and Drunk All Over but I can attest to its outstanding quality. It is funny, easy to read, entertaining and very informative. As a home winemaker and a wine judge, I wholeheartedly recommend Natalie's book. It will surely warm your heart.
No more house wine, thank you, April 10, 2007
Reviewer: Chala Aura (Richmond, B.C., Canada)
Since reading your book I am looking at wine in whole new way. I must confess, I was one of those who ordered house wine, easier and less intimidating! I now have a list in my purse that travels with me.
I have told friends and family about the book but suggested they buy their own copies as I am unwilling to share mine. (You know loaned books never return.) Thank you again for an informative but fun read. Cheers Chala!
An artistic learning experiance, April 5, 2007
Reviewer: Lora DeFries (Delhi, New Delhi, India)
I am usually more of a food reader....cookbooks, the history of food, cooking, etc. But wine is always a part of the food and wine world, and you can't have one without the other. I was lucky enough to have this book recommended to me by a closet foodie bookstore owner here in Delhi as a good place to start learning about wine, and he was spot on. The book was totally approachable for a beginner just learning about this often intimidating world. I read the book in 3 days. It was a pleasure to breeze right through as the artistic descriptions brought the people and places alive. A real joy.
Only the beginning, i hope!, April 2, 2007
Reviewer: Alain Dumas (Montreal, Quebec, Canada)
Excellent, better at the second reading. Can't wait for vol. II to V to be printed ... well I wish. Thank you for all the info and good luck with your other projects.
Natalie is the Faulkner of wine critics, March 30, 2007
Reviewer: Donna Jolly (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)
Good Lord, do they give the Pulitzer for writing about wine? If so, give it Natalie. She is the Faulkner of wine literature - yet she punctuates better! As a fellow writer, a long-time student of literature, and a hopeless lover of good wine, I am here to tell you that Nat should rule the world. Not only is she an astute wine critic with great taste, but she has elevated wine writing to the level of the classics. Her book not only teaches you about wine, it's an illustration of great writing. And the chick is an MBA - how infuriating for all the MFAs out there! Mr. Parker, thanks for the memories, but a Canadian wine critic, of all things, wins the Gold - or should I say wins the Bordeaux?
A fun read, March 30, 2007
Reviewer: Mary Bouteiller (Milford, CT, United States)
Red White and Drunk all over is a fun sassy enjoyable read for the novice and professional alike. I myself am a novice for the last 10 years. I gave your book as a gift to friends and also to myself for Christmas. I have enjoyed reading it at night when I get into bed. What better way to enjoy a glass of cabernet or zinfandel. Looking forward to your next book.
vicarious vinous voyage, March 29, 2007
Reviewer: Michael Maletta (Coral Springs, Florida, USA)
A vivid description of place and wine in diverse circumstances. I related to more than one chapter, since I am in the wine business. However, you do not have to be to enjoy this book, which is humorous, educational, and simply a good story.
Congrat nat!, March 29, 2007
Reviewer: Michael Garboll (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada)
What a joyful read! Your easy conversational style melds beautifully with your descriptive prose. I have been a wine drinker for 40 years having been introduced to the seductive beverage by a recently retired Vintages' consultant. Despite this, you successfully provided me with a number of pearls. One can never know everything. I have long practised and advocated purchase in trios and instantly knew that you were a wine sage. I loved the actual size of the book so that I could easily manage the page turns without having to put my glass down. Kudos to you. And thank you.
A sexy wine book?, March 27, 2007
Reviewer: George Simpson (Ottawa, Ontario, Cananda)
I have read many wine books during my life but none were as much fun, informative and entertaining as Ms. McLean's "Red, White and Drunk All Over." Dare I also say, I found it piquantly sexy!
A great read, March 27, 2007
Reviewer: Micki Millar (Ball Ground, Georgia, USA)
I purchased this book after reading a recommendation in Rachael Ray's new magazine a couple of months ago. I highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys learning about wine or drinking a glass (or two). Natalie's writing style is smart and funny, unlike many food writers who are filled with self-importance. Also, her rating system describes wines so that I can really imagine the taste, whereas others describe wines in esoteric terms.
A great intro to the world of wine!, March 27, 2007
Reviewer: Geoff Wignall (London, Ontario, Canada)
I've just finished "Red, White and Drunk All Over." It is a fantastic introduction to the world of fine. Natalie somehow manages to cover all of the bases taking us from the vineyard to the cellar in a fun and enjoyable way. I've tried to read several books on wine over the past few years and this is the first I've read from cover to cover. Although I don't feel like an expert yet, this book gives me to confidence to dust off some of my older wine guides and take another crack at them. Thanks Natalie!
The best 'real' wine appreciation book available, March 27, 2007
Reviewer: Edward Holmes (Seattle, Washington, USA)
Despite having a personal passion for wine and food, being in the wine business has left me somewhat jaded for wine books, periodicals and the like...not so with Red, White and Drunk All Over. I should have known from the refreshing tone and personality set in the Nat Decants website, but the book truly won me over by providing events, experiences, and education humorous and informative for all - from geek to 'well, if its red I'll drink it.'
Natalie MacLean brings an honesty and awareness of the beauty of wine most critics and 'experts' cloud with arrogance and poor understanding of those they communicate with. Should she ever make it to Seattle, my cellar is open and when it closes may there not be a sober one in the bunch!
It made we want to open a bottle every time I picked up the book, March 27, 2007
Reviewer: Rachelle Radiuk (Vancouver, BC, Canada)
I just finished reading Red, White and Drunk All Over and I absolutely loved it. My husband is reading it now and I plan to gift it to several friends. Every night that I read it I had to open a bottle of wine... it was impossible to read your descriptive prose without craving a glass. I live in Vancouver and visit the Okanagan a couple times a year for wine tasting so I really appreciated several mentions about Canadian wine in the book! We are also visiting France again this fall (we haven't been since 2001) and your book got me dreaming about the trip.
A fantastic read. Kudos to you.
Both educational and enjoyable - all between 2 covers!, March 19, 2007
Reviewer: Thomas Agnew (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada)
I'm used to reading about the academic, poetic and the intellectual side of wines - but found the balance of this book truly an eye-opener ... and even pleasing to the palette! It was always the last thing on my mind when finishing my day. Thank you for providing us with something that was both humorous and educational.
Nat decants with hunility and humor, March 1, 2007
Reviewer: Jose E. DaCosta (Kaneohe, Hawaii, USA)
Finished reading the book in January. It was a fascinating and thoughtful look at wine. Many of Natalie's opinions mirror what I believe about the overall history of wine and how one can approach it. I admire her humility about her subject however her book is one of the few that truly gets how one describes wine with words correctly! Not a small feat because wine is as difficult as it is so subjective. As an added bonus the book is very humorous. It was never a dull read and I look forward to the next one.
Riotwine supports nat's decanting, February 18, 2007
Reviewer: Joshua Duyan (Napa, California, 94558)
This book is getting fantastic reviews, and has yet to receive less than four stars by a consumer reviewer over at Amazon.com. Natalie has a great and easy to read style. Luckily, her style isn't exclusive and won't put you in over your head. She begins Red, White, and Drunk all Over by orienting the reader, “I remember the night I tasted my first good wine.” She moves on through many topics, including an interesting discussion about the role of corks. If you would like to sample Natalie's writing style before purchasing, head over to her website and sign up for a free newsletter.
Great read, February 13, 2007
Reviewer: John Dundas (Kenora, Ontario, Canada)
Read the book while on vacation in Mexico where the group I was with preferred volume to quality when it came to choosing wine. I've now subscribed to Natalie's newsletter, joined the Opimian Society, and can't wait to get home to purchase some better glasses in which to serve some great wines. Thanks for the inspiration Natalie.
Getting it right, February 12, 2007
Reviewer: Jose DaCosta (Kaneohe, Hawaii, United States)
Many of your opinions mirror what I believe about the overall history of wine and how one can approach it. I admire your humility but your book is one of the very few that truly gets how one describes wine with words correctly. As you say in the book, it is so difficult because it is so subjective. The book is at the same time very humorous. Never a dull read. Looking forward to your next one.
A beautiful picture of wine, February 12, 2007
Reviewer: Roger Short (Kimberley, Ontario, Canada)
You have a clever knack of spinning the yarn around wine without making it ponderous, as many can be when they enter this intellectual cave. (You see the picture which many miss, just like a gifted photographer rather than the technically perfect picture taker.) You are sometimes self-depreciating but your relevant illustrations and humor connected with me. This takes nothing away from your obvious expertise and love of the vine. I particularly enjoyed your evening as the “sous-sommelier” to get a feel for the customers and from which your expressed a new-found appreciation for the detailed knowledge and hard work it entails. Finally, the story was elegantly stitched together, no doubt due to the specific skills of people who make their living at it. But without your raw material they couldn't have performed their task in the first place! Well done and thank you.
Awsome, February 9, 2007
Reviewer: Yves Bouthat (Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada)
Natalie, I have read your book over the Christmas holiday (it was a gift from my wife) and I just couldn't put it down. My sister Lise, in Montreal is an avid wine consumer (as opposed to connoisseur) and I told her about your book on a recent trip home. The only hitch is that she does not speak or understand English. Could you tell me if you plan on translating your book to French, so I can purchase a copy for my sister. Thanks and congratulation for your great book.
A wonderful journey through the world of wine, February 8, 2007
Reviewer: Haz El-Gabalawy (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)
I thoroughly enjoyed Red, White and Drunk all over. Ms. MacLean has a way of weaving a story that both educates and entertains. Her words and stories are alive. The words pop off the page and you can feel the emotional connection which is made as she meets and interacts with wine people on her journey. I found her journey through Burgundy of particular interest as my current passion is Pinot Noir. I was riveted by the disagreement between Robert Parker and Jancis Robinson.
The candid way she shares stories about dinner parties and provides advice through her own experimentation with some embarrassing results is so refreshing and down to earth. I would highly recommend it to both beginners and sommeliers.
The wine book for 2007, February 7, 2007
Reviewer: Jerry Fisher (Roswell, Georgia, USA)
I can't remember enjoying a book more than Natalie's. This is one of those rare commodities that like a John Grisham novel you're sorry when it ends. I learned a great deal and was thoroughly entertained. I greatly enjoyed reading about her experiences with the wine personalities in the book. Amusing yet educational this is a must read if you are into wine books. Natalie is a first-rate author! Well done.
Wine journey, February 7, 2007
Reviewer: Janice Newsom (Plains, Texas, U.S.A.)
Natalie's book is a learning experience for everyone--from the wine lover to the winegrower. It takes you on a world wine journey, from the fields, to the aromatic barrel rooms. Find out what it is like to sample reds and whites, then know how to buy them, to be drunk for your special night. Cheers to Natalie for a job well done.
, February 7, 2007
Reviewer: Randall Desbrisay (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada)
I have several wine books, but this is the first one I must admit that I have read from cover to cover. The stories are both entertaining and educational. I will enjoy wine even more now.
Natalie maclean - the george plimpton of wine, February 6, 2007
Reviewer: Roger Petersen (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
Natalie MacLean is the George Plimpton of wine. She reveals all in her new book: "Red, White and Drunk All Over." Not just a series of interviews with some of the most influential wine folks on the planet, but hands-on adventures in a California vineyard, in wine cellar tunnels beneath some of the greatest chateaux in France, as a sales associate in trendy wine stores in San Francisco and New York, and as an “undercover sommelier” in an upscale restaurant in Québec City. Now we really know what the wine industry is all about - from why champagne is so expensive, to why a proper wine glass is so important. Natalie MacLean's passion for all things grape overflows on every page of this entertaining book. It is, truly, a great read.
A book for all levels, February 5, 2007
Reviewer: Jeanne Zoppo (Portland, Oregon, USA)
This book is great to read no matter what level of a wine connoisseur you are. It has a lot of great information for the wine lover and it is not that intimidating if you don't know a lot about wine. It is a great introduction into the industry as well as a great source of information if you are already knowledgeable on the subject. It is a wonderful book!
Very informative!, February 4, 2007
Reviewer: Julien J. Hradecky (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada)
Your book is very informative for the novice yet entertaining for the expert. I wish you much success with it. Cheers!
One of the best prizes i have won, February 4, 2007
Reviewer: Nancy Benn (R.R.#1 Parham, Ontario, Canada)
I submitted a letter to Vines magazine several issues ago and was delighted to receive Natalie MacLean's book, as a gift. I had read so much about it in different magazine reviews. What an interesting, unpretentious read. Information understandable, humourous (thank-you for that), and educational. Have passed it on to my mother and have a couple of friends waiting in line for their turn. How lucky you are to be so knowledgeable about wine.... and....be a great author to boot!
The constant lover, February 2, 2007
Reviewer: Rick Patrick (Madoc, Ontario, Canada)
wine lovers are brothers and sisters under the skin
no matter what country, what class, what tribe you're in
now natalie has risen to the fore
has opened another splendid door
on the joy, the spirit, the mystery of wine
has made it hers, and yours, and mine
the great god bacchus and his constant lover
red and white and drunk all over
the diamonds in the wine reflect the prize
a thousand years of history in her eyes
Vinous prose, February 1, 2007
Reviewer: Robert Irons (Lexington, Virginia, USA)
"Red White And Drunk All Over" is a delightful and informative book about recalled experiences visiting vineyards and winemakers from the small to the grand cru. Her prose flows like a sprightly brook with with here and there a riffle occasioned by a humerous aside or a note of pertinent information or vinous lore. It was a treat for me allowing revisits of fond memories. I heartily recommend to all who love wine and to those who should and perhaps someday will.
Light on the fore pallet with a strong finish, January 31, 2007
Reviewer: Scott Patey (Sindelfingen, Bademwurtenburg, Germany)
Your book was extremely well balanced. It provided several conflicting views on how to judge wine; provided a sound education on industry terminology and trends; and finally showed the enjoyment of wine as a lifestyle and culture. I especially like how you delineated between analytic thinkers and fluid thinkers. Some folks need to have a number in order to know how much enjoyment they can expect. Others are able to define their own enjoyment free of a system. The other part of the book that really stuck with me was the friendliness and earnestness of the people you interviewed at all levels within the industry. Wine professionals seem to be content and balanced something the world desperately needs. Maybe we should pass laws to study and drink wine.
Refreshing approach to wine, like a riesling on a hot summer’s day, January 31, 2007
Reviewer: Heather Roth (Cambridge, Ontario, Canada)
When a book causes me to laugh out loud, then it must be good. Natalie has a refreshing approach to wine writing. Some writers get too lost in the technicality of wine; Natalie brings home what is most important - the connection we feel with each glass. I was also inspired by her dinner with Jay McInerney that I bought his book as well! Note to future readers: Natalie's book is best read with a glass of wine in hand. I hope to read future books, Natalie!
Drunk all over...a great read, January 29, 2007
Reviewer: Randy Kun (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)
Wine a dry subject? Often, yes. But not this book. No wine snobs prattling on here. It's a thoroughly entertaining read and a great way to learn more about wine and regions without feeling like you're plowing through a textbook. I really liked the way it's written as a series of personal experiences, rich with characters, anecdotes and geography. Natalie's writing style pulls it all together into a humourous informing blend that makes it hard to put down.
A book that connects, January 26, 2007
Reviewer: Paul Weingartner (Mansfield, Ohio, USA)
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.
I went to Columbia University and when I get to New York City I always visit Sherry Lehman's. You have convinced me to try "Discovery Wines."
I agree with your views on Robert Parker. I've always thought perhaps he was a cigar smoking, scotch drinker and his taste buds were simply fried by now. Before long he'll have us licking out the insides of our car's exhaust pipes. I'll also look into the writings of Jancis Robinson as a result of your comments.
You've simply produced an amazing book. It is the most reader-friendly book on wine I've read. I may have nudged LOVE BY THE GLASS and JUDGEMENT OF PARIS out of my previous first places.
Been there, drank that..., January 25, 2007
Reviewer: Adrian Horsfield (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
Red, White and Drunk All Over is one great book. It addresses a complex and sometimes intimidating topic without jargon or pretentious prose. Natalie not only understands all aspects of wine and winemaking, but explains various aspects with wit, charm and style. I was pleasantly reminded of Peter Mayle's A Year in Provence. Having spent much time in Napa Valley and the south of France, Natalie's book brought back many wonderful memories and put a new spin on some favorite places. I eagerly await a sequel!
A thoroughly entertaining journey!, January 24, 2007
Reviewer: Gordon Hartney (Surrey, Britich Columbia, Canada)
Reading Natalie MacLean's book is like opening a bottle of Champagne for the first time. Her personal adventures bubble out all over the pages and enable the reader to experience the "joie de vivre" of wine. Both educational and entertaining, it's a must read for the novice, amateur and expert alike. I now have a greater appreciation of the Burgundian vintner's philosophy and viticulture, which will enrich my next visit or tasting of this often misunderstood wine.
Enjoyable read!, January 24, 2007
Reviewer: Jonathan Newman (Brockville, Ontario, Canada)
Very enjoyable reading! The people and the experiences were well presented. Made me feel like I was right there enjoying the experience, learning, and meeting the people personally. Seems like there is lots of room for sequels. Looking forward to them.
Great read, January 23, 2007
Reviewer: Dan Pallone (Morristown, New Jersey, USA)
I recently built a wine cellar in my basement and thoroughly enjoyed this book. Natalie's candor, experience, and casual writing style has really motivated me in my new hobby of filling my wine cellar.
Pour a glass and enjoy, January 20, 2007
Reviewer: Albert Montagnese (Kingston, Ontario, Canada)
Natalie's book has really resurrected my passions. I founded a wine club way back in 1984 called Grape Expectations in the Toronto area. This club set out to explore the world of wine and it would appear Natalie is a kindred spirit in her philosophy and passions. I was born into wine and this book helps put words to so many attempts I have made to describe the same feeling and views Natalie holds. The book is grounded in an obvious philosophy that wine and wine drinking is a subjective activity. Sure there's things to learn and know, but in the end, whether it is plonk or vintage Bordeaux, if it offends your palate it is not worth the spit. My motto is "whatever is good in your mouth is all that counts." Natalie's book is good because she gives us permission to get excited, to be opinionated and dare I say "erotic" about our love for wine.
I'm a burgundy fanatic and my wife is a slave to Champagne. We traveled to the same places (not all the same cellars mind you!) and we thank Nat for helping us re-live, re-smell, re-taste, and re-feel it all over again.
Fun and informative, January 18, 2007
Reviewer: Shirley Brown (Wakefield, Quebec, Canada)
Great gift from a dear friend. I love wine, drink it everyday with dinner and greatly enjoy hosting parties around my table enjoying the river view. I have always wanted to know more about "what I am buying and drinking" and have been too lazy to take courses or to read really serious books. Your book has given me information on the many aspects of wine and entertaining and peaked my interest to now go further in my studies. The basics written in your FUN way encourage me to tackle the wines available at Vintages and to be more confident in a restaurant when ordering wine.
A great ride, January 16, 2007
Reviewer: Anne Struble (Harwood, Maryland, USA)
And here I thought all the fun in the wine industry was as a consumer. Who knew a book about wine would be laugh-out-loud funny? Natalie makes even the self-proclaimed hard parts (a day as a wine clerk, a night as a sommelier) sound like something any wine aficionado would love to do. I told my (hopefully) future son-in-law about the book. He is stationed in Iraq right now. If he can't drink any wine, he can have a good time reading about it. Thanks for a great read, and a wonderful trip to some of my personal favorite parts of France.
Memories in a glass, January 13, 2007
Reviewer: Allen Hamby (Orlando, Florida, USA)
Nat MacLean has captured something many wine writers seem to miss. Drinking a bottle of wine isn't just about the flavors, or the terroir, or other technical aspects. It's about the people you're with, the places you are, and the memories that it takes you back to. No other drink to my knowledge does this the same way, I mean can you honestly see someone waxing poetic about beer or vodka in quite the same way? A highly recommended read for any who see wine as more than just a number and a list of smells.
Red, white and read all through, January 13, 2007
Reviewer: Mike Dickie (Pennant, Saskatchewan, Canada)
I received a copy of Red, White and Drunk All Over in my Christmas stocking, having hinted broadly and often that I wanted it. I pretty much devoured it without stopping, other than needing to run for a glass of wine between each chapter. (I should have started it later in the day, but then it's always five o'clock somewhere!) It is a very comfortable read, and from it, though we have not met, I almost feel that I know Natalie a bit. I get the impression that we share a similar passion for, and appreciation of wine, and a notion that wine should be a part of everyday life, meant above all to be enjoyed and savoured, rather than just analyzed to death. I sense a kindred spirit.
Anyway, despite her impressive credentials, she manages to pass along a wealth of knowledge and information without "pedantry" as she puts it. At the end of the book, which comes way too soon, one realizes that he or she has not only had a completely enjoyable reading experience, but has learned something, without having been "taught". Very nicely done! More, please!
Book club wine tasting, December 29, 2006
Reviewer: Pam Kelly (New Westminster, B.C., Canada)
I had recommended your book to my book club and we met last night at my home to discuss. I set up a wine tasting evening around your suggestions in the book and it was a blast! In fact, I had to kick the ladies out at midnight as I had to work today. I have to say washing 50 wine glasses at 6 in the morning wasn't my idea of fun but it was worth it.
We did a horizontal tasting with 5 Merlots from the Americas - all 2004s. I slipped an Australian Yellow Tail in there for fun. Almost everyone (we had 9 ladies) picked the Yellow Tail as their favorite. Interesting. We all really enjoyed your book. It was an easy and interesting read and I laughed out loud in a couple of spots.
An entertaining read, December 21, 2006
Reviewer: Suzanne Young (Sonoma, CA, USA)
Natalie gives the knowledge in an entertaining read with wonderful stories and lots of helpful lingo. We have recently moved to Sonoma and now feel comfortable with the best of the "winos." Must read for anyone who enjoys any wine!
Delicious reading, December 19, 2006
Reviewer: Judith Walmsley (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
I received this book from a friend. The moment I started reading, it was like "being there" with your fabulous description of your first Barolo. You definitely know how to tell a great story and the reader is learning more about wine whether they know it or not. I have recommended it to all of my wino friends. Judith...
Urgent warning, December 18, 2006
Reviewer: Lael Atkinson (Austin, Texas, United States)
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.
I don't feel guilty anymore for loving wine! thanks Nat, December 11, 2006
Reviewer: cathy saunders (London, Ontario, Canada)
Picked the book up at the library because of the catchy title. Laughed my way through it and learned a great deal in a very entertaining way. The book is on its way to my daughter in Australia for Christmas and my co-worker aka "The Boss" is also receiving a copy. Looking forward to further newletters so I can continue my besotted journeys into the world of wine.
Pity the scotch drinkers!, November 20, 2006
Reviewer: David McAllister (Boonton Township, New Jersey, U.S.)
Thanks for the great wine read. From the great wineries of Burgundy, to the New World, dinner parties, wine shops and restaraunts, you captured the spirit of acquiring, collecting, and above all drinking and enjoying good wine in so many of life's great situations with passion. Pity my poor wife the scotch lover!
Cheers & thanks,
La méthode MacLean, November 7, 2006
Reviewer: Ian Hammond (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)
With the publication of Red, White, and Drunk All Over, Natalie McLean is well on her way to becoming to wine writing what the great Bill Bryson is to travel writing. Blending intelligence, curiosity, and impeccable research with gentle humor she leads us on a dozen chartered tours through the fascinating world of wine. We journey from the exalted terroir of Burgundy to the New World vineyards of northern California, stopping for an encounter with suave Austrian, Georg Riedel, and his “precision tool," the grape-specific crystal wine glass. An award-winning journalist and accredited sommelier, McLean takes her subject and her craft, but never herself, seriously. Now Nat, if you ever need a last-minute dinner partner...
Simplifying the complicated...., October 30, 2006
Reviewer: Gabriella Sestak (Aurora, Ontario, Canada)
In Red, White, and Drunk All Over, Natalie MacLean simplifies the world of wine, peppered with her brand of humour. As a student in the world of wine, I am constantly looking for updated reading material that aids in my learning. Natalie's book not only educates, it also takes us through the real world in an easy style that has you turning pages with a smile. A definite read for all interested in anything wine. Can't wait for her next book.
Well worth the price of admission, October 27, 2006
Reviewer: Tony Santolla (Olympia, Washington, USA)
When I bought Natalie's book, I was expecting a reference tome that I would keep in my pantry and look at from time to time for ideas and lessons. What I found instead was a collection of short stories that were funny, yet informative, giving me an even greater appreciation of the world of wine and winemakers. It's a book that was hard to put down and ended way too soon. I can't wait to open the sequel!
Fabulous!, October 26, 2006
Reviewer: Stefanie Duvall (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)
It's great to read a book about wine that not only educates, but it's also entertaining to read. I love to see all the different sides to the making of wine. This book is a must-read for all of us who love wine.
A whole new world awakened, October 6, 2006
Reviewer: Peter Seviour (St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada)
As a newcomer to the world of wine appreciation, I am thrilled with the approach in this easy-to-read/hard-to-put-down book. No question we have all been intimidated by the whole wine ordering buisness, but now that I know Natalie has had to deal with the same cheek-rouging process, and survived it well, the world of wine has become far less intimidating.Thanks so much for that!
I've learned something, October 6, 2006
Reviewer: Barb Holloway (St. Lazare, Quebec, Canada)
Very informative and funny little book. Not only was it detailed and geared to learning about wine, it was funny. I love the little anecdotes about the people that Natalie visited with as subject matter experts. I now have an even deeper appreciation of wine and everything involved with the ART of winemaking. I have a LOT to learn and it's something that I'm going to get better at with tasting classes, books etc.
It is just fun reading that book, October 5, 2006
Reviewer: Wolf Thiel (Karlsruhe, Baden, Germany)
Congratulations to Natalie on that book. Wonderful reading. Lots of information, but the bottom line is, reading that book is just plain fun. I read it when we had our national holiday (something a bit like the 4th of July). I finished the book in one sitting with two bottles of wine. Thank you, Natalie
Delightful and informative read, October 4, 2006
Reviewer: Allan Cohen (Glenview, Illinois, US)
Like her newsletter, NM's book is informative, easy reading, and a story of a delightful, sometimes humorous and sensual journey.
I finished the book in one sitting.
Thank you nat, October 3, 2006
Reviewer: Don Voorhees (Oshawa, Ontario, Canada)
I am old and do not get exited about much any more. I caught your interview on CBC radio last week. Listening to you stirs the heart, you are truly refreshing to hear, your wit and skill with the English language had me mesmerized. I am searching for your book. It will make it's place in our home and will be our gift to our wino friends. Thank you for being on this earth the same time as me.
A sheer delight, October 3, 2006
Reviewer: Julie Harris (New York, New York, USA)
Just got finished reading your book, Red, White and Drunk All Over. It is educational, informative and thoroughly enjoyable... a sheer delight from cover to cover. The only criticism I have is: Why did you take so long before you wrote it?
Your newsletter is outstanding, the best of its kind. I foward it to all my wine friends. Keep up the good work and don't wait so long before you publish again.
A must for every wine lover, September 25, 2006
Reviewer: Gaby Israel (Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada)
Natalie, I'm in my early 40s, a vice president in a large American international IT solutions company... I'm not so proud of the fact that I may have read about 40 books in my life most of them professional), that is, end-to-end without quitting in the middle. Now add to that the fact that English is my second language (I'm only 5 years in Canada). However, I had the best time ever reading your book: I read it every spare minute I could (even for few pages)... in business trips, on the weekends, while waiting for my daughters to be picked up after school.
In one of my flights, I put my iPod on while reading your book, and laughed few times hard enough to get educating looks from the people around me. And since you are an "eye-person" (in your book, you seem to have never missed any of the color and shape of the eyes of the people you met - "his sapphire-blue eyes twinkling..."), I share with you that these instances of smiling and laughing so frequently caused my wrinkles around my eyes to deepen - lucky me, my wife likes them.
Natalie, your book could have been four times thicker and I would have read it all with the same passion and dedication! You write so graciously, so humble, so to-the-point, so professional, so interesting, so objectively. I loved how you analyzed and addressed Parker - opinionated but not offensive - pure art! It's the part I loved best - told with great sense of humor.
I have already talked and recommended the book to many of my friends and colleagues and I know they will read your book. (They have to, otherwise they know I'll keep bugging them...) Please don't stop writing. I'll wait patiently for your next adventures book. Gaby
A vintage read, September 20, 2006
Reviewer: Carlo Buffone (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)
Well-written, intelligently organized and most of all, entertaining to read. Natalie gives us an insightful look into the world of wine from the famous wine regions of France to her stint as a sommelier at a five-star restaurant. She gives us both sides of the coin on the subjects that required it, such as Robert Parker vs. Jancis Robinson, screw top vs cork.
A triumph for the vintage, September 17, 2006
Reviewer: David Gourlay (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)
Natalie MacLean's elegant prose allows us to lose ourselves in a world that any aspiring sommelier or the most casual of wine drinkers can appreciate. Her book is an inspired passion through rich and engaging language and emotion that is at one stage, humourous, and another, comforting.
It is a triumph and a must for those of us whose evenings may be seduced by a fine wine.
Red, white and drunk all over, September 14, 2006
Reviewer: Kim d'Entremont (Saulnierville, Nova Scotia, Canada)
Great book, very insightful and thought-provoking, with enough humor to get a few chuckles. Good enough to buy three books for friends.
The adventures of a wine anti-snob, September 14, 2006
Reviewer: Antonio Arch (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
I imagine that it must be more than a little difficult to be the person who writes those little blurbs describing wines on the backs of the labels and in the weekend papers. Having said that, I suppose it's even more difficult to write a comprehensive book on the subject. Being the sort of reader and information junkie that Natalie Maclean makes fun of at the beginning of her book who actually likes to read the Oxford Companion for so much intoxicating information, I'm glad of the occasional pieces of work of writers like this who can offer up so much information while at the same time writing and weaving it into so many thoughtful, witty and charming stories about the subject.
Natalie Maclean writes like the love child of Peter Mayle and Jancis Robinson, who has trained as a stand-up comic. It's fun, funny, humble and very informative. I've always wondered as to the origins of the Kir Royale and what makes Riedel the leader in wine glass technology. (I figured that if it didn't leak from the bottom, it'd do.) The author clearly has not only the talent of the palate, but that wonderful sommelier's vocabulary that is so different from mine that allows her to communicate what she's tasting, when she slows down to taste it :-)
A global perspective from a witty point of view, September 1, 2006
Reviewer: Steve Gill (Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada)
Congratulations Natalie on a wonderful book! I found it fun, enjoyable to read and filled with "unsnobbish" (is that a word?) stories. This is a must read for those interested in wines and the global wine industy.
Buy this book, August 27, 2006
Reviewer: Francisco Rosa (Montreal, Quebec, Canada)
Order this fine book, Red, White and Drunk All Over, from Natalie MacLean, a wonderful wine writer who pens her lines with a superb feminine touch.
Simply a most useful & delightful book about wine, August 24, 2006
Reviewer: Daria Blackwell (Mahwah, New Jersey, USA)
At Coastal Boating (coastalboating.net), we were going to review a new book about wiring on boats, but then we came across this book at BookExpo that we just knew boaters would love. No, this is not exactly a book about boating, but how many boaters do you know who don't like wine? Okay so there are the occasional beer afficionados but I believe they'd like wine if they knew how easy it is to love it. This book by Natalie MacLean is simply the most useful book about wine you are likely to find.
MacLean does not resort to fancy language (well maybe just a little) but rather treats you to a sensuous romp around the world through vineyards, restaurants, wine cellars, wine shops and dinner parties. I, who never tried to figure out wines but always knew if a wine appealed to me or not, read the book through almost without stopping. I found myself laughing out loud, marveling at the history, and delighting in the characters. In the process, I learned what makes all the wines different. And I learned why some wines that are reasonably priced are far better wines than others that are exhorbitant. I started to understand the basics of wine and wine selection, something that truly mystified me before. From the character of the specific grapes to the influence of different soils, conditions, and winemakers, I found a new appreciation for the nectar and less mystery about its variety.
The differences are simply explained, delightfully researched, and enthusiastically recounted. I now know when to turn a wine back, when to accept it graciously, and how to enjoy it to the fullest. Some of the advice is simple - go with second bottlings of topnotch vinters, choose the grape, region, and vintage as a unit, take a chance on unknown makers in a year of particularly good vintage and learn to trust a local wine merchant. Finally, always enjoy the bubbly - there is nothing it doesn't go with! Now that is sound advice.
Natalie MacLean also has a terrific free online newsletter called Nat Decants. There are fabulous photos to accompany the book on her site and you can even get recommendations for that pot luck dinner you are planning. Enjoy!
Much more than just the facts, August 11, 2006
Reviewer: Elspeth Murray (Kingston, Ontario, Canada)
Simply put, I love the book. In fact I found it hard to put down. I confess I love wine, although far from an expert, so was already interested in the subject matter. But let's face it, on the subject of wine, many of the books on the market these days are what I view as Car and Driver style manuscripts that list the facts - sometimes all of them - in excruciating detail. While the facts are useful, they are neither entertaining nor inspiring, and that's where Natalie's book is so different.
Red, White and Drunk All Over reminded me immediately of Architectural Digest with exceptional writing substituting for the glossy images of fantastic places. Right from the beginning, I found myself immersed in the world of wine. Natalie's writing is so good, I could imagine myself in her shoes as she traipsed around the world of wine. While evoking these images, Natalie very stealthily weaves in necessary and, in many cases, little known facts about wine that are critical to active participation in any dinner party conversation on the subject. In fact that's one of the best things about the book - you learn more than a few things about wine while having a great time in the process! In addition to personally enjoying the book, Natalie has also solved another dilemma for me - Christmas presents for my family and friends. With a love of wine and great writing encoded in their DNA, I've already warned them to expect a copy of the book just in time for the holidays!
Kudos from a chef, August 6, 2006
Reviewer: Tracey Black (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)
As a chef, I always need to understand two things about the food I work with: one, the science; and two, the cultural and historical context that informs how and why food is prepared. Imagine my absolute delight when, in one swift and highly enjoyable read, Natalie MacLean delivered to me everything I love about gastronomy but in the world of wine. Her real talent has been to capture the culture, the history, the science and the characters that she discovers in her own personal wine journey and presents them in an engaging and funny way, that not only gives us a behind the scenes look into the wine industry of today, but also gives us insight into our own love and fascination with the grape.
Fun and fabulous, August 4, 2006
Reviewer: Steve Beckta (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)
Red, White and Drunk All Over is a terrific journey along some of the most hidden and revered paths in the wine world. Being able to approach so many of the great vineyards and wine traditions with a very real, playful and witty palate & pen puts Natalie on the podium with the world's great writers. She transports you to far away places where you sip, swallow and savor the passions that exist in these worlds. You find yourself joined at the hip, sharing her curiosity, nervousness, joy and triumphs. A must read for anyone who is remotely interested in wine or life.
Excellent info-tainment, August 3, 2006
Reviewer: Kent Currie (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)
It was a pleasure to read Natalie's new book as her words easily transported me to numerous wine regions of the world, unaware that I was becoming more educated along the way. When she describes smells, textures and feelings, I catch the aromas and sensations too. Simply put, her writing style works for me. I found many smiles in the pages and quite a few outright laughs.
Simply intoxicating, August 2, 2006
Reviewer: Debbie Trenholm (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)
There are countless wine books, some historic, some novels, some technical and some instructional. Yet, in Red, White & Drunk All Over, Natalie MacLean shares her discovery and experiences of the different facets of wine with an enlightening twist. Each chapter is intoxicating, written with MacLean's wit and humble perspective that makes her indeed "The World's Best Drink Writer." This book gives you fascinating first-hand experiences by Natalie and stories about the personalities in the wine world that you can share with friends at your next dinner party. Enjoying wine is lighter and more refreshing after devouring this book.
Charming, August 2, 2006
Reviewer: Jean Maylack (St Louis, Missouri, USA)
Red, White and Drunk All Over was a delightful summer read. It stood head and shoulders above all other winelit books I've read for its charm (in particular the chapter about your visit to the legendary DRC). Natalie, your enthusiam and fresh perspective on wine are a refreshing contrast to the pedantic American and British wine writers/critics.
Please teach me that saber trick!, August 1, 2006
Reviewer: Anne Leners (St. Louis, Missouri, USA)
I took your book on a trip to Spain. Then I brought it home again to share with my friend, Jean. That may not sound like a glowing endorsement, unless you know (1) I generally pitch an advance reading copy of a book into the recycling bin if I read a sentence that bores or even annoys me & (2) I returned from New Zealand with a suitcase containing lovely, lovely books, new mohair/possum sweaters & 2 pairs of panties that I forgot to throw out before the return flight. I rely on my friend's expert knowledge of wine to screen my plonk as much as she takes advantage of my access to the latest books to guide her limited reading time. Your book was as satisfying and fun as our last shared bottle of Veuve Clicquot. "Only one quality, the finest." (Write another, please.)
Red, white and laughing out loud, July 30, 2006
Reviewer: Shawn Gold (Richmond, British Columbia, Canada)
Natalie has a way of turning what could otherwise be considered a technical, even snobbish subject into a fun and fascinating history and understanding of what is truly important to wine makers. With only a mild interest in wine beforehand, Red, White and Drunk All Over gave me a much deeper appreciation for what makes a good wine, great and I had many laughing out loud moments along the way.
Natalie, I can no longer look at the vines in a vineyard in the same way, nor can I taste wines without thinking of the terroir that I may be appreciating. Thank you for adding a whole new dimension to my wine appreciation and many smiles as I read your book.
Reader Reviews of Red, White and Drunk All Over
In the end, a book lives or dies according to what readers think. So I thought I'd encourage you to let others know what you think. Please submit your review as well. I promise to post the good and the bad, just not the profane. I hope you find these reviews helpful.