Award-winning writer Natalie MacLean sweeps readers behind the scenes of the international wine world, visiting its most evocative places and meeting its most charismatic personalities. Red, White, and Drunk All Over showcases the engaging wit, investigative curiosity, and sharp eye for obsessive passion that has made her free e-newsletter Nat Decants one of the most popular in North America.
Natalie tastes sensuous pinot noir in the ancient cellars of Burgundy while discovering the mysterious tenets of biodynamic viticulture from such colourful characters as the tiny, ferocious Lalou Bize-Leroy, part-owner of France's acclaimed Domaine de la Roman e-Conti. She pulls on sturdy boots to help with the grape harvest at California's Bonny Doon Vineyards-and gets to the root of the anti-establishment philosophy of owner Randall Grahm, notorious for his experimental wine techniques, love for unfashionable grapes, and fondness for naming his wines "Cardinal Zin," "Heart Has its Rieslings," and "Big House Red" (whose grapes are grown just down the road from one of California's state prisons).
Natalie takes a job as undercover sommelier at a five-star French restaurant, spends a day helping customers in a high-end New York wine shop, wades into a famous feud between Robert Parker and Jancis Robinson, two of the world's best-known critics and, back home, invites friends over for a casual wine tasting. Along the way she teaches us-painlessly and often hilariously-how to face a telephone directory-sized wine list without fear, what questions to ask to get exactly the wine you are looking, what those scores out of 100 really mean, and how properly to expectorate (it's best to start out in the shower )
This wine-soaked blend of Kitchen Confidential and Sideways is a fascinating tour from the grape to the glass that will drive readers to drink. And think. And laugh.