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Red, White, and Drunk All Over
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Red, White, and Drunk All Over

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  393 ratings  ·  81 reviews
In this bodice-ripping wine book that got widespread and excellent reviews in hardcover, multiple James Beard and IACP award-winning writer Natalie MacLean's journey through the international world of wine is the perfect companion for neophytes and wine aficionados alike.
Includes a new chapter with answers to questions about the trickiest foods to pair with wine: chocolat
ebook, 320 pages
Published December 1st 2008 by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (first published 2006)
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Community Reviews

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Thanks for your reviews everyone! I learn from the good and from the less-than-enthusiastic. I've posted some background info and questions for book clubs if anyone is interested ... though I'm sure any gathering my book might prompt would involve more wine, less analysis:

book clubs and tasting groups

I also post my favorite wines, a monthly newsletter and a food and wine matching tool on my site:

food and wine matcher


PS The rating above is not mine but my mothe
I did not finish this book, because I read the following text on page 22:

"I dissolve with pleasure into the wine, like a sugar cube with warm water poured over it. The only way to convey the intensity of flavor in my mouth woud be to make the words on this page burst into flames."

Now I don't know a lot about writing but this short pair of sentences somehow manage to mix melodrama, a bad cliche, and a really weird metaphor into an unpalatable lump of awkward description. Does this make other peo
I really wanted to like this book because it's about wine, but I couldn't do it. I didn't even finish it. I didn't even get half way. 80 pages in and I couldn't take anymore. Do you know what it's like to read a book where every 5th sentence is a comparison? It's unbearable. There was a moment when she compared a process done by some vineyards that makes the wine taste uneven and how this was like liposuction and how your skin can never be as even as it had been if you'd never gotten fat. Really ...more
Dec 23, 2007 Sean rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Wine geeks
Shelves: myspace
Takes the topic of wine one step further, delving into more focused conversations such as California terroir and private tasting at DRC.

Natalie MacLean has an easy, friendly style of writing, that takes the reader by the hand and carefully leads them through some of the more intricate discussions on wine.

My wife started to read this book, but thought it was too "wine geek" heavy. I (a professional wine steward) bounded through the book with no problems, and learned quite a lot about subjects I
While I had some trouble with the section on the complicated red wines of France, I enjoyed learning about the wine world and the stories told by Natalie MacLean. Wine still seems a bit fussy and complicated to me, but she did shed light into many aspects of wine making and drinking. It's a competitive world, and a few powerful people can shape sales and ratings. No wonder people spend so much time reading about and studying wine.

I love stories about women who defy the times and succeed in the "
Teena in Toronto
I found some parts of this book to be interesting. I will admit that I got bogged down at times, especially in the beginning when she was visiting the various wineries.

I am not close to being an expert about wine and I found this book was over my head at times. I guess I need more of a "Wine for Dummies" style of book.

Considering MacLean is Canadian (born in Nova Scotia and now living in Ottawa), I would have liked her to spend some time talking about our wines since we have excellent regions in
I can't help but compare any book about wine to Kermit Lynch's Adventures on the Wine Route or Jay McInerney's A Hedonist in the Cellar and this book simply doesn't have enough wit or wisdom to warrant more stars.
Probably a lame comment since this is the first wine book I've read, but this has got to be the ultimate beginners guide to wine. I love how Natalie MacLean takes you step by step through the processes of growing grapes, creating a blend, critiquing, selling, serving and, most importantly, drinking wine. The descriptors were enough to add about $80-ish extra bucks to the true price of the book (if you're like me and not ready to drop upwards of $100 on a bottle of Krug), and I dare anyone to get ...more
Though I resisted the notion at first, I think this is the kind of book I would have written about my wine experiences if I had the gumption: unpretentious and talking about how I arrived at my wine education rather than flaunting my credentials. I like to think that books I fly through and look forward to getting back to have strong merit, and this one definitely kept my interest. I like her honesty and modesty when talking about wine experiences whether it be the pressure to select a wine for ...more
Suzanne Kittrell
Well, this is about how wonderful wine is and why we all like it and, oh yeah, how it is made in some of the exclusive vineyards in France and Napa/Sonoma. This woman has writes a wine column and describes what goes on in her head when she sips on the grape juice - I wish I had that much imagination of what I think I am smelling and tasting - she's never dull and never without an apt description. A good read if you want to know more about the business and the romance of wine and how it all can t ...more
As a first attempt at writing a book about wine, Natalie has succeeded in adding to the genre without being overly detailed or pendantic. The book is entertaining and informative. I enjoyed her first impressions on Champagne - look out for "toads eyes", and her chapter on glass was also interesting. I'll have to settle for puny glass because I concentrate on spending for wine not on the "glass" of the gods. Her comments on the iconic Robert Parker help put him into perspective and her dinner wit ...more
While the author's prose tends to the overly ornate, the stories are fun to read. perhaps he most interesting aspect of the book is the author's own story. a new mom working for a web company before the bubble burst, she took a left turn and turned her interest in wine into a career that gave her the opportunity to travel and taste enough to write this book...she is my hero. when she is not describing wine in euphoric tones, the stories of visiting the great wineries of Burgundy, Bordeaux, Champ ...more
I really enjoyed this book. It was a perfect mix so that I learned about wine without feeling that I was reading a textbook and it had plenty of anecdotes that I could relate to as a wine novice. Reading this book seven years after it was published, I do not feel that the content is now out of date as I was a bit nervous before starting that this would be a list of recommended wines. It isn't. There were a few wine descriptions that made me cringe but then I am a wine novice and I do suppose tha ...more
Heather Jenkins
I enjoyed this book. I wasn't sure what to think at first and almost gave up, but I gave it more effort and ended up learning about wine.
I have really gotten into sampling wines and this book was interesting as it educates about wine through chapters on different aspects of wine such as origin (wineries in Europe as well as US), wine stores, sommeliers, wine in the home. I just thought it was very lightly educational, meaning that it was joyful learning.
If you are interested in learning more a
Great info on wines
We have the right soil for grapes: gravel and clay and limestone. So, why are there no vineyards in Ennis. There's no mention of wind in this book. However, I did learn about labels, and which area has the best of merlot, pinot, cabernet, reisling, and those were not a surprise. I especially liked the discussions about meeting vineyard owners and wine-creators. Unusual characters, well described. Being a sommelier would require far more memorization than having a career in human pathology! Whew! ...more
Nat MacLean has put together a collection of wine theme essays that acknowledge that wine is not a religion unto itself but simply an ever fascinating third leg of a stool along with food and companionship. As a wine professional, she has tasted thousands of wines, but has not lost sight of the fact that drinking wine, sometimes to a bit of excess, is most centrally a part of the total social experience. Wine beginners and experts alike should find plenty of enjoyment in her lively prose and wit ...more
For some reason it has taken me months to finish Red, White, and Drunk All Over. In fact this was my second attempt at the book as a previous attempt a few years ago ended when I became distracted by other books. The thing is, I really enjoyed the book and found the information very interesting. She presented the material in a way that isn't too intimidating. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys wine. Maybe this book is just something to savor, kind of like a good wine and meal.
I learned a surprising amount about wine from this book! I found it to be educational, in a light-hearted way, about industry nuances that I'd never really bothered to pay attention to before. I particularly enjoyed the chapters on European vineyards and the Bonny Doon helmsman. The author's experiences as sommelier and wine merchant made for fun reading as well. The only part I found hard to digest was the pairing suggestion at the end...for fast food, of all things. Yuk!
I gave this book a lower rating just because I just couldn't connect to it. The author wrote beautifully and it was very informative, it just wasn't my type of book or what I expected it to be. I wanted to read it so because based on others reviews they said it was a good book for beginner wine lovers, but I wish I had known a little more basic things about wine before reading this. After I learn and taste a little more, I hope to come back to this book so I can really enjoy it.
Sarah Emily
MacLean is stronger in her research-based chapters than the ones that are more experience based. for instance, I devoured her essays on visiting specific wine regions and the exact process that goes into making champagne. but I was a little bored by the chapter on hosting a wine tasting party, or how pairing wines is like mixing good company. some of the chapters of this book are must-reads, but I think the downfall of the book is that MacLean is not as fascinating as her subject.
This was OK--a collection of essays on different wine experiences she's had as a wine writer. Getting to visit cellars in Champagne and dining with Jay McInerney sure sounds great, but I felt like the wine info I was hoping for was second to this groovy horn-tooting. Also looks like she added a food pairing chapter for the paperback edition. It is not good reading, but not well-organized enough to be a good reference either. (Just make it a glossary already!)
I put this book down a long time ago and had to start all over again when I picked it back up. Suffice to say, it doesn't grab my attention right off, but long about chapter 3, I started to get the flow of her writing and really liked some of her later topics. A good travel read, as each chapter covers a different wine-related topic, and she manages to teach without condescending and be funny without annoying.
This book is kind of what is wrong with star ratings, because it's a four star wine read, but put it in a Good Reads list, and I can't quite let myself put it on par with [Book: The Selfish Gene] or [Book: Native Son]. So three it is.

Now I know why wine glasses are different, fantasize about French champagne caves, and feel like I just learned a lot about wine without really trying. The best kind of education!
Great book for a wine novice like myself. I can't read about grape varieties and expect to learn about wine just from reading lists and lists of regions and grapes. Maclean describes visits to different wineries, different wine stores, wine writers and the hot issues they debate, tastings she hosts for girlfriends, how to match food with wine in a way you can understand. Totally fun and interesting.
Makes the fussy and complicated world of wine interesting and accessibly. Artfully profiles individuals and stories from some of the world's great and emerging wine regions to educate from basic understandings about wine and how it's made to emerging trends. A pleasant read - I breezed through twice from cover to cover and enjoyed it at least as much the second time as I did the first.
An informative book that gives a personal perspective to the wine business. The author unravels the mystery of such things as wine labels and ratings, while giving an academic explanation of the history and day today operations of wine growing, manufacturing, and marketing. This is a great read for anyone who wants to know more about the bottle on their table.
Aug 30, 2007 Erin rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: drinkers
Such a fun read (and a great metro read). I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who has the slightest interest in (or enjoys drinking) wine. This is an unpretentious look at how wines are made, enjoyed, sold, drunk, etc. It always made me want to pour myself a glass -- so make sure you have a bottle of wine handy when you are reading this one.
Well written, amusing & very informative for anyone who enjoys wine & wants to learn a little more about it.
Antoinette Palmieri
I enjoyed this book a lot. Natalie MacLean's style of writing and wine descriptions appeal to me. She describes things as I would, which makes it easy to understand and to pick wines I think I would enjoy. Plus she is a hoot!

Interested in wine? Pick up this book and subscribe to her newsletter today - or this weekend :)
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