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3.56  ·  Rating details ·  424 ratings  ·  98 reviews
A humorous and evocative debut novel about a food journalist's desperate attempt to save his career--and possibly, his marriage--by tracking an extremely valuable bottle of wine stolen by the Nazis over half a century ago.

Ten years ago, Bruno Tannenbaum was a passionate food journalist with a respected newspaper column, a popular segment on the evening news, and a bestsell
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published September 22nd 2015 by Atria Books
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Average rating 3.56  · 
Rating details
 ·  424 ratings  ·  98 reviews

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Jul 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Bruno Tannenbaum, the lovable hero of this book, reminds me a lot of Don Freeman from The Rosie Project and The Rosie Effect. (No idea what I'm talking about? Shame on you! Check them out. Graeme Simison is the author).
I just didn't fall head over heels in love with how things played out the last half of the book.
Up until the last 80 pages, they had me firmly at a five star rating. Then he did the thing that killed the book- and the character's joie de vivre- for me- he took the easy way out.
Jan 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4-1/2 Stars

No time for a review just now as I’m off on a family-filled weekend of birthday celebrations and snow-skiing.

Let me take a moment to say this, though: more people should read this book. It’s gorgeous, witty, touching, cinematic, and thoroughly entertaining. Just a delightful read. And the foodgasms! Good God. You’re going to want to tie on a bib for this one, or maybe keep a hanky on hand for the drool. You’ve been warned. ;)
Jo Dervan
May 18, 2015 rated it liked it
Bruno Tannebaum, an author whose 2 previous books dealt with food and wine, has hit rock bottom. His writers block has continued for 10 years. He has lost his job as a columnist at a newspaper in his hometown of Chicago. His wife has thrown him out and and he is ls sleeping on the sofa in his mother's apartment.
So when an old friend, a Russian restauranteur, offers Bruno an opportunity to clean out a wine locker for a fee, Bruno jumps at the chance. However Bruno is followed to the locker, assa
Oct 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I adored this book! I loved all the food and wine descriptions-and the mystery adventure as it evolved along the way,it was a pleasure to read.
Jul 29, 2017 rated it liked it
"Bruno thought through the final few pages of his book as they all bustled around him, feeling that he had finally arrived at a sort of wisdom. He wasn't a brilliant writer, or perhaps he was. Either way, it didn't matter much because of this meal that was coming together: five people from three generations with complex interrelations, rancor, love, desire, disappointment, hope, were all about to commune and enjoy a few moments of harmony amid the maelstrom of life. This is what food can do. Thi ...more
A food and wine road trip caper for armchair travelers. Bruno Tannenbaum has lost his wife, is unable to write his book, and has now lost his job with the newspaper. But he gets on the scent of a lost wine vintage--from 1943 France when the Nazis were shipping out all the good stuff--and he sees tracking this down as his way out all his problems--he's write the book, have money, and have proven his ability to be a good husband and supporter to his estranged wife. Of course nothing goes as planne ...more
Dec 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
To be honest, the reason I was first attracted to this book was not the cover, the title, or the description but rather by the name of the author. My Father's name was David Baker so I knew I had to read this one.
I enjoyed the concept of this book and the descriptive writing made me want to rush to the kitchen to make a delicious meal or uncork a bottle of wine. The mystery was intriguing, the journey enticing, but the ending felt a bit rushed to me.
I hope to see more works by Mr. David Baker,
Judy Aulik
Feb 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Occasionally you find a book on shelf in the library, on a day of slim pickings, and think, "What do I have to lose?" I don't like wine, and have never indulged in travel, but the voluptuous food descriptions and the mystery driving the story--a lost vintage of World War II--hooked me completely.
"Vintage" isn't quite a must read, but as my life is less full without travel, your life will be less complete without reading this novel.
Jul 11, 2016 rated it liked it
I received a copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway. I have enjoyed this book, although I had a hard time getting into the story. There's a lot of wine, food and travel. It became really interesting to me once Bruno got to Europe. I thought the mystery of the missing wine and how it tied to Nazi Germany was interesting. I was kind of disappointed as to were the wine really was, but in a sense, relieved. I loved the theme discovered in the end and how it relates to the vin ordinaire. ...more
Jan 27, 2016 rated it liked it
A refreshing and evocative debut for David Baker. A loveable loser down on his luck entwined in the intricacies of food and wine with a decades old mystery thriller to set the plot. I have a bias towards debut novels as I always find them to be a bit more interesting as though you can feel the raw nerves of a new writer as you read their words. Great impulsive buy
Apr 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
You don't have to be a foodie or a wine geek to enjoy this novel, but it doesn't hurt. Vintage is a thoroughly enjoyable story about a fading food writer who stumbles into the search for a missing WWII-era wine. Rarely has the world of satisfying food and good wine been so lovingly conveyed. A fun vacation read. Thanks, M. ...more
light hearted story of nazi wine. author really knows his stuff about wine and wine making
Sep 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was indeed a very interesting and inviting read. It fascinated me in different ways. The love of food, wine, family this book has it all from good or bad. This book is a must read.
Mar 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Entertaining romp through the world of wine with great descriptions of people, places, food, and the wine we drink with it. Love the message about family and forgiveness.
Linda Kissam
Sep 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Book Clubs, Wine lovers, foodies
Recommended to Linda by: PR rep
This book is going to appeal to a variety of people on a variety of levels. Like to cook? Check. Enjoy wine? Check. Love to travel? Check. Enjoy a bit of history with your mystery? Check. Know a slacker who just can’t seem to get their life together? Check, check, check.

This book is an emotional roller coaster. Just when you think you have David Baker’s main character Bruno Tannenbaum (an aging, self-described working class gourmet food writer with a distinct Peter Pan complex) figured out, a c
Eva • All Books Considered
Review originally posted at All Books Considered: TWO AND A HALF STARS

The concept of this book is great and I do not even have many qualms with its execution -- it was a truly culinary adventure. Each chapter was tied into a specific ingredient and/or recipe from the MC's other books and/or columns and the descriptions of food and wine were exciting. I also loved the travel and the mystery of the book. All of this being said, you are probably looking at my rating and thinking WHY?! Unfortuna
Feb 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Bruno is an unattractive main character. He's using a Smith-Corona manual typewriter, in a restaurant, while drinking its wine on the house and writing some horribly purple prose. When he's forcibly ejected (for being a jerk, mostly about the wine, but also about the table, the typewriter, and life in general), he goes home to his mom's house, where he's sleeping on the couch since his wife kicked him out for, among other things, sleeping around and binge drinking. The next day he gets fired for ...more
Linda Munro
Aug 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I found this book on goodreads which enabled me to order it from the library as soon as it was released.

Bruno Tannenbaum is a washed-up food critic, or as he refers to himself, a food journalist. He has lost his wife and children through divorce, his job through technology and the inability to follow up after his world renown book from over a decade earlier. Now, he lives at home with his mother, sleeping on her sofa.

When Bruno stumbles on information which could lead him to the ultimate prize
Aug 23, 2015 rated it liked it
This was a cute little caper. From the character description, I imagine Bruno as the Chicago Jewish food writer version of Bill Bryson. Chipmunk-like, bearded, with a full belly. He is a terrible husband, not the best father, and the worst at saving money. After all, life is too short not to enjoy good food and wine. So while sometimes it's frustrating to follow him on his adventures when you want to smack him to knock some sense into him, it's also hard not to smile and go with his odd charm. T ...more
Nov 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-culinary
Liked this read although the main character is not very likable and is driven by his love for wine, woman and fine food. Characters are interesting and the book moves at a good pace. The story line moves from Chicago, France, Germany and finally to Russia where the author has written about an unusual and improbable meal in prison. The mystery surrounding a particular wine and conclusion were a surprise.

Throughout the tale the choices he makes are always in conflict with his family which he trie
Oct 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
" Great wine is the ordinary. It is the everyday. It is family. It's another meal. Another shot at grace. It's love. It is life. It is...forgiveness."
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. A tale of a burnt out writer past his prime. A mystery leads him on a journey, hunting for a lost wine vintage from WWII. His quest for this legendary wine helps him turn his life around. His story will make your stomach grumble and is best enjoyed with your favorite glass of wine in hand.☕️☕️☕️☕️
Oct 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was my first book if the year. It was excellent. I could hardly put it down. Now, for a glass of wine, and to decide on the next book adventure.
Nov 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
This book is about more than food and wine - it's about finding out who you are, no matter where you are in your life. I loved that it had a little mystery in it, too. ...more
Aug 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Practically every book I like starts with a quest. This one is all about the quest for a small but reputable, family-cultivated burgundy that nobody thought to have existed, a Trevallier from 1943, the height of the Nazi occupation of Beaune, France.

At first blush, I was ready to give this 2 stars for the callous heel of a protagonist. The guy is so unlikeable, I couldn't see myself rooting for him. But then every chapter opens with a delectable ditty on a particular dish, and the gamut of emot
It's like one of Peter Mayle's mysteries set in France, but with an even more bumbling protagonist than usual. It's perfect for the foodies, and the dry humor and nonsense is sorta endearing once you get used to it.

I mean, what other protagonist would break into a Russian mobster's hotel room to see if he was the mysterious attacker and what he wanted, snoop around while said Russian mobster is in the *shower*, and then, on the way out, pause, consider, sneak back to the mini bar, steal a bottl
Mar 31, 2018 rated it liked it
This book's main character is a food and wine writer, and the author is apparently one as well. The book is overflowing with descriptions of meal preparations, wine samplings, and philosophical musings about the power of food and wine. While I fully understand the concept, I wasn't feeling it. I guess I'm just not into food and wine enough to join in the rapture experienced by the characters.

I ended up skipping many passages because I'd had enough rhapsodizing about the subtleties of different b
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
I had high hopes for this story of a washed-up food writer who is on the quest of a missing bottle of wine from WWII but I despised the main character. Everyone loves Bruno. He's a food critic, wrote a well-known book, 10 years ago, and spends his time eating, drinking and carousing on someone else's dime. Only the party is over. His wife threw him out. She still loves him but she's lost faith in him. He's staying on his mother's couch and working in her deli and trying to figure out how to get ...more
Dec 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: vino
Picked up this book based solely on the fact that it's wine-related, and was so pleasantly surprised. The story sucked me right in, and I really liked the characters, despite their many flaws. (Looking at you, Bruno!) This turned into an adventure that I wasn't expecting, and the fact that it was a wine adventure was just icing on the cake. I also really appreciated that this wasn't focused so much on the technical aspects of wine, but on the experience of wine, which is my preferred way to appr ...more
Nov 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
Maybe it's just that I truly, deeply did not like the protagonist. Whiny, self-indulgent and with a juvenile surety that he would (and should) be forgiven for the endless (really endless) stupid things he does. And the author allows him to succeed, which offended my sense of justice. Writing style: quite nice. So I couldn't justify giving it only one star, in reluctant recognition that the author can use words to great effect. But I really wanted to. I don't get angry at authors often, but I ref ...more
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
A pretty good book about an extremely unlikable and immature middle aged man, who thankfully learns a few things by the end of the book.

I enjoyed the Chicago setting at the beginning and the French setting in the middle. The writer's love of good food and wine with family and friends really comes through in his narrative.

I listened to about half of it on audio, and the narrator was really whiny and obnoxious. Good for the main character but hard to listen to.

We are discussing this at my Food fo
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David Baker is a writer and filmmaker who attributes his fascination with wine to a chance train stop in Beaune, which led to time spent working in commercial vineyards, a film, a novel, and a dozen years making passable pinot noir in his garage. He holds an MFA from Columbia College, Chicago and is the director of the documentary American Wine Story. He currently lives in Oregon's Willamette Vall ...more

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