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The Exes in My Glass: How I Refined My Taste in Men & Alcohol

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Girls like Lisa Mattson are supposed to grow up and develop a taste for Coors Light and men named Bubba—not spend their weekends cruising through Napa Valley in a convertible. After twenty years in the wine business and ten years of marriage, the former magazine editor and award-winning wine blogger opens up about her darkest follies with men and booze during her twenties, finding humbling humor in a priceless string of ex-boyfriends that helped hone her palate. It is the story of her bewildering journey to learn the difference between sex and love, the power of self-respect and the reward of taking the long road to a fabulous life in wine country where her glass is always full.

The Exes in My Glass: How I Refined My Taste in Men & Alcohol takes Lisa from rural Kansas to South Florida’s beaches, the streets of New Orleans and the vineyards of Northern California, from naïve and love-lust while chasing pot-smoking scuba divers, waiters and models, to polished and savvy when pursued by winemakers and pro golfers. These stories of her ex-boyfriends are about much more than a young woman thirsty for worldliness and starving for love. It’s about how someone who had given up on the fairytale of her dream guy and her dream job found the courage to face her mistakes and uncork her true potential.

This book is for women who have lost hope in the perfect man.
This book is for all the ladies who want to steer a different course.
This book is for survivors of college romance, divorce and the wine cooler era.
This book is for anyone who has struggled with dating judgment and sexual boundaries.
This book will show you the intoxicating power of learning to love yourself, embracing your baggage and never giving up on your dreams.


322 pages, Paperback

Published February 1, 2016

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About the author

Lisa M. Mattson

6 books20 followers
With a bachelor’s degree in communications and a master’s in heartache, Lisa Mattson’s fate to write about bad romances was sealed in elementary school when a snowball fight with her first boyfriend landed him in the hospital. He dumped her the following day.

Raised in rural Kansas, Mattson’s childhood was filled with cheap beer and fried chicken—an ideal foundation for a career promoting prestige wineries. Many nights spent raccoon hunting also prepared Mattson for her first journalism job writing obituaries for a daily newspaper. She escaped to Florida during college, where she chased boys and caught rays while waiting tables. Not long after taking her first wine class at Florida International University, Mattson was sipping Malbecs and editing stories for a wine magazine.

Twenty years and many ex-boyfriends later, Lisa Mattson is considered a thought leader in wine marketing, known for creating an award-winning winery blog, clever videos and compelling digital media content. Taking the not-so-straight-or-narrow road to finding her dream job and her dream guy was the most fulfilling—and humbling—journey of her life. The Exes in My Glass: How I Refined My Taste in Men & Alcohol is her memoir.

She resides in Sonoma County wine country with her husband, their Italian greyhound and a Champagne-centric wine collection.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 7 of 7 reviews
Profile Image for Samantha March.
1,102 reviews286 followers
January 30, 2016
I received a review copy
I am typically not a huge fan of memoirs, but something about this one stuck out to me. The synopsis made me chuckle and I thought the cover looked intriguing, so I decided to give it a go. And it was a good decision! Each chapter signifies a man in Lisa’s life (and also what she was drinking at that time) and through her phases, we watched as she grew as person. We saw how she was able to move on from a crappy childhood and start to make something for herself. We saw her figure out a career path and find love and get burned. And throughout it all, there were humorous moments, motivational moments, and whole lot of great writing. Even if you aren’t always on a memoir-train like me, this is a good one to get your hands on.
119 reviews
January 29, 2016
All young women should read this.

This was a movement through growing up and learning self worth, having the confidence to believe in yourself and not settle when all your friends are getting married. It also gave me some wines to experience.
23 reviews
June 26, 2019
Lisa's journey to find love was a long and interesting one to read. It was fun to see how her taste in men evolved throughout the years to find her "champagne". This book helps put your own dating life into the book and see how your dating palate has changed throughout the years.
Profile Image for Whispering Stories.
2,756 reviews2,580 followers
September 2, 2016
‘The Exes in my Glass’ is an autobiographical look at the world of dating by American author, Lisa M. Mattson.

The cover design is bright and cheerful. The title gives a strong hint as to the content and is quirky enough to attract the casual browser. I commend the author for a comprehensive synopsis. There can therefore be little excuse for buying it, if you’re not a fan of autobiographical literature, albeit I suspect, with a touch of poet’s licence.

We witness the bitter sweet dynamism of Lisa’s relationships and can sympathise as each partner bites the dust for one reason or another. She has used the theme of alcohol as a linking device for her encounters and being teetotal, I found the concept quite educational.

The structure of the book allows us to dip into Lisa’s life at various points during her transformation from college student to wine industry professional and each time we are treated to a brief résumé to bring us up-to-date regarding her current status. Some of her men seemed ideal husband material however knowing the book had several more chapters to run, a degree of predictability became inevitable.

Mattson is a skillful wordsmith who just about gets away with a repetitive theme by the use of colourful descriptions of her partners to keep her readers engaged. The flow is slightly hampered by the formulaic style and if you are looking for a story with twists, turns and intricacies of plot, this isn’t it.

I would define this work as a humorous and at times self-deprecating, tongue-in-cheek chronological journal which would be ideal for a light-hearted holiday read. I found it quite entertaining and award ‘The Exes in my Glass’ three-and-a-half stars.

Awarded 3.5 stars but Goodreads only allow full star ratings.

Reviewed by Julie at www.whisperingstories.com
Profile Image for Nathaniel Winters.
Author 20 books19 followers
September 13, 2017
As a man and a historian, I probably took a different point of view of Lisa Mattson's excellent memoir about her single life. Her organization of the book was unique; each chapter was another lover. Leaving Kansas behind as a nineteen year old, she finds her Oz in Miami. With it's beaches and sunny weather it became the young woman's paradise.
Now for my historian's point of view. By reading this book I realized how much the Boomer sexual revolution of the 60's and 70's changed the lives of the next generation of women. Unlike any previous generation, women are now free to act on their desires. They could go through men like men go through women. In that way the book was amazingly revealing. Long live the revolution!
Profile Image for Rebecca Gomez Farrell.
Author 21 books32 followers
July 11, 2016
What a lot of fun it was to ride along with Harley on her steep learning curves of love! Just about every type of bad...and almost good...boyfriend gets covered in the memoir, and the vulnerability on display is exceptional and emblematic of a writer who wants others to know that it gets better as long as you're determined to learn from your mistakes.

This was a free copy from the author, and enjoyed it far more than I expected!
Displaying 1 - 7 of 7 reviews

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