A while back best-selling author, sommelier and all around wine-woman extraordinaire, Natalie MacLean, contacted me. She so kindly extended some information to me about wine and food pairing. It was greatly appreciated.
As I mentioned, Natalie is an award winning journalist. She has four prestigious James Beard Journalism Awards under her belt. Wow. Her list of writing accolades is actually quite endless! Let's just say she's great at what she does. Of course I was thrilled she contacted little ole' me!
Natalie offered to send me a copy of her book, Red, White and Drunk All Over...A Wine-Soaked Journey from Grape to Glass. Since I had not yet had the pleasure of reading her book I graciously accepted her offer.
Of course it is no secret I have always enjoyed reading about wine in any capacity. Whether it be a light-hearted wine tale through the hills of Tuscany or the scientific descriptions of micro-oxygenation techniques in winemaking, I always love a good wine-read.
What surprised me about Natalie's writing was her engaging perspective. She not only indulged my mind but my taste buds as well. She makes you feel you are right there with her sipping, swirling and tasting wine with her. I don't think I've ever felt so much a part of someone else's tasting experiences as I did while reading this book.
Natalie's take on all that is wine is an approachable adventure through many facets of the wine industry. Her tireless and curious nature takes you through understanding the personality of wine in the vineyard, the winery and most importantly the glass. She does not attempt to do this in a classroom setting, she takes you there; to the soil, to the grapes. It's fascinating and impressive all at once.
Her style of writing is light, easy and humorous. You forget you are being educated on wine's many mysteries page after page. It is the perfect book for those of you still trying to deconstruct wine but will engage even the most fervent oenophile.
The interviews and discussions with wine industry experts, winemakers and longtime wine families give great perspective into the history that built the industry.
However there was a statement made by the very successful French, wine proprietor, Lalou Bize-Leroy, that has stuck with me long after I finished reading this book. Bize-Leroy was speaking about biodynamics in the vineyard (farming based on holistic processes of organic agriculture) and how many winegrowers give up on this method before they really see a difference in the health of their vines. She said:
"The earth responds slowly. You must go to the end of what you think: having an idea is not enough."
I loved this quote, not just for its literal reference to biodynamic farming, something I'm not even so sure is the right path for me in my own farming endeavors, but for believing in an idea and following through with it, doing what it takes to get there.
"...to the end of what you think..." I love that.
Anyway, I tremendously enjoyed reading this book and would like to give you a chance to read it too. By leaving a comment here today (before 10:00 PM Pacific Time), a lucky reader will be chosen to receive a copy of this amazing book. The winner will be determined by Random Integer Generator and posted here tomorrow. Check back for the results.
Thanks again Natalie for sending me your wonderful book! I truly enjoyed it.