I’m not just a pushover for wine books. Of the hundreds I’ve bought over the years, I’d like to say each one was judiciously and carefully selected, purchased only if it were of high quality and useful information. Of course, that’s not the case; my shelf is filled with trifling wine books, some pretty, some not; the point is that there are a lot of books out there and, as one would expect, some are better than others.
Natalie MacLean’s just published Unquenchable goes right to the top of my list, just above her earlier book, Red, White and Drunk All Over.
Unquenchable is 327 pages of wit, information, adventure, stories, memories, and lore that is so readable that it can almost be done in a single sitting.
I have never met Natalie, though I am devoted to her website commentaries and was present at a banquet where she received one of her five Bert Greene Awards from the International Association of Culinary Professionals. I approached her new book as if I were having a conversation with a good friend.
After all, Unquenchable deals with a lot of the same wine personalities and regions I have come to know over the years, so I am predisposed to chat with her about mutual experiences — plus I can verify for you that what she writes is true. That’s one reason she has won so many distinguished writing awards.
All of us who write about wine love to sing the praises of the grand bottles we have opened and shared, the celebrity producers we have met, the prestigious estates we have visited, and Natalie has done all of that and more. But the thrust of Unquenchable is for Everyman. This is the first book I have seen devoted knowledgably and responsibly to the finding of exceptional wines at moderate prices. She reports on her travels from Germany to South Africa, from Niagara to Provence and South America, naming best producers, food pairings, information resources, as well as suggested related readings for each site she visited.
That’s all I’m going to tell you, so for more of the above and all the rest, you will have to get her book. Well done, Natalie.
You can read more reviews of my new wine book Unquenchable here.