If you are already thinking about the holidays and gift giving for wine lovers, I’ve got a recommendation. How about another book written by bestselling and award winning wine authority, Natalie MacLean?
A few years ago I wrote a piece about a new wine book entitled, Red, White and Drunk All Over, by Natalie MacLean. I have known MacLean for many years through the Wine Writer’s Circle of Canada. Her first book was exceptionally well written and funny. I proclaimed to MacLean on many occasions, “Nat, you need to write a sequel!” (I’m sure that I’m not the only person to suggest this to her.)
Well, she has done it. Just released for the holiday season is MacLean’s newest book called Unquenchable. This is a ‘tipsy quest for the world’s best bargain wines.’
The book takes place over one week, Sunday to Sunday, with MacLean visiting vineyards around the world. In chapter one, the reader begins in the New World’s most popular wine region, a tour to the Barossa Valley in Australia. On Tuesday, the reader is whisked to the mountainside vineyards of Germany, and so on. The author takes the reader with her to the shady verandas of Niagara and then to Italy, Argentina, Chile, South Africa and more. In her light, funny and conversational style, MacLean also educates about the history of each region and teaches about its most renowned grapes. Top wine value producers, food and wine pairings and dinner menus are also include in this easy read.
MacLean also recommends other books to read on each region.
MacLean produces a top-value and best value wines to try for each chapter. In South Africa, top value wines to buy include:
Newton Johnson Winery Syrah
Goats do Roam Shiraz
Goats do Roam Pinotage
Fairview Chenin Blanc
Fairview Shiraz (2008 available at LCBO, CSPC # 626358, $14.95)
Spice Route Chakalaka (2008 available at LCBO, CSPC # 160481, $24.95)
Fairvalley Sauvignon Blanc
Amani Vineyards Chardonnay Viognier
Amani Vineyards Cabernet Franc Merlot
Southern Right Sauvignon Blanc (Hamilton Russell)
Hamilton Russell Chardonnay (2009 available at LCBO, CSPC # 931006), $29.95)
Hamilton Russell Vineyards Pinot Noir
I love MacLean’s tips, scattered throughout the book. She says, for example, “Take a chance on lesser known grapes. Varieties like Malbec just don’t have the brand “awareness” and cachet of cabernet sauvignon and merlot. Therefore producers must compete more aggressively on price. In this book, you’ll discover lots of grapes that you may have not heard of before.”
She also says, “Go for regions where the currency gives you an advantage. Canadian and American dollars are much stronger than Argentina’s pesos, so that builds in another discount on the import cost.”
The hard cover version of Unquenchable is available through Amazon.com at $15.98. The e-version of Unquenchable is available for the Amazon Kindle, $14.38. The book isavailable in Chapters and local bookstores for the holiday season.
For more information on where Natalie MacLean will be performing book signings, go to www.nataliemaclean.com
You can read more reviews of my new wine book Unquenchable here.