Unquenchable Hits The Spot
Natalie MacLean’s newest book, Unquenchable, is an enjoyable romp around the world of wine. I received a review copy of the book shortly after publication. In this volume, she travels the world looking for great economical wines to drink with dinner every night of the week, and for Sunday lunch. It’s a fun idea and allows her to explore wines from Australia, Germany and South Africa, among others.
Natalie MacLean’s prose is effortless and easy to ready. The book was entertaining and I learned things without feeling like I was being lectured. She starts off explaining her search for economical wines appropriate for every day dinners. Living in Northern California, I often forget that finding good wine at a reasonable price can be difficult for folks who live in other locations. I personally can count the number of times I have paid more than $40 for a bottle of wine on one hand and still have fingers left over. I consider a $40 bottle expensive. Natalie MacLean is a kindred soul: in Unquenchable she looks for good wines in the $15 to $40 range.
She explores the wine worlds of Australian Shiraz, German Riesling, Canadian Pinot Noir, South African Pinotage, Sicilian Nero d’avola, Argentine Malbec, Portuguese Ports and Provencal Rose. She meets with noted wine makers and winery owners in each region, tasting as she goes, discussing the strengths of those wines and the history of the wine making in the region. Taking us along on her journey, we are introduced to interesting and passionate people who are making remarkable wines. We are in good company throughout the journey.
Perhaps it is my own mixed Sicilian and German heritage, but it was the chapters about Riesling and Nero d’avola as well as the chapter on Malbec that I found most compelling personally. Though learning about the Portuguese Ports and Provencal Rose’s were also very interesting to me as well. The entire book is informative and entertaining and I enjoyed tagging along with the author on her journey, eager to see where she’d take me next and what wines she would be tasting.
Each chapter ends with some very helpful tips for finding good economical wines from the specific region, as well as tactics that apply to any region. I’ll be using these tips myself as I continue my own explorations of the world of wine. She provides wine recommendations that you can use as you go through your local wine shop as well as suggestions for further reading about each region.
Occasionally, I felt a twinge of professional jealousy reading about the far flung locations she was able to visit in preparation to write this book. But Natalie MacLean’s good natured and lack of pretense is evident in her writing, so those twinges were fleeting. Now that I’ve finished Unquenchable, I’m eager to read her other book, Red, White and Drunk All Over. If you are new to wine or an accomplished wine drinker, you will find this book both entertaining and informative.
You can read more reviews of my new wine book Unquenchable here.