Wine Book and Bottle Pairings for the Holidays: CTV News at Noon

In the first of our two-part conversation, Leanne Cusack, host of CTV News at Noon, and I chat about six terrific book and bottle pairings that you can give as a gift set this holiday … don’t forget to treat yourself too! Here’s part two of our conversation, with more pairings, later today. Veuve Clicquot Non-Vintage Champagne Chardonnay Pinot Noir Pinot Meunier, A.C. Champagne, France Notes of green apples, orange zest and white peach on the nose with toasty goodness through the core and finish. Try the ultra-shabby chic combo here between French Champagne and a bucket of KFC chicken. […]

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Drinking Diaries: Women Serve Their Stories Straight Up

Why did you start a blog and then publish a book about women and drinking? It all started with a night of…drinking. We are neighbors, friends and fellow writers who often enjoy sharing a bottle of wine (or two) over dinner at home with our husbands and children. The other thing we share is that both of our mothers have struggled with alcoholism. Yet we both love to drink wine. This contradiction seemed ripe for digging deeper, and we found that—other than descending into a church basement—there was no forum for women to share their stories. So we started one. […]

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Decanter Magazine Review of Unquenchable

Peter Mayle is named by Natalie MacLean in the same sentence as Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges as one of her influences. I approached Unquenchable: A Tipsy Quest for the World’s Best Bargain Bottles with caution, but MacLean is actually excellent company. Brought up in poverty, the last in a long line of alcoholics and a former competitive highland dancer, she rollicks around the world’s vineyards flirting with Wolf Blass, gaping at the slopes of the Mosel, chuckling with growers in Provence, reminding us every few pages of how much she likes to drink. There are useful gobbets of history […]

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Tasting Pinot Noir, Tips for Writers Wine and Otherwise with Sideways Author

We continue our conversation with the author of the mega-hit wine book and movie Sideways, Rex Pickett, in the video below. Rex shares tips for aspiring writers who want to get published and we taste the famous Hitching Post Pinot Noir from the movie together. You’ll find part one of our conversion on the Sideways Wine Book and Movie here.   You may also enjoy these video chats: Biodynamic and organic wines: do they taste better? Healthier? We chat with winemaker Ann Sperling, Southbrook Vineyards Social Media & Wine: Part 1 of Vintank’s Paul Mabray on how wineries must adapt […]

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Best Food (and Wine) Writing Story Collection

The editor of the annual anthology Best Food Writing got in touch yesterday to say that an excerpt from Unquenchable will be published in this year’s edition. The book collects the best food (and occasionally wine) writing of the year from magazines and books, such as Anthony Bourdain (Kitchen Confidential), Ruth Reichl (Gourmet Magazine), Gabrielle Hamilton (Blood, Bones & Butter), Frank Bruni (New York Times), Alan Richman (GQ), Madhur Jaffrey (Indian Cooking), and Colman Andrews (Saveur). It also includes food-related writing from “non-food” writers such as Calvin Trillin (New Yorker), Michael Lewis (Moneyball, Liar’s Poker) and Barbara Kingsolver (Poisonwood Bible). If […]

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Sideways Wine Book and Movie: Pinot Noir, Rex Pickett and Yes Merlot

In this exclusive video interview below with Rex Pickett, author of the mega-hit wine book Sideways that was made into an Oscar-award-winning movie, we chat about his journey to publishing the book, how he learned about wine and why he loves pinot noir (not f****** merlot, as his character Miles would shout). Sideways is more than just a buddy road trip through California wine country with Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church. It touches on themes of love, friendship, career disappointment, loyalty, loss and of course, pinot noir. But before the movie, there was the book. A bestseller, Sideways has […]

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Billionaire’s Vinegar Movie with Brad Pitt, Wine Book Review Globe & Mail

It’s just been announced that Brad Pitt will star in the movie adaptation of the wine book The Billionaire’s Vinegar by Ben Wallace. Will Smith bought the rights and will be directing this production. I can’t wait to see it! Here’s my review of the book in the Globe & Mail … Reviewed by Natalie MacLean The Billionaire’s Vinegar: The Mystery of the World’s Most Expensive Bottle of Wine By Benjamin Wallace Crown Publishers, 304 pages, $27.95 An old bottle of wine is rare, but a ripping good mystery about one is rarer still. The tale of The Billionaire’s Vinegar […]

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Food Lover’s Guide to Wine – Meet the Authors (also What to Drink with What You Eat)

You can meet Karen Page & Andrew Dornenburg at the Ottawa Book Launch of The Food Lover’s Guide to Wine at Play Food and Wine restaurant.  Come help celebrate the exciting release of their latest book with the New York-based, two-time James Beard Award Winning Authors. The Food Lover’s Guide to Wine Named “#1 Wine Book of the Year” as chosen by 195 ‘Best Of’ lists (including The Chicago Tribune, LA Weekly, San Francisco Chronicle and The Wall Street Journal) Monday, April 9, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. / $50 per person, plus HST includes: 1 signed copy of the book […]

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Wine Buying and Pairing for Valentine’s Day and Beyond – National Post

The best way to a woman’s heart on Valentine’s Day is a subject that’s always up for debate. Even though flowers and heart-shaped boxes of chocolates have been go-to contenders for decades, the old adage goes that candy is dandy but liquor is quicker. Natalie MacLean, the wine expert and author of Unquenchable: A Tipsy Quest for the World’s Best Bargain Wines, understands the truth behind the expression: Wine delivers romance with each sip. “I think wine, at least to me, is the drink of conversation. You’re usually over a glass of wine watching each other, you’re talking, it’s over […]

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A boldly irreverent approach expertly crafting a pleasing concoction of seamless storytelling and voluptuous food and wine writing – The Globe and Mail

By Kate Parsons In this ambitious and thoroughly entertaining book, Natalie MacLean chronicles her travels to five continents and eight countries in search of quality wines at good prices. Along the way, she meets the quirky personalities behind the wine and picks up a wealth of practical information about where they’re made, what to pair them with and how to find out more on your own. Like some of the winemakers profiled, MacLean is a master blender, expertly crafting a pleasing concoction of seamless storytelling, voluptuous food and wine writing and easy-to-use punch lists. This book is also part personal […]

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