By Ivy Knight, blogger for Fiesta Farms and contributor to the Globe & Mail
If You Only Buy One Book About Wine in Your Life
Make it “Unquenchable: A Tipsy Quest for the World’s Best Bargain Wines” by Natalie MacLean. The bestselling of author of “Red, White and Drunk All Over” is possibly the world’s most engaging and down-to-earth wine writer.
In this book the Ottawa-based MacLean takes you on a world tour of Australia, Africa, Germany and more, meeting winemakers and tasting their wines. She takes us along for the ride and makes it so much fun that you don’t even realize you’re learning more about Reisling than you ever had and you’re not bored or lost or rolling your eyes.
Each chapter concludes with “Field Notes From A Wine Cheapskate”, this section will come in handy when you’re perusing the shelves at the LCBO or trying to plan a dinner around a specific bottle. It lists the top value producers, then describes a perfect menu for their wine.
From Niagara she recommends Cave Spring Cellars, Fielding Estate, Rosewood Estates, Tawse and many more. What’s helpful is that she introduces you to the winemakers so you feel you know them, that helps you remember the winery name when you’re choosing your next bottle from the cellar.
This book speaks to most of us wine drinkers, we want the best wines possible for the lowest price. Thankfully we can cut down on the amount of swill we unwittingly open in the pursuit of a bargain if we follow some of MacLean’s tips. She suggests readers:
“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 not have heard of before.”
She also suggests you look at regions that entered the North American wine market a little later, newcomers wanting to prove themselves. With her tips you’ll be well armed to battle the sea of bad cheap wine and unimpressive expensive wine.
Take that Indigo gift certificate you got in your stocking and buy this book. You won’t regret it.
You can read more reviews of my new wine book Unquenchable here.