This review of Unquenchable is coming out in the November 1 issue of Booklist Magazine, published by the American Library Association to provide critical reviews of books to thousands of libraries across the US.

Unquenchable: A Tipsy Quest for the World’s Best Bargain Wines.
MacLean, Natalie (Author)
Nov 2011. 368 p. Perigee, hardcover, $24.00. (9780399537073). 641.2.

Wine writer Natalie MacLean would like us to be a little less, well, snooty when it comes to wine. It is a myth that the best-tasting wines come in the oldest, most expensive bottles. You can find some really good stuff at quite reasonable prices, if you know where and how to look.

MacLean devotes a chapter to each day of the week, with a choice of wine to complement the day’s meal, whereupon she launches into each selection’s history, notable brands, and some personalities associated with it, such as the movie special-effects wizard who became a top winemaker.

The book is full of interesting nuggets of information (e.g., in 2001, Yellow Tail Shiraz was the most successful new-wine launch in North American history), and MacLean’s enthusiasm for her subject sparkles off of every page. This is no dull tome about the history of viticulture, it’s a lively, entertaining tour of wines and a personal look at some of Maclean’s favorite flavors, a book that says you don’t have to be rich or excessively refined to enjoy wine. You just have to know what you like.

— David Pitt