How did you become such an authority on wine? It must truly be your passion.

Lots of drinking! You learn over time … As they say, there’s no substitute for pulling corks. I let my curiosity guide me. I will always be an enthusiastic amateur, never an “expert.” :)

I love your purple prose – especially your view on wine writing: “…when I read about wine, I often get the odd impression that it has no alcohol in it”. Did you have any worries on telling it ‘like it is’ in your book?

None whatsoever. This is my point of view and that’s what readers want from me. My style and approach isn’t for everyone, but if you enjoy all aspects of wine, from the intellectual to the sensory to the purely hedonistic, I’m your woman.

Where did you travel for the book?

I traveled to France to explore two of its most coveted regions, Burgundy and Champagne; and then I went to California to visit two of the fastest growing regions, Sonoma and Santa Cruz. Other chapters also involved travel, though not to wine regions. I worked in wine shops in San Francisco and New York; hosted a wine tasting and dinner party in Ottawa; and worked as a sommelier in Quebec.

For my readers thinking about doing a wine-oriented trip, which region(s) in the world would you recommend? Should they go on an organized tour or research something themselves?

Wherever their palate takes them … Visit the regions of the wines you like best. Organized or independent depends on your personality. Do your homework online first though.

Thanks for sharing all that good stuff, Nat. If you needed another reason to visit her website, then go check out the wine and food matcher. A must have for any party planner or host!