Don’t get me wrong… I love to drink wine. That said, I am definitely not a connoisseur, just one of those people who may not know about wines, or even want to really learn all the ins and outs of the various grapes, the distinctive wine making processes, or any of the other facts that real wine aficionados savour as much as the flavour. I’m one of those who hopes that the person selling the wine, really knows what will be the perfect choice for the dinner I’m preparing.
The subtitle says it best “A Tipsy Quest for the World’s Best Bargain Wines”. To research the book,Natalie traveled the world for five years and sampled 15,267 wines, hunting for inexpensive, delicious wines. And in doing so collected some wonderful stories to bring, not only the wine, but the winemakers to life. I particularly love her take on Wolf Blass, the iconic face behind one of Australia’s leading brands.
About the book….as Natalie puts it…”It’s as much a travelogue and memoir as it is a guide to wine”. It’s a great read even if you’re not serious about learning which wine comes from where, goes with what, best vintages, etc.. Natalie’s writing style had me feeling like I was along the journey with her, chuckling at her funny tales, captured by the unique history of each producer, and embracing all that she did. I even got to appreciate some of the finer points that distinguish one wine maker from another.
Every chapter has Insider Tips (fantastic for those of us who what a few pointers of each region); Wineries Visited; Best Value Wines of the Region; Top Value Producers; Terrific Pairings ( where I usually start); and Resources & Related Readings (for those who really want to take it up a notch).
But I think the section of each chapter that I really love best is the Menu for Wine Cheapskates, after all, I really am all about the food! You can find many of the recipes on Natalie’s awesome website, filled with all sorts of info.
Bottom line: a great book for those of us who enjoy wines, don’t want to spend a fortune on them, would like some anecdotal information about what them without going into too much depth. And for those of you who do want deeper insights, Natalie has lots of references for you.
You can read more reviews of my new wine book Unquenchable here.