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Reader Reviews of Unquenchable

In the end, a book lives or dies according to what readers think. So I thought I'd encourage you to let others know what you think. Please submit your review as well. I promise to post the good and the bad, just not the profane. I hope you find these reviews helpful.

Finally - an interesting informative humourous wine book - Unquenchable, January 8, 2013
By David Lynn AB, CA

My wife and I became serious wine drinkers about 35 years ago. We are not serious in terms of knowledge; we are serious in terms of volume. We like wine; we especially like good quality moderately priced wines.

Because I wander liquor stores and wine shops, buying different wines and then forgetting what it was I bought and why we liked it, my family has repeatedly and unsuccessfully bought me wine books of various types.

None of them has been read to completion. Why? I don’t know. Many were too technical, perhaps, but they really didn’t engage me (which doesn’t mean they were not good books). Last Christmas (2011), my wife gave me another wine book, “Unquenchable.” It sat on my bed side table for months. I’d been given five other books as well and a Kobo reader which I filled with 12 books. They were all read first.

I was avoiding “Unquenchable.” Working internationally, I read when I travel. In October I had read everything I had. Fortunately, I had packed “Unquenchable.” I started reading it and found it as enjoyable as a good novel.

So, why is “Unquenchable” such a good read?

Firstly, ‘Unquenchable’ addressed my bias: the desire for good quality wines at moderate prices. Secondly, the stories were interesting and the food made my mouth water. Thirdly, I learned a bit about wine growing and how wines fare well in trying circumstances.

I learned a bit about wine pairings with food, but more importantly, I now have a resource in which I can look up suggestions of wine to go with the excellent dinners my wife prepares. Fourthly, and most importantly, the book was written with humour. I got a good laugh every chapter and lots of little chuckles. The book is a page turner.

Unquenchable, January 7, 2013
By George Wilhelm ON, CA


I thoroughly enjoyed your newest book Unquenchable as I did your previous book Red, White and Drunk All Over.

Your casual and familiar writing style makes it enjoyable for someone like myself, who has limited knowledge of the international wine industry, to get an overview of the industry and the characters who frequent it.

After reading your book, I purchased a number of the wines from your Best Values List and have found all of them above average. I have also recommended your book to a number of friends.

Unquenchable, October 5, 2012
By Karen hanson BC, CA

Natalie "gets it" --easy to read, down to earth and a humourous read.Felt like I was travelling along with her, savoring the wine; enjoying the food pairings and loving the travel experiences and wine selections!

Too little time to enjoy all that the grape has to offer--thanks for letting us in on a few treasures Nat!
All in favour..., September 15, 2012
By John Puffer

Anyone who’s travelled has a favourite guide; one they remember forever and for all the right reasons. After (and probably before) reading Unquenchable, my favourite wine guide is Natalie MacLean.

Her adventurous quest became a joyous, engaging page-turner—one that is now a close-at-hand, dog-eared reference manual/buying guide and tribute to her dazzling knowledge, impressive research, and sparkling style.
Wine-derful Read!, August 3, 2012
By Tom

Just finished this excellent 'journal-guide' by Canada's own Natalie M.

Not having had the opportunity to visit places she writes about, I feel as if I have been there by each chapters' end.

Humourous in the travelogue style description, more than educational in the wine/winery/personality descriptors, each single chapter is a wonderful read for a wine enthusiast. Being in Niagara and working in the wine industry as a tour guide for the number 1 company in the area(NVWT) I have found a wealth of information to pass on or discuss, with our visiting guests from around the world. Always looking for new information to share, 'Unquenchable' is as handy a guide to food and drink as one could hope to read.

Thanks Natalie, hope to see a follow-up soon!
Unquenchable, June 10, 2012
By Roy E9, NZ

Loved it. Aussie chapters great. German Riesling fascinating. Laughed at the irreverent interviewing. Just wish you could add a New Zealand section. Wine recommendations sound advice. Natalie knows her wines. Well done.
Wickedly funny; devilishly entertaining!, May 1, 2012
By David Chambers NB, CA

Natalie has a wicked sense of humor, whether a gift of DNA or inspiration washed in on tides of fermented juice, who knows, but it carries her narrative from varietal to varietal, from vineyard to vineyard, and from one outrageous wine world personality to the next.

If you really work at it, you can force yourself to stop reading just long enough to fill your glass between chapters!

And at the end of the book, if you have anything like the experience I've just had, you'll be overwhelmed by the need to commit the coming summer to one night stands with as many rose's as you can lay your greedy hands on!
Entertaining, April 19, 2012

I loved the feeling of traveling with Natalie. From one country to the next, from one table d'haute to the next restaurant, from one vineyard tasting wine to a ride up river to the next, it was like being there, tasting and eating and laughing. Thank you for the marvelous voyage.
Read it cover to cover, April 18, 2012
By Sarah

Bought this as a Christmas present for my father, then promptly stole it. Read it cover to cover first, and since then have dipped back in & out as circumstances warranted. The chapters on Port and South African wines have been particularly helpful. A thoroughly enjoyable, entertaining & informative read.
Fun read great reference book, March 23, 2012
By Melissa

I loved this book! I checked it out of the local library and after lugging it to the liquor store 3 times in a row I decided I needed to buy it so I could mark in it. I wanted to be able to note the wines I tried and the ones I loved. While I was getting this book I also picked up Natalie's Red White and Drunk All Over - another terrific book for the wine newbie!
A wine travelogue for bargain-hunters, March 1, 2012
By Ken Kardash QC, CA

This gem of a book combines travelogue and wine tasting, which has been done before. What gives it an ingenious twist is focusing on those regions of the world that for various market reasons produce quality wines at a bargain price.

Each chapter explores a wine-producing area from one of eight different countries spread over four continents. The author, a well-known online wine critic, interviews local vintners after giving some background on each area. The accounts of these interviews, invariably conducted during wine tastings, are one of the most charming aspects of the book.

Maclean has a novelist’s ear for dialogue and eye for detail, which makes the tastings seem personable and revealing of more than just the quality of the wine. Subtly, her biography and that of the vintners are woven into the experience. Instead of being distracting, this tactic highlights the social element that has always made wine drinking such a basic human pleasure.

At the end of each chapter, there are a variety of lists - ranging from the practical, such as “best values” from the region, to the somewhat free-association “reading lists” that represent the author’s attempts to capture the essence of a particular locale.

Suggested food-wine pairings are also listed and often described in detail in the text. My only criticism, actually backhanded, is that the number of regions was so limited. A sequel seems natural and would be appreciated by unpretentious wine lovers everywhere! I would particularly enjoy reading the result of a similar survey across the winegrowing regions of Canada.
Gives a thirst for wine, February 15, 2012
By Monica

I loved this book. In addition to sparking a wish to try different wines - I ran to the nearest SAQ and found a Riesling - it has history, social commentary and even some Shakespeare.

Unquenchable has eight chapters devoted to different wine making regions that you don't often hear much about. Instead of stories from Napa Valley or Burgundy we have interesting tidbits from Sicily, Argentina and even Niagara. It has something for everyone who appreciates wine and food.
A very human story of winemakers and the wine they make, January 30, 2012
By Alan Wotherspoon

I do not think I have enjoyed a book on wine more than "Unquenchable". It is like being on a world wine tour from your easy chair at home.

I loved the variety of wines, countries and winemakers that Natalie featured. The people she met, interviewed and dined with were wonderful and their passion for the art of winemaking came through in a very convincing and human way. I loved hearing about the food they ate and look forward to trying some of the recipes.

The number of food items and flora that Natalie and other wine experts use to describe a particular wine never ceases to amaze me.I know when I taste some of the wines she recommends, I will be happy if I can identify even a couple of them.

Finally, thanks for the humour!

What a refreshing and informative book.
Nothing stuffy, just a great read about wines, January 29, 2012
By Larry Gunia BC, CA

Finally, a book that made learning about wine fun. Nothing stuffy, nothing pretentious, just a great read about wines, their origins, the people who make them and the problems they face.

I'll appreciate each glass i sip more from now on, thanks to Natalie.
Unquenchable: A Tipsy Quest for the World's Best Bargain Wines , January 29, 2012
By Larry Gunia BC, CA

Finally, a book that made learning about wine fun. Nothing stuffy, nothing pretentious, just a great read about wines, their origins, the people who make them and the problems they face.

I'll appreciate each glass i sip more from now on, thanks to Natalie.
Delightful Tour de Glass(es), January 19, 2012
By Chris Edgelow AB, CA

For someone who professes to be a drinker with a writing problem, Natalie MacLean has once again provided us with a compelling, entertaining and ultimately informative glimpse into the complex, wonderful world of wine.

Her gift for engaging delightful people with whom she shares many stories, enjoys many great meals and of course drinks an abundance of good wine, all the while having the presence of mind to share it all with the reader is extraordinary.

Even if you aren't a wine geek, you will enjoy a sense of people and place that is shared in a most engaging read.
Good To The Last Drop, January 11, 2012
By Julie Howe Mn, US

Just like buying a wine from a well-loved and trusted producer, I was confident that Natalie's second book would fill my glass with the knowledge, wit and resources that I enjoyed with her first. What I didn't know is how much I now want to travel with her!

Her style is warm, welcoming, friendly, funny and informative all at once. She lives life large and makes you want to also.

The descriptions of the countryside, the wine, the food and the people were tantalizing. Seriously, I want to be her friend so we can share a glass over some great food, talk about our latest "must read" book and where we want to travel next.

If you haven't read Red, White and Drunk All Over or Unquenchable, run, don't walk to your bookstore or online bookseller.

So, Natalie, where are we headed next?

International - That is Wine, January 9, 2012
By Greg Dew --, AU

Natalie has captured the uniqueness of wine internationally, whether it's here in Australia, or in Europe, South or North America. All the winemakers she talks with spoke with genuine passion about their love of wine and their involvement.

We wine lovers, as consumers, should appreciate the "work of art" in each glass of wine we enjoy so much. I thoroughly enjoyed reading of Natalie's adventures worldwide. Of course, special interest to me being a South Australian are her interviews with the eccentric, but brilliant Wolf Blass, along with Peter Gago and Stephen & Prue Henschke.

It was of special significance last week when I drove past the Wolf Blass Visitor Centre at Nuriootpa and re-traced Natalie's talk with Wolf Blass. Very well done, Natalie. I know you would be welcome back here anytime (soon hopefully). Greg Dew Adelaide, South Australia.
Fabulous, December 31, 2011
By Elaine Bruce AB, CA

I find myself feeling annoyed with the interruptions of life after I started to read 'Unquenchable', such was the interest that grabbed me from the first page. The fascinating observances about everything that affects wine, from the flora and fauna, geology and geography, history and folklore surrounding each location. It was a complete picture of what goes into each bottle and I will never taste wine again the same. Natalie's description truly transported me into believing I could taste every sip along with her and the people she meets, but this doesn't stop me from wishing I could had tagged along. She is an extremely personable and funny person, who has a talent for putting what she loves into words ...wine (and life). Joyful ! Just in time for the holidays although it will be close at hand for reference all year round. She has my dream job, but I stand in awe of just how beautifully her knowledge mixes with humour. Bravo
Unquenchable, December 20, 2011
By John Griffith

I read the book in two days. Loved it. You hit on two passions for me travel and wine. I’ve recommended the book to about seven people already.

You hit home and I do mean home with Vino Under the Volcano; Sicily is my heart's home. My wife is from Sicily, her family still owns a home there and she goes home every year. I’ve been twice. Nero d’Avola is one of my favorite wines. In your book you ask “which wine do you like best?” For me it’s the liquid ones! I’ve never met a wine I didn’t like.

The Wolf Blass story was great too! I ran right out and got a bottle of Wolf Blass Red Label Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon. We’ll see if it lives up to its reputation! I shouldn’t have written that down.

I also enjoyed your comments from the Algonquin Hotel. I’ve traveled all around the world and have found, men talk about women, women talk about men, everyone dislikes politicians and everyone has a wine story.

I’ll be looking for Red White, and Drunk All Over!

Merry Christmas, May you have a glorious morn! And may you never suffer from CENOSILICAPHOBIA.

John Griffith
East Hampton CT
A reference book worth reading..., December 2, 2011
By Scott Richards VA, US

Natalie MacLean’s Unquenchable: A Tipsy Quest for the World’s Best Bargain Wines is one of the books that will remain on my active bookshelf as an important piece of reference material as well as being a great read.

In her quest, Ms. MacLean finds not only bargains, but also goes into some depths as she travels to different areas around the globe where wines are made. Her style of writing gives the reader an insiders view of what goes into the production of a wine in a particular region and what makes it so unique. For example her piece about the Rieslings of Germany gives a whole new appreciation of a wine that is often in our American viewpoint considered only for women and sissies. Although I have long appreciated a good Riesling, my understanding of it was heightened by what Ms. MacLean had to say.

Natalie MacLean’s humor and storytelling alone is worth the price of the book. Far from being a wine snob, she inserts in this book the pure joy of wine along with the many anecdotal comments as she continues her process of educating the reader. That being said, even if one has no interest in wine (oh, cruel throw of dice), Unquenchable will leave the reader with a sense of pure enjoyment at her excellent style, and if not careful, they may learn something of the various cultures and geography in this wonderful world of wine in which we live.

A very important aspect of Unquenchable: A Tipsy Quest for the World’s Best Bargain Wines is its value as a reference. Ms. MacLean does not approach wine from the popular angles that make her love of wine and its buzz a fad, but gives the reader a truly fundamental basis for what wine is and how it is effect on the areas where individual varietals are produced.

Unquenchable is a must read for all who enjoy reading and an excellent reference for even the most advanced vinophile.
With a glass in hand I am already searching for that great wine with the bargain price tag. , December 2, 2011
By David Lynch Kingsbury, GB

To Natalie.
I have been interested in wine for over twenty years but it takes a lot for me to pick up a book and not put it down minutes later having lost interest. You captured me from the first few pages and I managed to finish the book in only a few days. It was reminiscent of my first trip to Vinopolis in London several years ago. A whirlwind world wine tour. I felt I was on the trip with you and shared your passion for the people and the countries behind the wines. Thank you for such an enjoyable experience. I am off to buy Red White and Drunk all over right now.

David Lynch
So entertaining!, November 24, 2011
By Robyn Osgood ON, CA

I love the quirky, and highly talented, characters Natalie reveals to us in this terrific book. I found myself laughing out loud, then realized that I was also learning about my favourite beverage. It's great read -- an even better Christmas gift!
A Great Way To Start The Day, November 10, 2011
By Holly Bruns ON, CA

I know it would seem that the most appropriate way to read Unquenchable is with a glass of (affordable) wine, but I’ve been reading my copy in the wee hours of the morning: at home while I sip my first hot beverage of the day, and then on the bus as I ride to work. I can’t think of a better way to start the day. It’s never too early to be thinking about wine. Natalie’s humorous prose has me laughing out loud all the way to work. I frequently find fellow passengers peering over my shoulder to see what could possibly be so engaging. But that’s not all. Entertainment value aside, I’m also getting a refresher on some of the more famous wine regions of the world and a little insider ‘gossip’ to boot - I’ll never think of a bottle of Wolf Blass wine in quite the same way again. As a blogger who is interested in affordable wine, the lists at the end of each chapter are extremely helpful. I’ve scanned them all and started jotting down new things to try. I’m only about half way through the book now, so I’ll be chuckling my way to work for at least a few more days.
A great adventure!, November 9, 2011
By Denise Bennett ON, CA

Hi Natalie - I'm currently reading chapter 7 (port). I have to say, besides your story about Mr.Blass, the essay on Giuseppe Bananti was so hilarious...I can just picture you sitting there while he's taking crazy photos of you and becoming fully bilingual! Ha!

Great book Natalie. Love the way you have written it, mixing present and past and introducing the reader to the obsessive personalities behind the scenes. Makes me want to jump on a plane...or at least go to the nearest LCBO! Good luck with the book tour!
I disagree..., November 1, 2011

You know Natalie, I really don’t agree with the subtitle: A Tipsy Quest for... Though you downplay your own knowledge and experience on a regular basis, I know you much better than that. For within these pages readers will find a tremendous amount of useful theory and technical information presented in a style that is easily understood. Well done!

I'm currently speeding up the Autobahn with you and Ernie...

Congratulations on the release of your second book!


You can also read reviews of my first book, Red, White and Drunk All Over.



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Natalie MacLean

Canada's Most Quoted Wine Writer

Natalie MacLean is editor of Canada's largest wine review web site, publishing hundreds of wine reviews every week for more than 284,420 members.

She was named the World's Best Drinks Writer at the World Food Media Awards in Australia.

Natalie has published two books with Random House, the second was named one of Amazon's Best Books of the Year. Get access to all of her reviews today by becoming a member of her site.



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Red, White & Drunk All Over

  Best Books of the Year

Red, White & Drunk all over by Natalie MacLean

Natalie MacLean writes about wine with a sensuous obsession... and often laugh-out-loud funny... Terrific.

Rex Pickett, Sideways

Ms. MacLean is the disarming Everywoman. She loves wine, loves drinking ... ultimately, it's a winning formula.

Eric Asimov, The New York Times


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Unquenchable: A Tipsy Search

  Best Books of the Year

Unquenchable by Natalie MacLean

Natalie MacLean is a new force in the wine writing world ‐ a fiesty North American answer to Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson. She can write beautifully about wine.

The Financial Times of London

There are very few people in the wine world who "get it" and Natalie is one of those who brings more fun to a buttoned-up and stodgy game.

Gary Vaynerchuck, Wine Library TV

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