Reading my way through my liquor cabinet

I don’t mean that like reading the backs of cereal boxes.

I currently have a pile of eight food books (or, more accurately, seven food and one wine) sitting in my living room, on the repurposed stereo unit that contains, appropriately, my wine glasses, wine, beer and spirits. On the top is Joel Salatin’s Folks, This Ain’t Normal, which I began before getting notification of my most recent library book available for pick up. The bottom two, Sarah Hood’s We Sure Can! and MFK Fisher’s The Art of Eating, are both books that I’ve started but not finished. (Fisher’s book is 754 pages before the index, hefty in weight and size, and too big to fit in a purse.) In between I’ve got Hunt, Gather, Cook– which I implied in my blog that I was going to read when I was done Stalking the Wild Asparagus and it was back at the library, and a couple of review copies of other books. The library has another non-fiction, non-food book that I’d put on hold available for pick up, and I’m waiting to hear back from a publisher about acquiring a review copy of Fed Up with Lunch, which I want to reference for an article I’m writing. In other words, I’m behind on my reading. These books sit next to a bottle of Spicebox Whisky, a bottle of Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey, and my “The Grid” branded flask.

Second down, most appropriately, is Natalie MacLean’s Unquenchable: A Tipsy Quest for the World’s Best Bargain Wines. I’ve leafed through it since receiving it last month, excited to give it a thorough read. It’s got some great endorsements. For example:

Konrad Ejbich of CBC Ontario Today calls Natalie’s writing “disarmingly enchanting… a wine travel discovery journal.” Disarmingly enchanting.

Toronto Life referred to her “engaging anecdotes”. A search for MacLean’s name on the magazine’s website also reveals an announcement of MacLean “bar code–scanning wine app for the wannabe sommelier”.

Lettie Teague of the Wall Street Journal included Unquenchable in her Fall Book Preview, stating, “I’m confident these four new wine books will likely endure for many seasons more.”

Dave McIntyre of The Washington Post confides that he wants to curl up with the book. He further shares, “MacLean, Canada’s leading wine writer, pens a rollicking travelogue of her journeys around the world in search of the best vino that won’t break the bank. She knows there’s a lot of plonk out there — she’s tasted it — and she wants to clue us in to wines that over-deliver for the price. I would much rather join MacLean on her treasure hunt than go to the supermarket and pull a bottle off the shelf simply because it’s cheap.”

On October 29 it made the Metro News Top 7 List (I alerted Natalie to that via Twitter).

Two days ago “@Elaine_Bruce” tweeted, “@NatalieMacLean #Unquenchable FABULOUS.140 too short but I’m so in awe & soo pleased you have shared all of your adventures with us. JOYFUL”

Last night my friend Ivy Knight (former chef, freelance writer, headhunter and host of 86’d at The Drake) tweeted, “love it, 1 of the most approachable wine writers out there is”.

I’ll get to reading the book. First the new library book, then Joel Salatin’s book, then Unquenchable, with a good skim of Fed Up with Lunch.

Order your copy and while you’re at it, also order a copy of Natalie’s other book, Red, White, and Drunk All Over: A Wine Soaked Journey From Grape to Glass (2007).

I’m writing this too late to inform you of her recent readings and tastings in Ontario (I missed them all), but you can read about her other upcoming appearances here.

The pretty covers of the books that I’ve mentioned in this article (click, buy, allow me my small commission because writing for my own website doesn’t pay):


One Response to “Reading my way through my liquor cabinet”

  1. November 27, 2011 at 8:39 am #

    Thanks Andrea, can’t wait to hear what you think of Unquenchable 🙂

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