Unquenchable: A Tipsy Quest for the World's Best Bargain Wines
Bargain wine queen Natalie MacLean chronicles her continuing quest
Reviewed by Claudia Alarcón, Fri., Dec. 16, 2011
'Unquenchable: A Tipsy Quest for the World's Best Bargain Wines'by Natalie MacLean (Perigee Trade, 368 pp., $24)
In her latest book, in which Natalie MacLean reaffirms her status as a woman after my own heart, she calls herself a cheapskate and admits unashamedly that she loves wine for the buzz as much as for the taste. Now, don't be so quick to judge. Although written in the same conversational, tongue-in-cheek tone that garnered wide acclaim for her Red, White, and Drunk All Over, this travelogue/wine journal is full of insight and wine knowledge. The difference between this and other more "serious" wine books is that MacLean delivers her thoroughly researched facts in a purely conversational style that is a joy to read. Through anecdotes of her travels to some of the world's best wine regions, encounters with famous and infamous winemakers, and her personal experiences tasting glass upon glass in a variety of settings to find the best value wines, she sucks you right in and makes you want to reach for a glass yourself.
MacLean organized the chapters by days of the week, figuring a Shiraz from Australia's Barossa Valley is a good choice for a Sunday night dinner, while a light, fruity, and mineral Riesling from Germany's Mosel region fits just right with a Monday night. For each day, there's a travel adventure in a different wine region, followed by her "Field Notes From a Wine Cheapskate" – which include wineries visited, insider tips, best value wines and producers, dinner suggestions and wine pairings – and complemented by other resources including recipes from her website www.nataliemaclean.com. This is a fun read for wine lovers of any level of knowledge unless they're absolute sticks in the mud. Hey, Natalie, wanna go out for a glass or three?