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Red, White and Drunk All Over: A Wine Soaked Journey from Grape to GlassOne thing that struck me when the end of this book was in sight, was that, despite its obvious North American style and focus, the number of British critics and writers who mere mentioned seemed very large. Parker had a showing too, of course.

There are also the regular references to UK supermarkets, to the auction houses in London and the like. A sign of the dominance or at least the strength of the UK wine scene perhaps?
What you are not going to find in this book are reams of tasting notes or an encyclopedia of dry facts. Red, White and Drunk All Over: A Wine Soaked Journey from Grape to Glass is more a collection of essays under a unifying theme. Canadian MacLean writes about her experiences as a sommelier for the day, as a wine shop assistant in another chapter and then either reports or interviews people on various wine-related issues.

Facts are sipped in almost imperceptibly but it is the passion for the subject that drives the disparate chapters; not so much from (the overly self-deprecating) MacLean herself but from the people she meets and interviews – the passionate sommelier, the ‘could never be a socialist’ New York newspaper writer and the like.

I learnt a couple of things – which is what makes the subject of wine so fascinating anyway – but the book is really aimed at the novice/introductory/what is all this wine fuss about? brigade. There are notes on building a wine cellar, the old story of the Parker-Robinson tryst how to organise a wine tasting for friends and dinner party etiquette.

It all makes for a good read, although some of the ‘slipping in of facts’ seems forced and takes away the narrative flow at times, many people are going to be inspired.

Red, White and Drunk All Over is available from Amazon.co.uk for £9.74 and Amazon.com for $16.29.

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