After three years of sipping, spitting, and slogging her way through bushy vine leaves and cellar cobwebs, award-winning writer Natalie MacLean takes listeners behind the scenes of the international wine world, exploring its history, visiting its most evocative places, and meeting some of its most charismatic personalities.
In Red, White, and Drunk All Over, Natalie travels to the ancient vineyards of Burgundy to uncover the secrets of the pinot noir, the "heartbreak grape" from which some of the most coveted and expensive wines in the world are made. She visits the labyrinthine cellars of Champagne to examine the myths and the mystique of luxury bubbly and the grandes dames who made it the drink of celebration the world over. She pulls on sturdy boots to help with the harvest at the vineyards of iconoclastic Californian winemaker Randall Grahm and goes undercover as sommelier for a night in a five-star restaurant with a wine list the thickness of a phone book. She looks at the influence of powerful critics, notably Robert Parker and Jancis Robinson, invites listeners into her dining room for an informal wine tasting, and compares collecting notes at a bacchanalian dinner with novelist Jay McInerney.
As funny and engaging as she is knowledgeable, Natalie has an unconventional wit, curiosity, and obsession with all things related to wine that make for a tour both amusing and informative, from grape to bottle to glass.