“Unquenchable” a must-read for bargain-hunting wine lovers

Thanks to everyone who responded to my request to share YOUR requests on topics for future posts. Several categories came through in your want list, including a post about how to make your writing shine when you’re writing about dry topics (stay tuned to the next post for a guest post by Margaret Anne Fehr that will enlighten you), something on humour writing (we’ll have another guest post on that topic in the near future), and the inclusion of some book reviews.

I read and write non-fiction, so am happy to indulge that category of book reviews with a brand new, hot-off-the-presses offering from wine writer, Natalie MacLean who resides near Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. As someone who loves wine as much as I love chocolate, I’m happy to offer my thoughts on Natalie’s book and welcome yours.

Unquenchable is a terrific book for anyone who loves wine and is looking to learn about global wine producing regions that are producing very fine wines in the $15-$30 per bottle price range.  There are chapters on Germany, (Provence) France, (Sicily) Italy, Portugal, Argentina, Australia, (Niagara) Canada, and South Africa.

Right now, my wine of choice is a 2005 Bomvu Red simply called, “Africa” and produced by Waterhof Vineyards in the Stellenbosch region of South Africa. I see by their website that they have accommodations on site, so you can bet that I will make my way there one day. I wonder if Natalie’s tried this delectable full-bodied red? (It’s not yet listed in the extensive list of wines she has reviewed.)

But back to the book. I really love Natalie’s sense of humour, which shows up right on the first page of the book, and her unpretentious, first-person style of writing. Having grown up in modest circumstances in various Nova Scotian communities, she brings a refreshing down-to-earth sense of style to wine writing, happily sharing her opinions with us as she would a friend. And she’s obviously good at what she does, as I have it on good authority that she receives more than 200 e-mails a day from readers who want to “talk wine.”

A terrific storyteller, Natalie introduces us to some real characters of the wine world, including Wolf Blass — the man who helped put Australia on the map of adventurous wine drinkers. She’s promised to share a complete photo album with us online for the book as she’s done for her previous book, Red, White & Drunk All Over. It’s not uploaded yet, but I’m sure it will be once the cross-country launch events are completed.

Unquenchable is the kind of book I like to read. It introduces you to the people behind the labels, gives you ideas on where you might travel to to have a truly colourful wine experience, and helps you find the best favourably-priced wines you can possibly afford. A highly recommended read for people who like to travel and who love wine. (Yes, I’m definitely in that category!)

Unfortunately, Winnipeggers will have to wait awhile longer to raise a glass with Natalie, as the November 15th event at McNally Robinson Booksellers has been postponed. Check this link for other scheduled events on Natalie’s cross-country tour.

You can get directly in touch with Natalie MacLean, learn of future events, and tap into a fountain of information via her website.


Doreen Pendgracs

Known throughout the Web as the "Wizard of Words", I've been a freelance writer since 1993. I'm currently researching and writing volume II of "Chocolatour: A Quest for the World's Best Chocolate". Volume I was published in September, 2013.

22 Responses

  1. Alexander says:

    Its right that many people likes Australian wine. I am also one of them. I like to travel and love the wine. Always I buy wine from You Booze. It’s an Australian online wine shop. We can buy wine from home easily. Really it’s a great shop with good services.

  2. Thank you for one more crucial write-up. Where else could anybody get that type of info in these a full way of writing? I have a presentation incoming week, and I’m around the lookout for this kind of information.
    Mitchel Reverra recently posted…The 3 Minute Presence PlanMy Profile

  3. Agnes says:

    What are the cheapest wine regions around the world from which to buy good quality wines?___________________makehomemadewine.org

    • WizardOfWords says:

      Hello Agnes and welcome to the blog! I hope you enjoy chocolate as much as you do wine, as this blog is mostly about finding and experiencing the best chocolate of the world.

      However, to answer your question, I find the wines of South America provide the best value and are widely available. I prefer the Malbec from Argentina (a robust red) but Chile also produces a wonderful assortments of whites and reds. Enjoy!
      WizardOfWords recently posted…what I learned from crowdfundingMy Profile

    • WizardOfWords says:

      Oops! Sorry, Agnes! I thought we were on my chocolate travel blog, but we’re here on the writer’s lifestyle blog, were I reviewed Natalie’s wine travel book.

      If you are interested, my chocolate travel blog is over at https://chocolatour.net. Please drop in. The current post is a guest post about the coffee of Costa Rica!
      WizardOfWords recently posted…what I learned from crowdfundingMy Profile

  4. wizardofwords says:

    Agreed! The NZ Sav Blancs among my fav whites! So fresh and crisp, yet satisfying.

    Alas, no Natalie doesn't cover NZ in her book. I know her challenge. Just as with the research for my chocolate book, there is so much to include, you have to draw the line somewhere as to what is included in any given volume.

    Thanks for joining the conversation, Susan.

  5. Susan Oakes says:

    Sounds like a great book Doreen. Does it include any wines from NZ as their sav blanc is popular especially in Australia.

  6. wizardofwords says:

    Thanks for dropping in to take a look Natalie.

    Yes, we have an amazing community here on the blog. We call it the "tribe" and it's an eclectic group of writers and lovers of life. You should join us!

    Good luck with the rest of your book tour,

  7. Natalie MacLean says:

    Wow Doreen, thank-you for your review! I am so impressed as well at how active your blog is with all these comments … yay! I welcome your wine-loving visitors to join my free newsletter and get the mobile apps.

    To answer one of the questions above, the book is available at all major bookstores (Chapters etc) and independents, as well as online.

    Thanks again Doreen!


  8. wizardofwords says:

    Thanks for stopping by, Jayna.

    And right on, Sherryl! There's no doubt that every serious wine drinker will enjoy Natalie's book. Books make great gifts! Thanks again for stopping by the blog.

  9. keepupweb says:

    What a great idea for a Christmas gift Doreen! Thank you. I know just the person to give this book too – along with a nice bottle of wine all packaged in a basket. 🙂

  10. jaynalocke says:

    This sounds like a must-read book! I love both wine and travel, so it's right up my alley. I will put this book on my list. Great job, Doreen.

  11. wizardofwords says:

    Thanks, Virginia and Veronica for joining the conversation.

    Virginia: Lucky YOU for heading to S Africa. Would definitely like to join you for a trip there at some point. LOTS of amazing wines to try there!

    Veronica, yes, Natalie and I have been hooked up on Twitter as well. That is such an amazing tool for expanding our networks in any given area.

  12. Veronica Leonard says:

    Hi Doreen
    Natalie and I have been Twitter friends for some time and I've reviewed her incredible wine selection app. She is a funny very real person who loves her work and never puts on airs and REALLY knows her wines.

  13. Virginia Heffernan says:

    Roger and I are still engaged in our "wine-off", where we choose a few LCBO reds under $20 each week with the ultimate goal of finding the top three. It's taking longer than we expected, so I'll have a look for Bomvu. We'll be there – in South Africa – next month so if I can't find it here, I'll look for it there.

  14. wizardofwords says:

    Right on, Mike!

    I like Natalie's style because it's not "down-your-nose" snooty like many other wine writers. She talks a bit in the book about being the only woman in several groups and how it's been a bit of a rough ride getting to where she is. Now, I know of several other female wine writers, but I think 10 years ago … it was a different story.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  15. mike54martin.com says:

    Natalie MacLean is a great wine writer and it sounds like her latest is a very interesting read.
    Thanks for sharing!!

  16. wizardofwords says:

    Thanks for joining us here, Adeline.

    Yes, Natalie's books are available for purchase online as well as several different versions for e-readers, so you can enjoy them in any part of the world.

  17. Adeline Yuboco says:

    Very interesting book, Doreen! I'll definitely look for that one. Hopefully it's available in the bookstores here. I definitely agree with what Natalie said: it's a matter of personal choice. Personally, I'd go for the sweeter wines, although I wouldn't mind a glass of Barolo every now and then.

  18. wizardofwords says:

    Hi Cendrine:
    Yes, lots of people like Australian wines. I don't dislike them but really prefer Old World wines of the European traditions. And it seems that South America, with its Malbec and South Africa with its pinotage and the Bomvu I mention in the post are making some amazing wines that are worthy by comparison. As Natalie mentions in the book, finding wines you like is all about personal taste. Thank goodness there are so many choices!

  19. Cendrine Marrouat says:

    I heard that Australia is doing an awesome job with wines.

    Looks like an interesting book!

  1. May 10, 2012


    Fantastic blog post, saw on…

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