Monday, April 6, 2009


So what's the story about matching the right wine with certain foods? I always adhere to my own credo that if a particular dish doesn't jive with the wine you're drinking then ditch the food. I love wine. I love everything about wine. I love the taste, the smell, colour, even the unique shapes of the bottles. And I believe that the question should NOT be which wine goes with which dish, but which food interferes less with your wine. But if you must know the best resolve to this question than you should definitely consult Natalie MacLean.

There's no one in this great country of ours---and other lesser countries, for that matter---who's more an authority on everything pertaining to wine than Natalie MacLean. In a relatively short time, she's been elevated to the position of being the world's foremost wine writer. Natalie is a personable, intelligent, likable young woman, And a former Maritimer. I even heard from a most reliable source that Natalie was once a Highland dancer. How great is that?!

Her bestselling wine book RED, WHITE, and DRUNK ALL OVER is quite an enjoyable overview of the wine business. It's enjoyable mostly because, unlike most wine writers who take a devilish delight in explaining wines to the thick masses and dazzling them with expert knowledge, Natalie in her personable manner informs us of the process. There's a big difference between "explaining" and "informing". She has an easy, fluid style of writing that seems to take the reader by the hand and enables him or her to share all the delights of the wine process that she experiences. You feel like you are actually there in the complicated(to me) wine provinces of France or the hot valleys of California. Pretty cool! She writes with a great sense of humour which highlights her openness and charm. It's an excellent read. Even if you are not that into wine(I can't imagine why not), you will enjoy this book, I promise. Natalie knows wine like no other, that's for sure.

You can check out Natalie's excellent web site at or contact her at Her free Newsletter contains a huge amount of amazing information on wine.

Food: They say that CAPE BRETON TASTES by dramatist, teacher, and food connoisseur Gary Walsh with photos by award-winning photographer Warren Gordon is excellent. Gary has told me that he constantly gets emails from people who have successfully followed the recipes in this book with delicious results. I know Gary well and am still waiting for my autographed, complimentary copy.(just kidding).

Another Cape Breton book well worth mentioning is NANCY'S WEDDING FEAST: AND OTHER TASTY TALES by Cordon Bleu chef Yvonne Levert with Local historian James St. Clair. In this book you have extremely interesting stories of Cape Breton along with proven recipes. It's a delight.

Well, I think I will now open that Pinot Grigio chilled to the exact degree suggested by Natalie, and cook...ahhh, nah, I'll just have the wine. Cheers.

Next post: Vampire books


  1. Thanks so much for this review Bernie! I raise my glass tonight to you :)


  2. I do believe that Mr MacKinnon has a flare for the written word as well. While I do enjoy my wine, tonight I tip my first love (an extraordinary Belgium Ale brewed with care by the monks of Rochefort) to you. Keep the enjoyable blogs coming.