Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Book review of The Wandering Vine by Nina Caplan

French Village Diaries book review The Wandering Vine Nina Caplan
The Wandering Vine by Nina Caplan

My review today is for The Wandering Vine: Wine, the Romans and Me by Nina Caplan, a book that starts as it means to go on. Nina throws us straight into a glass of Champagne; the bubbles, the flavours and the memories it evokes, in short, the full experience and I couldn’t wait to carry on reading.

From the south of England to Champagne, Burgundy, the Rhone, Catalonia, Andalusia, Sicily, Campania and Rome, this book criss-crosses the paths taken by Romans, Jews, wine makers and tourists. It is both an historical journey and a personal one too, looking at her family's migration alongside the roots of wine, as well as the importance of knowledge passed from generation to generation.

I find a quick beer after a bike ride is thirst quenching, refreshing and light. It slips down quickly and is over all too soon. This book is not a beer. This book is a fine red wine, probably from Burgundy with added César grapes (something I learned from within its pages). It is full bodied, has structure and many layers of flavours. It deserves to be opened at just the right moment when you know you have the time to fully absorb all it has to offer; its careful blend of history, geography, migration and customs.

Nina’s knowledge is vast, her delivery is engaging, and she would be a perfect wine tasting partner. I learned a lot, even if as a reviewer reading to deadlines, I sadly felt rushed; gulping down rather than savouring each chapter, behaviour any wine connoisseur would shudder at. I will reopen this book, a luxury you do not get with a bottle of wine, and next time I’ll take my time.

This book fuelled my passion for reading, writing and wine and will appeal to those with an interest in European history, wine lovers and memoir readers too.

The Wandering Vine is available in ebook and hardback versions and links to Amazon can be found below. I am delighted that Nina will be joining me back here on Sunday, taking us to Burgundy for her perfect Lazy Sunday in France. 

You can also read more from Nina at her website here and follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.