“Vintage” by David Baker
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. If you are like me and love to cook, drink wine and travel to the wine country, this book belongs on your reading list. It is light, fun, mysterious, and adds some food and wine education into the mix. The central character in “Vintage” is Bruno Tannenbaum, a wine and food writer and the author of “Twenty Recipes for Love.” Since that book was published, writer’s block has set in and Bruno cannot write anything, even on his old trusty typewriter. He is a “has been,” and is at the bottom of his game after getting fired from his writing gig at the Chicago Sun-Times. He is flat broke and lives with his mother. His wife had kicked him out long before, but he still cherishes her and their two young daughters. He clings to the past and the “good old days of wine and food writing” before the Internet, with its online wine shops and blogs. He takes a poke at wine and food bloggers, “The fact that every asshole with an opinion could become a critic.”
Just as Bruno hits bottom, he stumbles upon a tale about a mystery wine. Rumor has it that the wine is from a legendary Burgundy producer. The wine was thought to have been stolen by the Nazis during World War II. If he finds the wine, he will write a book about the treasured wine and hopefully profit from the sale of the wine. He hits the trail to try and find the wine, getting a cash loan supposedly from his wife. His search takes him to Paris, Burgundy, Alsace and beyond. He runs into Parker Thomas, who is probably patterned after Robert Parker. Parker is on the same search for the mystery cache of Burgundy wine. Can Bruno beat him to the wine?. There are funny encounters along the way with women, bad guys and winemakers. A great scene near the end of the book is when he cooks for an inmate in a Russian prison who’s hoping to win back the love of his wife. The scene is memorable. I won’t give away the ending, but for wine enthusiasts, this is a delightful read.
About “Vintage” author David Baker
This is the first novel by David Baker. He is a food writer and director of the documentary, “American Wine Story.” He lives in the Willamette Valley of Oregon with his wife and daughter. David has a spent time working in Burgundy and making some Pinot in Oregon. DavidAlexanderBaker.com.
“Vintage” by David Baker can be purchased from this link to the Amazon book store.