A professional booze writer whose life spins out of control tries to piece it back together by embarking upon an epic wine-fueled adventure that takes him to every corner of the U.S. Part vision quest, part guidebook, part journey into the bizarre tapestry of American life, it will make you laugh, make you cry and teach you a whole lot about wine.
Former Playboy magazine nightlife columnist Dan Dunn has a made a career out of drinking. Yet this man’s man—a connoisseur of beer and whiskey—knew next to nothing about one of the major drinks enjoyed the world over: wine. When a fateful tasting experience coincided with a serious existential crisis, Dunn decided to hit the road on a journey of discovery. To quench his thirst for knowledge (and be able to throw down with the experts), he would educate himself about the industry glass by glass, from winery to winery, in nearly every region in the United States.
His bold 15,000-mile road trip took Dunn from Sonoma, California, to Pawley’s Island, South Carolina, where he twirled, sniffed, and sipped glass after glass of a vast array of wines with vintners, savants, and celebrities, including Kurt Russell and “The Most Interesting Man in the World,” Jonathan Goldsmith. Dunn’s mission was to transform himself from a heartbroken schlub who barely knew the difference between Merlot and Meritage, into a confident connoisseur capable of wowing others simply by swirling some fermented grape juice around in his mouth and pronouncing it “troubling, yet brilliant.”
In American Wino, Dunn shares it all—the good, the bad, the sublime. As his wine knowledge grows and becomes more complex, he shares it with the reader in the form of digestible, actionable nuggets in each chapter. It’s like a wine-tasting course at your local community college extension program, only with more sex and less crushing despair. An intoxicating blend of travel writing, memoir, and booze journalism that pairs earthy humor with fine wine for hilarious and enlightening results, it is the story of one man’s journey to find himself—and everyman’s journey to better understand the true spirit of this divine elixir.