American Wino: A Tale of Reds, Whites, and One Man's Blues

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9780062394644: American Wino: A Tale of Reds, Whites, and One Man's Blues
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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.

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From the Back Cover:

I understood now that I was just like America--loud, without pedigree, misinformed and often drunk. But I had grit. Gumption. A willful ignorance of my limitations. And if my email inbox was to be believed (and it is, just ask my good friend the Crown Prince of Nigeria), wine was being made in every state of the union, including Vermont, Georgia, Nebraska and Missouri. I even got a come-on from a winery in Arkansas that featured an on-site RV park. That was the final straw. I had to go drink the wine made in places you would never think made wine. I needed to know if Yankee obstinacy, Midwestern stick-to-itiveness or Deep South Zen had produced juice that could compete with the big mean mothers out in Napa and Sonoma. I would drink my way across America. For science. Or something. It was time to stop living in the shadow of lost limbs, ex-girlfriends and dead brothers and hurtle, screaming into the sunlight. I would combine my ignorance and sadness into a massive Big Gulp of despair, then pour it out my car's window across America's highways as I plundered its precious purple bounty. This would not be a tale of a man drinking himself to death. This would be a tale of a man drinking himself to life. Hopefully.

About the Author:

Dan Dunn has been, at varying times, a hardscrabble Philly kid, a member of Hunter S. Thompson's entourage, a newspaper and magazine columnist, a television comedy writer, a nightlife correspondent for Playboy, and the author of several cleverly titled books.
 
Widely recognized as one of the world's leading experts in adult beverages, he hosted Dan Dunn's Happy Hour, a weekly national radio show on SiriusXM that featured luminaries from the world of wine, beer and spirits along with pop culture icons such as Ray Romano, Hall & Oates, Kurt Russell, Olivia Wilde, and the Most Interesting Man in the World. He's appeared on Conan, The Adam Carolla Show, The Henry Rollins Show and numerous other fancy media-type programs.
 
For years, Dan penned the popular "Imbiber" column for Playboy, and is still a contributor to the magazine. He co-wrote (along with Rob McElhenney of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia) the half-hour comedy pilot Living Loaded, which is based on Dan's book Living Loaded: Tales of Sex, Salvation and the Pursuit of the Never-Ending Happy Hour (Random House, 2011). The pilot, produced by FX for Fox, starred Donald Sutherland, Mike Vogel and Larry Wilmore. Dan also authored the books Nobody Likes a Quitter... and other reasons to avoid rehab (Running Press, 2007) and The Gang Writes a Self-Help Book: The Seven Secrets of Awakening the Highly Effective Four Hour Giant, TODAY (HarperCollins, January 2015). His forthcoming book, American Wino: A Tale of Reds, Whites and One Man's Blues (HarperCollins) will be released inApril 2016.
 
He is a former staff writer for the Emmy-nominated TV series Talk Soup. His work has appeared in GQ, Vanity Fair, Esquire, USA Today, Maxim, LA Weekly, Newsday, Los Angeles Magazine and the LA Times.
 
He lives in Venice, CA.

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