Updated: Feb 2
Want a glimpse into the typically opaque world of the wine trade, where you'll experience duplicitous characters, egotistical scheming and a manipulative, steamy office affair? Well, look no further than Anne Burchett's debut novel Tasting Notes.
(In the spirit of openness, I want to mention that I know the author Anne Burchett and that the main character in Tasting Notes is named Christine (yes!) But that's where the similarity ends, sadly). Fortunately, Anne Burchett is a long-standing sales and marketing wine professional turned author, and Tasting Notes spills some of the secrets of the wine business.
As any newcomer who's ever started a new job in a traditional industry knows, establishing your authority with entrenched, arrogant incumbents is often tricky, even more so when dealing with nepotism, chauvinism, and unacknowledged ignorance.
Our protagonist, Christine (Chris) Legerot, is offered a job with a French wine producer and the same company; her father had departed suddenly under unexplained circumstances some years earlier. Directly on joining, Chris is compelled to resolve a costly customer crisis, navigate thorny wine trade politics, and deal (not always unwillingly) with the office lothario. All the while attempting to unravel the mystery of her father's broken past.
The characters wnne Burchett creates in Tasting Notes are all too convincing and, sadly, reminiscent of the unsavoury behaviours of people we may have encountered in our own working lives. No doubt many of us can sympathise with the patronising buck-passing Chris encounters.
Though she does find some pleasurable compensations…
We also glean some fascinating insights into the wine business. Even if this is fiction, I'm never going to regard a bottle of £3.99 plonk in Waitrose the same way again. Plus, attending a Wine Fair sounds fun, provided you're a visitor and not operating a stand for 14 gruelling hours.
If you would like a sneak peek into the wine trade, want to meet some love-to-hate characters, and appreciate a believable principal character - all with sex and mystery thrown -in - then I'd recommend Anne Burchett's Tasting Notes.
Buy a copy of Tasting Notes by Anne Burchett.
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