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The Wild Vine

This book pushes a number of my buttons. History, Wine, Intrigue, and most of all - the button that gets me started on a rant about how underappreciated Missouri is.


In The Wild Vine, Todd Kliman has focused his skills as a researcher and writer on the Norton grape. And, since he couldn’t write about Norton without dedicating a considerable amount of the book to Missouri, I’m a happy reader.

First, for those who like to know the credentials of a writer -- who is Todd Kliman? He’s the food and wine editor and restaurant critic for The Washingtonian and a James Beard Foundation Award winner for his writing. He’s a regular contributor to The New Yorker, Harpers, Men’s Health, National Geographic Traveler, The Washington Post Magazine, and NPR.org. He’s a literature professor at American University and Howard University.

Questions Todd answers in this book:

What’s so great about Norton?
How do a bunch of Germans in the immigrant settlement of Hermann, Missouri save it from obscurity?
Who was Henry Vizetelly, and how did he bring Norton to the world’s attention?
How did Norton save the wine industry in France?
How did Norton survive prohibition?
Who is Jenni McCloud, and why do I want to be her new best friend?

The book will be out in May. It’s my Foodies Book Group’s June selection. Here is what the actual cover will look like. (I personally like th ARC cover better)


Now, I have to go pour myself a glass of Norton and re-read The Wild Vine.

Comments (1)


Today there are 235 Norton wineries in 23 states. Enjoy the book, The Wild Vine, and appreciate a good bottle of Norton wine that is four or more years old that has been left to breathe no less than 40 minutes before partaking.

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