Sunday, September 21, 2014

Evolution of a Wine Drinker / Alicia Bien

Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin

Genre: Humor / Culture / Non-Fiction

Approximate word count: 20-25,000 words

Kindle  US: YES  UK: YES  Nook: NO  Smashwords: NO  Paper: YES
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords store


“Raised in Ohio, Alicia Bien received a Bachelor's Degree in Literature and a Master's in English Linguistics. She is a Fulbright Scholar, wine lover and comedy fan. While interning in the U.S. Senate, she saw lots of funny things.

Drawing on life's humorous experiences, Alicia writes and performs comedy. She studied sketch and improv at Second City, Hollywood and the Upright Citizens Brigade.

She lives in California with her husband and adopted cat.”


“Do you like wine but don’t know anything about it except it’s 1) Alcoholic and 2) Wet? Well, Alicia Bien is here to remedy that. Pronto!

Here's a collection of wine stories, the highs—and lows—of Alicia’s own evolution as a wine drinker from novice to—many bottles later—an expert wine bottle opener. These pages contain an alphabet’s worth of wine stories from 'Drinking Alone' and 'How the Army Changed My Life’, to ‘Ullage Uvula, U Know’ and ‘Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah, Zip-A-Dee-Ay, My Oh My What a Zinfandel Day’.

So grab a bottle, sit back and enjoy. CHEERS!”


Every now and then I have to step away from my fantasy diet and read something… well, more down-to-earth.  As I was scanning the books submitted for review database, I came across Evolution of a Wine Drinker and thought, “I like wine! Perhaps I could educate myself a little.” So I stepped outside of my comfort zone to review a non-fiction novella, hoping some of the wine culture will rub off on me. These are stories of Ms. Bien’s experiences with wine, wine tasting, and vacations centered on wine regions. Bien takes her wine very seriously and has taken the time to educate us novices on the finer points of all things wine.

It all started in college (go figure) when she was looking for an elective and her academic advisor pointed out a “wine tasting class” in the catalog… She grinned. So begins Alicia Bien’s love of wine. She learned how to hold each wine glass, judge a wine by its color, how swirling wine in the glass aerates the wine to improve its flavor, and how to smell the wines to help your taste buds better define and appreciate the flavors and nuances of a wine. She studied grape varietals, wine growing regions of the world, and their histories. In time her instructor managed to turn a college beer chugger into a passionate wine drinker.

This book is full of short personal essays cleverly arranged from A-Z which include humorous and educational stories from Ms. Bien’s adventures with wine and wine country not only here in the states but around the world. Along with stories about her friends and their own wine tasting club parties, which almost convinced me to try hosting one. :) This book is a fast, pleasant read that will leave a smile on your face. It may also make you feel a little more confident in choosing your next bottle of wine. This review was written while enjoying a glass of Belle, a sweet red wine from Red 55 Winery located in Texas. Ha! See, I never would have checked that out if I hadn’t read this book!

Format/Typo Issues:

I came across no editing or formatting issues.

Rating: ***** Five Stars


Unknown said...

Great review. I clicked to buy, but $6.99 for a Kindle novelette seemed steep. Or am I just cheap?

?wazithinkin said...

Thanks for the compliment, Pete. I agree, $6.99 is rather high for this length of book. :/

Unknown said...

So, you're saying I'm cheap--right?

?wazithinkin said...

NOOOOO!!!! I am NOT calling you cheap, Pete! Grrrrr