By Kori ~ June 25th, 2009.
Thank you for joining us for the June roundup of the Wine Book Club. Dr. Debs of Good Wine Under $20, who founded our monthly Wine Book Club, selected La Vie en Rosé: A Very French Adventure Continues by Jamie Ivey (St. Martin’s Press, $24.95; Amazon.com, $16.47) as the book for this month, and it has been my pleasure to host. This book shares the adventures of author Jamie Ivey, his wife Tanya, and their friend Peter as they leave their comfortable lives in London to open a rosé-only wine bar in the south of France.
Jamie, Tanya, and Peter had spent the previous summer searching for France’s palest rosé which was the subject of Ivey’s first book, Extremely Pale Rosé. During that trip, they completely fell in love with France and decided that they wanted to move there to open their own rosé-only wine bar. They returned to London to get their affairs in order, save up some money, and the following spring, they sold their house and set off on their adventure.
While this adventure may sound like the stuff dreams are made of, they ran into a lot of roadblocks along the way. They had made arrangements with a bar owner in Aix to set up shop on his terrace for the summer while looking for a more permanent location for La Vie en Rosé. When they arrived on what was to be their first day, they discovered that they were the butt of a practical joke. They spent the rest of the summer bouncing around from temporary location to temporary location holding two week “rosé festivals” while looking for property of their own.
Dr. Debs of Good Wine Under $20 said, “Getting to experience the highs and lows of the process—from Ivey’s halting attempts to communicate with the locals (all of whom know a great deal about wine) to the moment they plunk down money on a piece of property—was like watching friends dive off a very high cliff into formidably deep waters. I appreciated the bravery of what they did, but I have no intention of doing it myself.” I couldn’t agree more and was thinking the exact same thing as I read the book. While I found their stories to be a perfect summer read, I certainly would not want to be in their shoes.
Frank of Drink What You Like, points out that “As the story comes to a close, Jamie reflects on the irony of worrying about the location of La Vie En Rosé throughout the summer. The trio finds success not in a ‘brick and mortar’ location, but in a small stall in the heart of a French market. (This of course is the prelude to Jamie’s next book, Rosé en Marche.)”
While the story has a happy ending, I must admit that I was a bit disappointed that they did not ultimately find the perfect permanent location for La Vie en Rosé. I personally would not enjoy the gypsy lifestyle of being in a different location each day of the week, moving from market to market. Although, different strokes for different folks is what makes the world go round, and what they did find seems perfect for them.
Dr. Debs found the book to be “full of the sights and sounds of the southern French countryside. From local festivals celebrating garlic to visits with local vignerons, Ivey is adept at bringing a scene to life in all its variety and with a fair bit of humor.” She also notes, however, that “Ivey is British, and this means that his sense of humor is decidedly British as well. His tone may strike some readers as offbeat and ironic.”
If you are looking for a fun summer read or have ambitions of your own to give up your current life and set out on an adventure, then head on over to Amazon or your book retailer of choice and pick up a copy. As Frank said, “I have the deepest respect for those who pursue their dreams with singular focus and stay committed despite challenges. Also because I too harbor similar ‘romantic’ dreams of leaving the grind here to pursue similar endeavors abroad.”
Have you already read La Vie en Rosé: A Very French Adventure Continues? If so, please leave a comment and let us know what you thought of it.
Many thanks to my fellow Wine Bookaneers, Dr. Debs and Frank, for participating again this month. We would love to have more of you join us. So for anyone considering reading along, the next two selections in the Wine Book Club are:
July: Africa Uncorked: Travels in Extreme Wine Territory by John and Erica Platter
August: A Vineyard in Tuscany: A Wine Lover’s Dream by Ferenc Mate
Filed under: French Wine, Rose Wine, Wine Book Club, Wine Books