Book Review: A Good Year by Peter Mayle

A Good Year Peter Mayle 002Why not treat yourself to a little fun?  Since it is sleet/raining outside
again, again, again, pass some pleasant moments in the warm sunny
hillsides of Provence.

Max Skinner  has just quit his job, and finds out, conveniently, that
he has inherited a vineyard in Provence from his dear old uncle.
Ha!  Some people have all the luck.

He and his bachelor pal, Charlie Willis have a bit of a bash together to
celebrate with a good dinner and some good wine.  Charlie, a real
estate mogul (what’s a mogul anyway?) is also a wine expert–he’s
been taking lessons, you see, and they make quite an evening of it.
And we learn some neat phrases to use next time we’re tasting a
new wine.   “Naive; jagged around the edges; a little young to be up
so late,” and so forth.

The old house that comes with the vineyard  has a library, huge
vaulted sitting room, a dining room, kitchen, back kitchen, scullery,
six bedrooms, two or three bathrooms, grass tennis courts, barns and
outbuilding, an old fountain . . .the not-much-but-it’s-home type.

Pretty soon Max is settled in, mastering the ancient plumbing arrangement
and getting to know the live-in gardener, the bossy French housekeeper.
In town, there’s a cozy little Café Fanny with black and white tiled floors,
cane chairs and posters of old Marcel Pagnol films.

The menu is to die for—-simple, delicious. What will you have?

To start:      a choice of deep-fried zucchini, vegetable terrine or a pâté

Main course:   bavette aux échalotes, roasted cod, or brochette de poulet


Dessert:       tarte aux pommes, crème brûlée

Wine, naturally, takes center stage in an amusing plot when a young woman
from California enters the picture.  And there’s a mystery a-brewing
along with the wine a-making.

Max’s quick wit keeps the book zinging along, and so do the colorful
Take a couple of days or evenings to read this romp, and when you close the
book for good, it will be Spring!

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2 Responses to Book Review: A Good Year by Peter Mayle

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