INTO WINE: A Q&A with Olivier Magny

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Olivier Magny

The subject matter was just “Book.”  Honesty, I thought to myself, “just what we need – another wine book” and books aren’t something I wanted to get in the habit of reviewing.  I even went to Google to see how many would pop up on search – the answer, 764,000,000.  But the email from Olivier Magny was just so engaging.

“As part of the promotion thingy, I just wanted to see if you’d be interested in receiving an advance copy – free of charge, no strings attached, no nigerian widow asking you to transfer funds, no nothing!  You like it, you can blog about it, you don’t, well, no biggie, many ways to recycle it,” he said.

Olivier Magny

Okay, he was funny. So on a beach in Punta Mita, Mexico, I started reading.  And, couldn’t stop.  My husband, someone who I never expected to pick up a book about wine, had the same experience.  Olivier, an award-winning sommelier and best-selling author, is based in Paris and is the founder of O Chateau, a fabulous wine bar that has been rated one of Paris’ best.

I briefly had the chance to meet Olivier in Dallas and here’s our Q&A:

There are clearly a lot of wine books on the market today. What unique perspective do you believe you are bringing with the release of INTO WINE?

I think I try to bring a bit of a fresher voice, following what I think makes wine and its’ culture not only fun and delicious, but also truly inspirational.  INTO WINE is a wine book that doesn’t only talk about wine (100% wine is just boring to me).

I told you that my husband couldn’t put the book down.  He’s not into wine books at all – is he the type of person you were targeting with the release of INTO WINE?

INTO WINE is for everyone who’s ever had a glass of wine really.  Amongst the early reviewers, I’ve had both complete novices and experienced professionals tell me how much they loved the book – and it makes me really happy.  I’ve perfected the art of talking to people of all walks of the wine life working at O Chateau for close to a decade now.  No matter where you stand in your wine journey, this book will prove genuinely helpful and informative.  Guaranteed!

If you were trying to convey three things with INTO WINE, what do you want the reader to take away?

Well, the book is informative.  It’s engaging.  And I believe it’s a book that will make you think – one that may lead you to change your outlook and your habits on a couple of things.

What are the biggest differences between French and American wine drinkers?

I’d say that when it comes to wine, most American drinkers are more interested and more knowledgeable than your average French person.  There is a passion around wine in the US that you simply don’t find in France these days!  Style wise, a majority of Americans like it big, while culturally, the French have always looked down on big wines!

You talk a lot about terrior and really bring it to life in the book.

Yup – I believe terroir is the cornerstone of a real and genuine understanding of anything wine.  It is what makes wine not only delicious but also truly unique. I’m proud to be a “terroirist”, and in the book, I explain this tremendously exciting philosophy of terroir, which is healthier, tastier and more sustainable!

Having met you in person, you are a pretty approachable guy.  With all your credentials and experience, how do you avoid becoming a wine snob?

Thanks Melanie.  Wine snobs really bore me to death: I’m just not interested in talking to them!  Also, at the end of the day, I love to drink wine, I love to share the culture of wine, but talking about that very wine is simply not my thing.  I much prefer to drink it and talk about something that I find actually interesting.

When you are hanging out with your friends, what are your “go to” wines?  Let’s talk budget, mid-priced and splurge wines.

Budget – I think the Loire is fantastic.  Both whites and reds

Mid-priced – I’m a big Rhône fan when it comes to reds.  For white, I love a good white Burgundy!

And well, if I’m to splurge, for reds, I’d go for an Hermitage (still in the Rhône).  And for whites, I do love a triumphant German Riesling from the Mosel Valley!

What else am I not asking you that I should be?

Where can your readers buy Into Wine? 😉  The answer is right here.

Note: The book was launched today.


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