Into Wine gets into many aspects of wine: terroir, screwcaps, marketing, the culture of wine and more, all in whimsical vignettes. Magny never talks down to his reader. If you have an interest in wine, and why would you be reading this if you didn’t, I recommend this book highly. While you’re at it, you won’t go wrong picking up a copy of Stuff Parisans Like. I’ve enjoyed both immensely.
I had the chance to ask Olivier a few questions recently, and I’ll share his responses with you. I first asked him whether he writes in English or French. “I write in English. French is a stunning language but one that comes, for this Frenchman, with more of a literary duty if that makes sense. For my first book (Stuff Parisians Like), I started the translation with much ease for I was certain no French person would be interested in what I was writing about. Turned out the book became a best seller in France in a matter of weeks. So… lesson learned! Now as per my proficiency in English, I did work in California for a bit. And my wife is American, which sure helps!!”
Next I asked if he had had an ‘a ha’ moment when he discovered his passion for wine. “I distinctly remember an afternoon spent in Alsace with Jean-Michel Deiss (who’s one of the greatest French vignerons out there). We talked for 3 or 4 hours non-stop, in his living room. He shared reflections and thoughts that had never crossed my mind. When I left his house, my world was completely rocked: I had just realized that wine could satisfy not only my taste buds but also my brain cells. That’s when my love story really started.”
I then asked him what was next. “Well, I’m working on this wine travel TV show. We’re going to shoot season 2 this summer. With TV, you reach so many people that I feel like it’s almost an obligation these days to get your message out. I was lucky enough that Season 1 of “The Grape Escape” aired in France, Australia, India, Sweden… TV is a very soft, yet strong way, to spread the culture of terroir, and the love for wine and its culture. I feel extremely lucky to be in a position to be an ambassador for things I love and believe in. Plus of course, O Chateau is still a big priority of mine in Paris – we do our best to make it the #1 destination in town for all wine lovers. Also, I now have a new blog out: www.MisterWineTasting.com – with lots of video content. On there, I share about wine, but (as usual) not only…”