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99 Bottles: The Wines That Changed My Life (and Can Change Yours Too)

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A highly opinionated, vibrantly illustrated wine guide from one of the country’s most celebrated—and unorthodox—sommeliers and winemakers   In this entertaining, informative, and thoroughly unconventional wine guide, award-winning sommelier, winemaker, and wine educator André Mack presents readers with the 99 bottles that have most impacted his life. Instead of just pairi A highly opinionated, vibrantly illustrated wine guide from one of the country’s most celebrated—and unorthodox—sommeliers and winemakers   In this entertaining, informative, and thoroughly unconventional wine guide, award-winning sommelier, winemaker, and wine educator André Mack presents readers with the 99 bottles that have most impacted his life. Instead of just pairing wines with foods, Mack pairs practical information with personal stories, offering up recommendations alongside reflections on being one of the only African-Americans to ever work at the top level of the American wine industry. The 99 bottles range from highly accessible commercial wines to the most rarefied Bordeaux on the wine list at The French Laundry, and each bottle offers readers something to learn about wine. This window into Mack’s life combines a maverick’s perspective on the wine industry with an insider’s advice on navigating wine lists, purchasing wine, and drinking more diverse and interesting selections at home. 99 Bottles is a one-of-a-kind exploration of wine culture today from a true trailblazer.  


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A highly opinionated, vibrantly illustrated wine guide from one of the country’s most celebrated—and unorthodox—sommeliers and winemakers   In this entertaining, informative, and thoroughly unconventional wine guide, award-winning sommelier, winemaker, and wine educator André Mack presents readers with the 99 bottles that have most impacted his life. Instead of just pairi A highly opinionated, vibrantly illustrated wine guide from one of the country’s most celebrated—and unorthodox—sommeliers and winemakers   In this entertaining, informative, and thoroughly unconventional wine guide, award-winning sommelier, winemaker, and wine educator André Mack presents readers with the 99 bottles that have most impacted his life. Instead of just pairing wines with foods, Mack pairs practical information with personal stories, offering up recommendations alongside reflections on being one of the only African-Americans to ever work at the top level of the American wine industry. The 99 bottles range from highly accessible commercial wines to the most rarefied Bordeaux on the wine list at The French Laundry, and each bottle offers readers something to learn about wine. This window into Mack’s life combines a maverick’s perspective on the wine industry with an insider’s advice on navigating wine lists, purchasing wine, and drinking more diverse and interesting selections at home. 99 Bottles is a one-of-a-kind exploration of wine culture today from a true trailblazer.  

49 review for 99 Bottles: The Wines That Changed My Life (and Can Change Yours Too)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews

    If you are a newbie to wine and don't know where to start, this book is what you need.  Andre Mack shares his life in wine starting with the ones we remember from our youth like Boone's Farm (no?  just me?) and gradually growing in brands, type, and price as he worked in various restaurants and worked his way up as a sommelier in some high-end restaurants.   As I read through the various chapters, I noticed that not everything is wine in the book. There are some references to lagers, spirits, and If you are a newbie to wine and don't know where to start, this book is what you need.  Andre Mack shares his life in wine starting with the ones we remember from our youth like Boone's Farm (no?  just me?) and gradually growing in brands, type, and price as he worked in various restaurants and worked his way up as a sommelier in some high-end restaurants.   As I read through the various chapters, I noticed that not everything is wine in the book. There are some references to lagers, spirits, and more.  But each chapter reflects a different part of his life and what he was learning during those times to share with patrons and friends.  Because this is Andre's life, he shares with the reader what his happening in his life from work to relationships and so much more.  I liked one of his comments from an earlier chapter that he didn't need to tie up cash in wines he might drink later, but to drink them now and enjoy the wines, their flavors, and the experience.  That is so true with anything, don't save it for later, enjoy and use those special items now. A later chapter gave me a chuckle when he said that one of his greatest pleasures in life: really salty fries with old German Riesling.  I never would put the two together, but salty and sweet - yeah I can see that! Andre has gone on to create his own line of wines and you can see those on his website and in the book he mentioned trading cards for wine but I'm not sure where you can find those (and no google search turned them up.) Ultimately the best advice Andre has to give in regards to wine is this - "I want to empower you to trust your own palate, and to be your own judge of what tastes good to you". I recommend this book for anyone that wants to enjoy one man's journey through wine and perhaps find your own joy in the wines you enjoy.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Yeganeh Attari

    What a cool, genuine book it was to listen to (narrated by the author)! This was much more than a book about which wines to drink. It was like sitting with an interesting person getting to know him through the story of each bottle that was coming to the table. I loved his style. I loved that he urged the readers to stick to their own stories and remember those bottles that might have changed their lives at some point; their evenings, their conversations, their thought process, their mood. "Who wou What a cool, genuine book it was to listen to (narrated by the author)! This was much more than a book about which wines to drink. It was like sitting with an interesting person getting to know him through the story of each bottle that was coming to the table. I loved his style. I loved that he urged the readers to stick to their own stories and remember those bottles that might have changed their lives at some point; their evenings, their conversations, their thought process, their mood. "Who would ever thought that learning about wine would allow me to unshackle my creative side? That's why I encourage all of you to get into it too. Knowing more about wine will change your life, even if it only changes how you drink, which itself can lead to all kinds of creativity."

  3. 5 out of 5

    Semora Renee

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book was everything I wanted it to be. Having purchased Mack’s wine before, I enjoyed reading about his experiences and his wines of choice. I found myself dog-earring pages and ordering the book he references about being in the service industry. The book gives an approachable perspective to wine. And also makes me want to drink more and different wine. It is way less intimidating than the wine bible(which he also references) and the explanations of each type of wine is easy to read, and ea This book was everything I wanted it to be. Having purchased Mack’s wine before, I enjoyed reading about his experiences and his wines of choice. I found myself dog-earring pages and ordering the book he references about being in the service industry. The book gives an approachable perspective to wine. And also makes me want to drink more and different wine. It is way less intimidating than the wine bible(which he also references) and the explanations of each type of wine is easy to read, and easy to understand. When New York is over I look forward to visiting & Sons with my daughter, and learning more about the wines Mack carries.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Khary Bizzell

    Excellent book from the amazing sommelier/winemaker Andre Mack! He brings an approachable mindset towards wine through pop culture (Fraiser as an example) and music. His storied background from server at red lobster all the way to sommelier for the prestigious French Laundry and Per Se to breaking out on his own as a winemaker is engaging to say the least! I took tons of notes about all of the bottles he experienced along the way. From Bordeaux, Basque and what Andre calls the, “Nickelback of wi Excellent book from the amazing sommelier/winemaker Andre Mack! He brings an approachable mindset towards wine through pop culture (Fraiser as an example) and music. His storied background from server at red lobster all the way to sommelier for the prestigious French Laundry and Per Se to breaking out on his own as a winemaker is engaging to say the least! I took tons of notes about all of the bottles he experienced along the way. From Bordeaux, Basque and what Andre calls the, “Nickelback of wine..” . Lots to learn here for sure! Enjoyed every bit of it. Highly recommended.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jamele (BookswithJams)

    This is a fantastic go-to wine book for me. I have enjoyed reading André's story through wine and also learning about his favorites and how they are special to him. Some are my favorites as well and it has been great to learn about their history. Overall wine in general can be intimidating, but I have bookmarked pages in this book as well as flagged some that I want to try and use this all the time. Grateful to have someone like André that is willing to share his experience and his obvious love This is a fantastic go-to wine book for me. I have enjoyed reading André's story through wine and also learning about his favorites and how they are special to him. Some are my favorites as well and it has been great to learn about their history. Overall wine in general can be intimidating, but I have bookmarked pages in this book as well as flagged some that I want to try and use this all the time. Grateful to have someone like André that is willing to share his experience and his obvious love for wine with us.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne Pender

    Somewhat interesting overview of the life of celebrity somm Andre Mack, including some of the challenges and stories of discrimination he faced while entering a predominantly white field. I would have liked a bit more information on the wines — maps, history, etc. So, if you’re expecting to learn about wine, this isn’t the book for you. It’s primarily an autobiography of a master somm told through some bottles he enjoyed.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Abigail

    This is a very fun wine book/memoir. André Mack has seen it all working in fine dining and takes you along for the ride. P.S. His Maison Noir rosé is SO good.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Pete Johnson

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay Smith

  10. 5 out of 5

    Joe

  11. 5 out of 5

    Caitlin

  12. 4 out of 5

    Alison

  13. 5 out of 5

    Grant

  14. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Frank

  15. 4 out of 5

    L. Lee

  16. 5 out of 5

    Erin

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy Eubanks

  18. 4 out of 5

    Chris Schmidt

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ken

  20. 5 out of 5

    Aura

  21. 4 out of 5

    Neil Koffler

  22. 4 out of 5

    Yvelin Lim

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kate Lackey

  24. 5 out of 5

    Claire

  25. 5 out of 5

    Derek

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jared Ross

  27. 4 out of 5

    Brian Smith

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    Jennifer

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    Liz Tanner

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    Brittany

  31. 5 out of 5

    Doğuhan Atış

  32. 4 out of 5

    Shawna

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    Debra Wolsleben

  34. 5 out of 5

    Lance Lubelski

  35. 4 out of 5

    Emma Criswell

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    Meera Trivedi

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    Tawn

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    Axel Isaac

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    Thomas

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    Laura

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    Dan March

  43. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

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    Stephanie

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    Carrie Honaker

  46. 5 out of 5

    Kimberley

  47. 4 out of 5

    Ken

  48. 4 out of 5

    Amy Benavides

  49. 4 out of 5

    Kate

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