A professional booze writer whose life spins out of control tries to piece it back together by embarking upon an epic wine-fueled adventure that takes him to every corner of the U.S. Part vision quest, part guidebook, part journey into the bizarre tapestry of American life, it will make you laugh, make you cry and teach you a whole lot about wine.
Former Playboy magazine nightlife columnist Dan Dunn has a made a career out of drinking. Yet this man’s man—a connoisseur of beer and whiskey—knew next to nothing about one of the major drinks enjoyed the world over: wine. When a fateful tasting experience coincided with a serious existential crisis, Dunn decided to hit the road on a journey of discovery. To quench his thirst for knowledge (and be able to throw down with the experts), he would educate himself about the industry glass by glass, from winery to winery, in nearly every region in the United States.
His bold 15,000-mile road trip took Dunn from Sonoma, California, to Pawley’s Island, South Carolina, where he twirled, sniffed, and sipped glass after glass of a vast array of wines with vintners, savants, and celebrities, including Kurt Russell and “The Most Interesting Man in the World,” Jonathan Goldsmith. Dunn’s mission was to transform himself from a heartbroken schlub who barely knew the difference between Merlot and Meritage, into a confident connoisseur capable of wowing others simply by swirling some fermented grape juice around in his mouth and pronouncing it “troubling, yet brilliant.”
In American Wino, Dunn shares it all—the good, the bad, the sublime. As his wine knowledge grows and becomes more complex, he shares it with the reader in the form of digestible, actionable nuggets in each chapter. It’s like a wine-tasting course at your local community college extension program, only with more sex and less crushing despair. An intoxicating blend of travel writing, memoir, and booze journalism that pairs earthy humor with fine wine for hilarious and enlightening results, it is the story of one man’s journey to find himself—and everyman’s journey to better understand the true spirit of this divine elixir.
This memoir will definitely make you laugh, and by the end you’ll know a whole lot more about wine, to boot.
— Bon Appétit
[A] glorious book.
American Wino chronicles the funniest (and craziest) wine road trip since Sideways.
— Food & Wine
American Wino is a surprisingly (trust me) emotional romp that’s only partly Intro To Wine 101 and partly … well, a very special noir...[it] more or less proves that John Steinbeck was right...You think you’re taking the trip, but the trip takes you.
— The Portland Phoenix
Dunn is good company, and his “American Wino” is a winning memoir of a man humbled (a little) by catastrophe.
— Aspen Times
“If you want to learn about wine, this will do. If you want to learn about heartbreak and beauty, this will do better.”
— Joel Stein, Time Magazine
“I can think of no American more uniquely qualified nor eminently eager to guzzle free booze while living out of his car than Dan Dunn. This is debauchery of the finest kind. Hunter S. Thompson would be proud. And possibly a bit jealous.”
— Aisha Tyler, author of Self-Inflicted Wounds: Heartwarming Tales of Epic Humiliation
“Dan Dunn crisscrosses this great land, stopping just long enough to cop a buzz. If you’re a hobo, or just know a hobo who loves to read, this book is for you.”
— Adam Carolla, author of Daddy, Stop Talking! and President Me
“Dunn has done it again. Drinking, geography, biochemistry, rampant Tindering and even more drinking. This is the ultimate oenophile’s handbook, but purists beware - there’s headaches and heartaches ahead.”
— John Oates, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer
“Nobody punishes his liver or his penis as consistently and with such commitment as Dan Dunn. I’ve seen it firsthand. The liver, that is, not the genitals. Ok, I’ve seen both. Join me in praying for Dan’s liver and his penis. And in reading this hilarious and heartfelt book.”
— Nick Swardson, actor and comedian
“Dan Dunn is driving, and this trip through America’s vineyards is a ride you want to join! Dan’s got a little bit of crazy in him. His book has a lot of crazy in it. Plus, the dude’s a great writer.”
— Neil Everett, ESPN's SportsCenter
“[AMERICAN WINO] is a captivating read. Dan is a master at dragging you along for this rocky and beautiful journey.”
— Maynard James Keenan, Tool
“It’s hard out there for a pimp. But Dan Dunn is a Superpimp, and there ain’t no stopping a Superpimp!”
— DJ Paul, Academy Award winning founding member of Three 6 Mafia
“Can you discover a little about yourself as Dan Dunn discovers more about himself and also wine? Yes. I say just read [AMERICAN WINO]. It’s funny, poignant and certainly more gooder than anything I ever wrote.”
— Glenn Howerton, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
“I know what to eat. What I’ve been missing is a guy who knows what to drink. Thank God for Dan Dunn!”
— Phil Rosenthal, host of I'll Have What Phil's Having
“American Wino is just about the best road trip I’ve ever been on.”
— Maximillian Potter, author of Shadows in the Vineyard: The True Story of the Plot to Poison the World's Greatest Wine
“American Wino is for anyone who enjoys good storytelling, travel and reading with a smile on their face. It’s Dunn’s best book yet!”
— chef and author of Good Food, Good Life
“I have raised a glass or two with Dan Dunn and now I am raising one in his honor. [American Wino] is hilarious, genuine and full of wine, just like its author.”
— Allison Janney, Emmy Award winning actress, star of CBS's Mom