Wine Girl: Book summary and reviews of Wine Girl by Victoria James

Wine Girl

The Obstacles, Humiliations, and Triumphs of America's Youngest Sommelier

by Victoria James

Wine Girl by Victoria James X
Wine Girl by Victoria James
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  • Published in USA  Mar 2020
    336 pages
    Genre: Biography/Memoir

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Book Summary

An affecting memoir from the country's youngest sommelier, tracing her path through the glamorous but famously toxic restaurant world.

At just twenty-one, the age when most people are starting to drink (well, legally at least), Victoria James became the country's youngest sommelier at a Michelin-starred restaurant. Even as Victoria was selling bottles worth hundreds and thousands of dollars during the day, passing sommelier certification exams with flying colors, and receiving distinction from all kinds of press, there were still groping patrons, bosses who abused their role and status, and a trip the hospital emergency room.

It would take hitting bottom at a new restaurant and restorative trips to the vineyards where she could feel closest to the wine she loved for Victoria to re-emerge, clear-eyed and passionate, and a proud "wine girl" of her own Michelin-starred restaurant.

Exhilarating and inspiring, Wine Girl is the memoir of a young woman breaking free from an abusive and traumatic childhood on her own terms; an ethnography of the glittering, high-octane, but notoriously corrosive restaurant industry; and above all, a love letter to the restorative and life-changing effects of good wine and good hospitality.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"In this gritty, eloquent memoir, James, who became the country's youngest sommelier at 21, talks about overcoming sexual assault and sexism as she built a career in the restaurant business...This is a captivating story of resilience from a sommelier who hustled hard to conquer her profession." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Many of the details James shares about her experiences are disturbing and graphic in nature; however, her story also exudes warmth...An inspiring, captivating story of resilience." - Kirkus Reviews

"While informative about what it takes to become a sommelier, the focus of this moving memoir is more on James's personal journey. A satisfying read overall." - Library Journal

"Wine Girl is funny, bracing, disturbing, and above all necessary. Victoria reveals the best and darkest in who we are and how we dine. I couldn't put it down." - Bianca Bosker, NYT Bestselling author of Cork Dork

"Sommelier Victoria James's deeply personal book is by turns harrowing and inspiring, incomprehensible and educational. From Wine Girl, I learned as much about the resilience of the human spirit as I had about the wonders of wine. And turned the last page with a profound feeling of gratitude to Victoria for sharing her story and becoming a model for women everywhere." - Dana Cowin, former editor-in-chief of Food and Wine

This information about Wine Girl shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Victoria James

Victoria James has worked in restaurants since she was thirteen. She was certified as a sommelier when she was twenty-one, making her the youngest sommelier in the country. She was Food & Wine's Sommelier of the Year in 2018, and has appeared on both Forbes and Zagat's "30 Under 30" lists. She has worked at some of the most prestigious restaurants in New York City, including Marea and Aureole. Currently, she is the Beverage Director and partner at Cote, a Michelin-starred hot spot in the Flatiron district. She is the author of Drink Pink: A Celebration of Rosé, which Harper Design published in 2017.

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