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Wine Girl

Wine Girl

‘Hugely entertaining’ Jay Rayner, Observer

James does for wine what Anthony Bourdain did for the high-pressure, low-margin world of professional restaurants, exposing secrets kept from customers’ Financial Times

‘James writes powerfully . . . . you’ll raise a glass to her extraordinary resilience
Sunday Times

A sommelier’s tale of making it in the toxic world of fine dining

Aged thirteen, Victoria James started her first job in a diner in New Jersey.

Aged nineteen, Victoria was serving sugary Cosmopolitans in a restaurant off Broadway.

Aged twenty-one, Victoria was named the US’s youngest sommelier, working in Michelin-starred restaurants, serving the finest wines to pair with spectacular foods.

The groping patrons she learned to handle, but behind the scenes, the world of high dining was a mess of fractious relationships and unacknowledged abuse. It would take hitting rock-bottom for Victoria to find her way back to the industry she adores.

Wine Girl is the memoir of a young woman breaking free from her traumatic childhood. It’s the story of overcoming the notoriously corrosive restaurant industry, and of the restorative power of a glass of wine with friends.
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Genre: Biography & True Stories / Memoirs

On Sale: 19th March 2020

Price: £16.99

ISBN-13: 9780349726243

Reviews

An inspiring, captivating story of resilience
Kirkus Reviews
Don't read this book without wine to hand. I glugged at the gossipy bits, sipped at the sad parts . . . In Wine Girl James spills all on Manhattan's fine-dining world . . . you'll raise a glass to her extraordinary resilience
Laura Pullman, Sunday Times
Just the light-yet-escapist read you're in the mood for, this memoir by sommelier Victoria James unpicks the institutional misogyny of the fine dining restaurant scene that's perfect for fans of Sweet Bitter and also reminds you of the nourishing joy of good food, good people and good wine
Stylist
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, New York Times bestselling author of Cork Dork
In this gritty, eloquent memoir, James, who became America's youngest sommelier at twenty-one, talks about overcoming sexual assault and sexism as she built a career in the restaurant business . . . James grippingly discusses working at several high-end restaurants and wading through ugly swamps of unwanted advances and crude comments before finding a happy home at Michelin-starred Cote, where she is the beverage director. This is a captivating story of resilience from a sommelier who hustled hard to conquer her profession
Publishers Weekly
Need something quick and escapist? Sommelier Victoria James's memoir Wine Girl of her time in the toxic restaurant industry is addictive
Stylist
Sommelier Victoria James's deeply personal book is by turns harrowing and inspiring . . . 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 affecting, informative memoir is crucial reading for wine lovers, food lovers, and anyone thinking about making their way in the rough-and-tumble world of big-time restaurants
Adam Platt, New York Magazine restaurant critic
One can't help but root for James's hard-won success
Telegraph
Hugely entertaining
Jay Rayner, Observer
An uplifting story of grit and resilience that will leave you with an appetite for the pleasures that James so vividly describes
Mail on Sunday
For anyone interested in food, or the dark underbelly and exhilarating fizz of restaurant life, Wine Girl is a page-turning read
the i
James does for wine what Anthony Bourdain did for the high-pressure, low-margin world of professional restaurants, exposing secrets kept from customers . . . James offers a fresh lexicon for a young generation of "cork dorks" hungry to know and talk about wine . . . But James's story is edged with the darkness of her experience in hospitality . . . [her] story shows how precarious life on the knife-edge of survival in the restaurant industry really is. Almost unbelievably, she retained an abiding love for wine
Financial Times