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Wine Girl

Wine Girl

An affecting memoir from America’s youngest sommelier, tracing her path through the glamorous but famously toxic restaurant world

At just twenty-one, Victoria James became America’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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Genre: Biography & True Stories / Memoirs

On Sale: 19th March 2020

Price: £19.99

ISBN-13: 9781405546775

Reviews

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
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
An inspiring, captivating story of resilience
Kirkus Reviews
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
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
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