Episode 110: Passion and Pinot – “Vertical” Book Review

Episode 110: Passion and Pinot – “Vertical Book Review

Miles and Jack are at it again, and so are Steph and Val. This week we review Rex Pickett’s Vertical: Passion and pinot on the Oregon wine trail while cozying up to our glasses on a Tuesday morning. Alongside our little book babble about the Sideways sequel, we have some Wino Radar goodies, shoutouts and factoids. Did they say pinot in a can? Yes, yes they did. It’s a fun week in the world of wine, and we hope you enjoy this episode! Cheers ~ …

In our glasses:

Steph: 2012 Bourgogne Chardonnay from Chateau de Pommard in a Riedel Chardonnay stem.

Val: 2013 Rivetto Barbera D’Alba … in my Wine Enthusiast Fusion break resistant (free replacement) stem…


Discussion Topic: Book Review

Sideways Sequel, Vertical, Passion and Pinot on the Oregon Wine Trail, by Rex Pickett

This may be our first “audio book review!”

Also, for those of you that haven’t seen the movie, we chatted briefly about that. This book picks up where Sideways left off.

So what are Miles and Jack up to now?

Steph: “Here’s a peek at my note-taking…

“Wine tourism meets comic tension. A must ‘share & tell’ for your wine friends that love to plan trips around wine. It was perfect timing when right after I finished the book, my neighbor Vivian asked for recommendations for her upcoming trip to Oregon. I gave her my copy to borrow, and she was all smiles.

“It is the ultimate book for a long flight with endless drink coupons!

Val: “I have to admit … I was not a fan of the Sideways movie. It had its funny moments, like when he drank the spit bucket.  By the way, the spit bucket does make a resurgence in this book; but I initially thought Miles was a pathetic slob who made bad life choices.

“I almost wondered, as I read Vertical, if the intention was to develop empathy and attachment to Miles, and if it was intentional to not like Miles in the first book?”

We both agreed that this book was a transformation of Miles, if not our attitudes toward the character. Additionally, we loved that the story was engaging, ridiculously entertaining, and … that dog. The dog, we concurred, has a key role in the story and the comedy that ensues.

Throughout the podcast we recalled some of our favorite funny moments, like when Jack took too much Viagra and the veterinarian. There was so much giggling just talking about the enjoyment we both got from the book while we were reading it.

Val: “I called this book the gift of giggles, with sultry, sexy and downright slutty moments. Let’s face it, wine delivers that to all of us … there was suspense, sharp turns, a healthy pile of truth with respect to the world of wine.”

Steph: “Here’s the other thing we definitely have to talk about: the vocabulary that Rex uses and then the glossary in the back!”

Val: “Yeah! Just when you thought your vocab was all that … you actually got a bit of an education on top of that. It’s not pretentious, it’s a riot, it’s heartwarming … lots of sex …”

Steph: “… lots of sex! More than any wine book I’ve ever read. Maybe that should be a new trend in wine writing. After all, two human pleasures, sex and wine, ought to be brought together more often in story-form.”

We also lauded the simple black and white illustrations by Michele Phillips in the book accentuated and assisted the imagination.

All in all, we gave it two thumbs up and a cheers. Cheers to Rex!

Check out the whole review here:

Also, Val did her own written review here: http://www.vinowithval.com/2017/05/17/passion-pinot/


We thought it would be cool to tie the factoid in with the book.

The International Pinot Noir Celebration (IPNC)? It’s a real thing, like many things in the book, so here are a few fun facts (by the numbers):

  • It’s held at the end of July (this year the 28th – 30th)
  • The IPNC in its 31st year
  • $1295 buys you the whole weekend of festivities
  • 70 producers attend this thing
  • Over 250 wines can be tasted
  • 60 chefs are expected to be showing off their coastal cuisine
  • About 800 folks register each year
  • It’s on my radar – it’s like our wine camp but on steroids
  • Check out the site for more information: http://ipnc.org/event-overview/

Wino Radar:

Steph:  “A drinkable Pinot Noir in a can! A couple weeks ago I was introduced to the mini-cans of wine from The Great Oregon Wine Company. My buddy Hillary Siebels brought me a can of the Pinot Noir to taste, and I must say, I liked it for a single serve wine. Actually it says right on the can “1 can = 1 glass of wine”. Now this is what should be on airplanes, at the movies, golf courses, etc. Although… there’s no drinking vessel included, like the other innovative brands like ReadyToDrinkPackaging. Come to think of it, I didn’t drink directly out of the can, so I missed out on that experience. Guess I saved that for next time.”

Val: There’s a new documentary coming out…it’s not about somms, it’s not about vines, it’s not about podcasters – ALL of these things we love!

It’s actually about Masters of Wine! Here’s the trailer, which I saw in a tweet by Tim Atkin, MW: https://app.frame.io/f/8fev9bYs!

It will be a five part series and feature some famous producers, such as Drouhin, E. Guigal

More information can be found here: http://farmhousefilm.com/films/22-masters-of-wine-in-production)


 Thank you to the publisher, Loose Gravel Press, and Lee at the PR firm for sending us copies of the book!

Patreon Love: 

Thank you so much to our Patreon supporters! Sending out some Patreon Love to:

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Jeff E from the hilarious drinking show, We Like Drinking!


Lynn G from Savor the Harvest!




Sebastian S of Sassi Italy tours!

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Until next week, Cheers!