Episode 147: A Glass Full of Miracles, #W25BookClub
We’re talking about Miljenko “Mike” Grgich’s book, “A Glass Full of Miracles” this week. The book is an historical account of world and US wine events, as well as a genuine, personal story that every wine lover should read! Also, Steph has a purple Gin, and Val has a coveted Tequila.
There is about a minute of pre-show podcaster chitter-chatter. We left most of it in. Does it add much? Probably not, but we only see each other once a week over Skype, so talk of hair color and decades old sweat pants happened. And this is where we find the ladies settling in for some cozy, winter book club conversation this week. We hope you enjoy it
Val: Codego Añejo Tequila. This one is aged 18 months in French Oak barrels that were used for Napa Cabernet wine. It’s a sipping tequila – to be served like a good whiskey.
Steph: Empress 1908 Gin that she brought back from Victoria, BC, Canada. It gets its color from a butterfly pea blossom flower. And … it turns color when you mix it with tonic!
Book Talk: A Glass Full of Miracles, by Miljenko “Mike” Grgich (5:20)
We kick off the discussion with a reminder that Mike’s daughter, Violet, gave us great insight into this book back in October of 2016. If you’ve not heard Episode 79 where she was on Wine Two Five, we invite you to take a listen. It certainly sets the stage for Mike’s story.
Steph’s Comments: (6:45)
“Right from the beginning, just reading the reviews and acknowledgements, brought me excitement and anticipation. I appreciated many efforts put into this book; photos, history of the Austro-Hungarian empire, vivid descriptions of Croatian wine growing areas, and the touching family stories.
“I even read out loud to Justin the good-bye advice Mike’s Papa gave him when Mike left home at age 10. There was enough suspense and thrill to keep the book exciting, but what really made a connection for me was Mike’s gratitude.
“There were times when I realized I forgot to take notes because I was cruising along and enjoying the “escape” into Mike’s incredible life. My final thoughts as I finished and closed the book were … he’s unstoppable and I wish there was more. The same feeling you get when the last sip of wine is gone and you wished there was more.”
Val’s Comments: (9:45)
“This book came with the historical significance of this wine icon sharing American wine history events and his critical role in them. But there’s also the level of detail of his personal story.
“The takeaway here, is that, yes, it’s a thick, heavy, gorgeous book, but it’s loaded with pictures that help bring Miljenko’s stories of pride, fear, success, struggle, and the human spirit to life. It’s written in simple, short sentences in his voice, but the book still conveys the richness of his life, and the importance of kicking down walls that sometimes start to creep up on the road to your dreams … even if it means detours.
“Dammit, I loved this book. What a gift on many dimensions!”
Our friend Lee posted a comment on FaceBook we’d like to share. Here’s what she says about Mike Grgich.
“A true legend whose destiny was written in the stars … one for which we are so grateful” ~ Lee Romano Sequeira of OfftheVinePR.com.
Also, if you have an idea for the next book club, or would like to select the book and lead the discussion on the podcast, please let us know!
Factoids From The Book (15:00)
- Croatia became an independent country in 1991
- Croatia celebrates St. Martin’s Day every year on November 11th. St. Martin is the patron saint of winemakers. Wine is celebrated all day and marks the day that must traditionally turns into wine.
Also available through Grgich Hills website are copies of the film Dossier Zinfandel.
- Miljenko “Mike” Grgich for sharing his story.
- Violet Grgich for urging her father to write this book.
- Violet and Sylvie for shipping us signed copies of the book for us and the lucky Patron, Mary Lou.
- Our Patron Cathey Love for recommending the book. Here’s what she says about the book. “I think what impressed me the most was that he [Mike] lived in a one room apartment or variation with not much more than a hot plate and knife for years to get to his goal. How many young people today would even think of doing this!”
*We also got this text from Cathey after this episode aired, and she gave us permission to share it with you:
“Just listened to the podcast, 👏 I’m so glad you both loved the book as much as I loved it. This is a treasured photo, Mark and I did an evening Wine Train with a stop at Grgich Hills, and he came in wanting to see all of our group. Signed wine bottles, took time for photos, etc. I felt very lucky!!!”
Patreon Love (20:04)
Thank you to our Patrons who support us on the crowdfunding platform called Patreon!
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Connect with Steph on online as @TheWineHeroine.