‘The Lost Vintage’ Takes Readers On A Sensory Journey to the Past [REVIEW]

French vineyard

A trip to France teaches a young sommelier about much more than wine in Ann Mah’s The Lost Vintage. (Photo by Mark Fusco, Flickr)

Young love, delicious wine, family history, and the French countryside. It’s all here in Ann Mah’s sumptuous new novel, The Lost Vintage. Behind this book’s gorgeous cover you’ll meet a woman who journeys from San Francisco to France with the goal of building upon her knowledge of fine wine. What she learns instead are lessons even more powerful and life changing, ones which will enhance much more than her educated palate.


William Morrow

Kate is a California girl who has built her world around wine. But she’s always had a mental block when it came to those vintages from the Burgundy region of France. In large part, that stems from her own bittersweet childhood memories and the fact that her mother turned her back on the family vineyard long ago.

Now Kate is seeking to pass the Master of Wine examination for the third and final time. If she doesn’t succeed this time, she’s out of chances, and she wants to ace the test more than anything. So she travels all the way back to France to help her cousin Nico and his wife Heather with the annual grape harvest and to beef up on her knowledge of Burgundy wines, the one area she seems to have a mental block about.

While there, Kate tries to keep old memories at bay, even as she makes herself at home in a Spartan attic bedroom; dodges her first love, Jean-Luc; and discovers a secret room in the basement of the family’s ancestral house. There she finds an old diary, World War II Resistance pamphlets, a trove of valuable wine, and items that belong to a relative she never knew existed.

Curious, Kate starts digging into the family history, uncovering a fascinating legacy which unfolded during the dark days of World War II, and which were mysteriously linked to the story of a teen girl named Hélène Marie Charpin, her half-aunt. Suddenly, Kate is compelled to find the truth about who it was her family aided during the war and what happened to six bottles of wine that seem to be missing from this secret cache.

With The Lost Vintage, Ann Mah delivers a novel that is the ultimate summer read. Unique and completely unforgettable, reading it almost feels like Anthony Doerr (author of All the Light We Cannot See) and Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat Pray Love) came together to create a novel that is as rich and insightful as it is sensory and addictive. But Mah ups the ante by taking readers on an immersive quest beyond the vines and into the truth behind her character’s unknown history. As a result, she reminds all of us that although we can try to hide from our familial legacies, they are integral to who we are and can only enrich those of us brave enough to face them head on. If you enjoy haunting stories that equally entertain, challenge, and elevate us, you are going to love this book!

Ann Mah

Ann Mah
(Photo by Katia Grimmer-Laversanne)


Ann Mah is a food and travel writer based in Paris and Washington DC. She is the author of the food memoir Mastering the Art of French Eating, and a novel, Kitchen Chinese.

She regularly contributes to the New York Times’ Travel section and she has written for Condé Nast Traveler, Vogue.com, BonAppetit.com, Washingtonian magazine, and other media outlets.

Find out more about Ann at her website, and connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.

By Ann Mah
384 pgs. William Morrow. $26.99

TLC Book Tours Tour HostPurchase The Lost Vintage at one of these fine online retailers: HarperCollins, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, and IndieBound.

The Lost Vintage is brought to you in association with TLC Book Tours.

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

One Response to ‘The Lost Vintage’ Takes Readers On A Sensory Journey to the Past [REVIEW]

  1. trish says:

    I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for being on the tour!

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