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Memoirs of the Perpetually Inebriated: Adventures in France and its Wine Regions

Memoirs of the Perpetually Inebriated: Adventures in France and its Wine Regions [Kindle Edition]

Yeenli Lau
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

What spurs a mid-career woman to abandon her job, friends and life, for the siren call of France? Wine, food, perhaps charming French men…

In the Asian society, three things are paramount: i) Excel in your studies; ii) Get a good job and career, preferably in a staid professional field (medicine, law, accountancy…); iii) Get married and procreate.

I have met my filial expectations with respect to Paramount items i and, arguably, item ii. The series of jobs I have held are with respectable companies, in utterly respectable roles, and, in placing myself in Singapore, I am masochistically playing the role of worker ant. On Paramount item iii, well, my parents have not been pleased. But I'll save that for another story.

And then, one day, I fall under the spell of France.

Ah, it must be the French glamour and luxury, you say! But no, I am a veritable man in my shopping habits.

Might it be the French culture and language? But no, I find it difficult enough to keep up with the languages on my plate (English, Malay, a sprinkling of Chinese), and certainly have little inkling of French culture apart from Inspector Clouseau in The Pink Panther.

Then it must be the food and the wine!

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 820 KB
  • Print Length: 386 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Yeenli LAU; 1 edition (15 Feb 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #385,701 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A feast of food and drink all around France. 16 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A highly enjoyable account of the experiences of the Malaysian author, Yeenli Lau, as she lives and works in France awaiting the start of her wine course in Bordeaux. Her lack of French language holds no barrs as she jumps in at the deep end visiting all the different wine regions. Her food and wine consumption, and her experiences of the local terroire are commendable.....and highly enviable! She confessed to the occasional bad head, and a small thickening of the waist!Most enviable! I would have needed a whole new wardrobe and been under the table if I'd consumed half of what she did! But envy is not constructive, whilst inspiration is, and I shall certainly make an effort to see new regions of France (where I happen to live....albeit in a non-wine growing area) and search out the best of the food and drink. A good read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not just for the wine lover 27 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
What a journey this book has taken me on. The author tells of her belated "gap year" (and a pretty packed year involving travel, study and work) in France, with the aim of soaking up its culture, idiosyncrasies, and of course, the wine. The book is structured by the famous wine regions, the author narrating her visits to each, peppered throughout with wine facts and tips, "aka how to sound like a wine insider".

What I enjoyed most about the book was the truthful juxtaposition of the romantic and epicurean (commentary on sumptuous wine/food/places/languages), with the mundane bureaucracies of life in France (some cautionary tales here), and the diverse bunch of characters she befriends (or is subjected to). Driven by the thrill of exploring and getting lost, of encountering weird people and weird situations, I certainly feel that I have lived vicariously through these tales. I didn't want it to end.

I'll be waiting for her next book!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Lucky pick 25 April 2014
By Mr T
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Although we do not know much about Yemeni , I found her little starts to the wne discriptions nice. As for the main part of the books , I found the discriptions of the wines very interesting and will look at the labels a bit more closlely when I buy my wine. All in all a very good book.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dull 16 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Little more than a list of wines. Probably would appeal to sine buffs, but I gave up on it. The Chinese viewpoint of the aunts would have been interesting.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Finding the meaning of life in French wines 27 Feb 2014
By Phuah Eng Chye - Published on
This book is an idiosyncratic journal about how a Malaysian eking out an existential life cannot resist a calling to a one-year wine marketing course at the Bordeaux International Wine Institute or BIWI. “And so this book is about wine, about travel, about France and its culture, its language and its people. Above all, it is about me. A self confessed wino (or ‘lush’, as my friends call me),” the author confesses.
It is light-hearted and irreverent read about how YeenLi is captivated by the romance of French wines and sets out on an adventure to the heartland. You will learn about the travails of a Malaysian attempting to fit into the quirks of French lifestyles and her entanglements with their infamous bureaucracy. Some nuggets from her book:
“None of these grabs our attention for the moment. For we are intently looking for the taxi queue, or a sign for the taxi queue, or any sign which we can understand. Nada. Zilch. Groups of youngsters are standing around us, but for the moment we are tongue-tied, our heads filled with questions such as ‘Will they understand English?’, ‘French people are notorious for being rude to tourists, especially those who don’t speak any French’, and ‘I read about this American lady asking a man for directions in Paris, and the man replies- Do I look like a map to you?’
“In Singapore, when you sign up for broadband and/or cable TV, you are given a decoder on the spot, which you can go home, plug in and immediately start using. In France, when you sign up for a similar service, you need to wait for the all-important Orange Customer Service to send you your decoder. The guy at the Orange Boutique asks me for my address. ‘Left or right apartment?’ he asks. ‘Left or right from which point of view?’ I am confused. ‘Facing the street or facing from the street? We establish that it is the former, and he puts this information down – ‘Premier étage, gauche. Customer Service will, I am informed, process this information and activate my service in a few working days. However, delivery of my hardware, i.e. the decoder, is only scheduled for three weeks later!”
Interposed with the travel narrative are contrastingly sober sections of a guide to the wine industry and a display of MBA knowledge on the array of fine wines from the various French provincialities.
“By this time, it is 2pm and I am famished, not having had anything to except for a pain au chocolat at the airport. I head out to explore the surrounding neighbourhood, known as Chartrons, historically the area where the British and Irish second sons, sent abroad to establish trading businesses, set up shop as négociants. These are wine merchants whose role is to establish and maintain efficient distribution of wines, leaving the producers (i.e. the wineries or châteaux as they are known in Bordeaux) to focus on making wines. In the old days, even winemaking was not high on the priorities of the châteaux. They merely maintained and harvested the vines. The fermenting grapes, called ‘grape must’, were then transported to the négociants, who take over the other stages of production and distribution. In other words, the châteaux were mere farmers and it was the négociants who controlled and shaped the Bordeaux wine industry.”
Which brings us to the most important part – the inebriation. It’s a bit mixed with a more serious tone reflecting the quest for knowledge.
“The wine bar carries a decent assortment of non-Rhône wines by the glass, such as Chorey-Les-Beaune, Fleurie, Madiran, even sweet Monbazillac and Pineau des Charentes. I stay loyal to the region though, having myself an Ardèche Viognier followed by my last Saint Joseph red for the weekend (I promise!). I simply love the black pepperiness of the northern Rhône Syrah, savoury yet managing to avoid the cloying unctuousness of some New World Syrahs. Relatively high-alcohol though they may be, they are nevertheless balanced by sufficient acidity, which is a concept still new to me and one which, joyfully, requires lots of tastings for fuller comprehension.”
And interposed with the playfulness and forgetfulness of a wine expert that over-focused on their subject matter.
“I can’t get hold of Wang Xu, so I randomly select a bar and enter. All that eating and drinking in the afternoon has made me ravenous, and I ask for some wine and a plate of prosciutto melon. An old man plonks himself at my table and starts up a conversation. Wang Xu, when she eventually tracks me down, is surprised to see me in serious dialogue with a total stranger, and in French! ‘Don’t you know…’ I tell her with a hiccup, ‘…that your French improves tremendously after a few drinks? Here, you try!’ And I pour her some wine. Further checks of my phone reveal some photos that bring back repressed memories of the night. Of the young Moroccan-looking waiter grinning to the camera from behind the bar. Of the chef doing his cooking thing in the kitchen. Based on the angle, I would say I took this picture from behind the bar. What was I doing there?! The chef doesn’t seem to mind my intrusion into his territory and continues to churn out stews and salads, by the looks of things in the ensuing shots. More embarrassing and inexplicable pictures. Of the young waiter dancing. Of said young waiter stripping!
The book is a fascinating journey to find the meaning of life in French wines and there may be no better way to celebrate it. Enough said. As the French and the author is fond of saying…c’est parti and read the book!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Asian's perspective of French wine 25 Feb 2014
By Tarjie Lowe - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It is refreshing to come across a travelogue written from an Asian perspective! Each European experience encountered, each drop of wine and morsel of food tasted, evokes in the author memories of her Malaysian upbringing or Singapore life. I can relate to it and it really makes me feel like packing up and catching the next flight to France!

The book is also rich with wine info. A much more entertaining read compared to textbooks on the subject and tasting notes.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you're planning an extended road-trip / food & wine vacation in France... 3 Mar 2014
By S. Morin - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The light-hearted stories and useful tips on the simplest details one often takes for granted when traveling in a foreign country make this book a delightful read. Yeenli's brief summary of regional wines in each chapter is educational and encourages one to be even more curious. Any reason for getting a couple more bottles home to try!

The missing star in my overall rating -- if only there were pictures from her good year in France to accompany the stories.
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