Blackberry wine book review from PumpjackPiddlewick

Joanne Harris is famous for her book Chocolat, but my personal favourite is Blackberry Wine*. Not really surprising, as the overall concept is about wine but also I adore that it is narrated by a bottle of wine. That unusual aspect in itself made me wish to read this book.

Blackberry Wine with Chocolate

Blackberry Wine is in a sense a follow-on to Chocolat*, in that it takes place in and around the same French village with a few of the same characters popping into the story. In consequence, it has a similar style as Chocolat. So if you liked the one book, you should enjoy this one as well. (And if you haven’t read Chocolat, I do recommend it. Hey, what’s not to like about chocolate?)

In Blackberry Wine the main character is an English author who has lost his spark and direction in life. Due to a case of fruit wines, the main character, Jay Mackintosh, begins to review and change his life, often with quirky results. 

I don’t wish to give too much away. And that in itself is tricky, as this is a somewhat strange book. It’s quite difficult to explain it easily. In other words typical Joanne Harris style, but this one in her fun, make you smile style.

Hook, Wine and Sinker

I picked this book up on a whim, not because it was Joanne Harris, but because it had the word Wine in the title and I thought it would be a good present for Pumpjack. (He who makes wine). Then I made the mistake of opening the book and read the first paragraph. I was hooked. He never did receive the book as a gift.

“Wine talks; ask anyone. The oracle at the street corner; the uninvited guest at the wedding feast; the holy fool. It ventriloquizes. It has a million voices. It unleashes the tongue, teasing out secrets you never meant to tell, secrets you never even knew.

It shouts, rants, whispers. It speaks of great plans, tragic loves and terrible betrayals. It screams with laughter. It chuckles softly to itself. It weeps in front of its own reflection. It revives summers long past and memories best forgotten.”

Fancy a Read? You can preview and/or buy it here…

From the USA:

From the UK:

And if you haven’t read Chocolat, I recommend that as well. (But, personally, if you have to choose one, go with Blackberry Wine).

*Our Book Club Disclosure

For our Vive le Livre Book Club we are affiliated* with Bookshop.Org. As great readers ourselves, we wanted to offer a way to purchase the books we recommend about France and the French (and wine). We specifically chose to affiliate with Bookshop because they support independent bookshops. They are currently supporting, and you can buy from, bookshops in the UK, USA and Spain.

For this and other books we recommend in our book club, simply click on your book of choice below to read more or purchase…

From the USA:

From the UK:

I also offer a small selection of vintage book finds, mostly English, some French in my own Shop.

*If you would like to read more about Affiliates, visit Nourishing Pumpjack & Piddlewick page.



    1. It’s such a fun book!

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