Friday, March 19, 2010

THE VINTAGE CAPER by Peter Mayle (2009)

This fly by night light read was perfect for the gym. Flitting from the excesses of Hollywood to the braggadoccio of the French Riviera, Mayle's wine heist caper is a vacuous and frothy tale about vacuous and frothy folk.

Entertainment lawyer Danny Roth has the ego to match his unmatchable wine cellar which he flaunts in a feature article published in the LA Times. While Roth is away at another home in Aspen over the holidays, the best bottles in his collection are stolen: 3 million dollars worth of wine, on the lam.

The insurance company hires Sam Levitt, a former corporate lawyer and wine connoisseur, to track down the missing vino. His journey takes him to Paris, then Bordeaux, then Provence and into the home of an eccentric billionaire collector who just might have had the wherewithal to spirit Roth's bottles away.

Though the plot is entirely predictable and the characters stock, I enjoyed learning about special vintages and being reminded of the splendour of the south of France. You'll enjoy it all the more with a piche of chilled vin rose within arm's reach.

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