Late one summer evening, Wilberforce - rich, young, work-obsessed and self-contained - makes an unexpected detour on the way home from the software company he owns and unwittingly takes the first step on a journey that will change his life. His uncharacteristically impulsive act leads him to the door of Caerlyon Hall, the domain of Francis Black, a place where wine, hospitality, and affection flow freely. Through Francis, the eccentric and enigmatic owner of Caerlyon, Wilberforce is initiated into a rich life he could never have imagined, becomes a willing pupil to Francis' master, and in the cellars of Caerlyon he nurtures a new-found passion for fine wine. But even the finest wine can leave a bitter aftertaste, and Wilberforce will learn that the undercroft holds some unpalatable secrets, and that passion comes at a price.More
"David Rintoul narrates this ingenious story in a wine-dark voice, rich in timbre, ranging from smoky oak to black currant, giving meaty tongue to poor Wilberforce's occasional befuddlement. His command of accents - sommelier French, Tyneside demotic, upper-class snootiness - is restrained and adept. Both novel and narration are outstanding." (Washington Post Book World)
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Very, very good.