Drink Your Words

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An engrossing read full of sharp wit and heartfelt wonder. Leaving a stable career and job to pursue her passion of wine, Carolyn, sets off on the trip of a lifetime. A self-proclaimed drifter, she journeys across the state bypassing Napa Valley in favor of less famous wine regions from Santa Barbara to the Sierra Foothills. Her experiences will shed a new light on California’s “other” Wine Country whether you’re a seasoned or novice wine lover.
Leslie Sbrocco

Author and Television Host

For wine lovers and professionals who grew up with Kermit Lynch’s classic Adventures on the Wine Route, here is a “Calicentric” journal of adventures in the Golden State”s frontier wine regions. But whereas Lynch searched around France for wines that “bite back,” wine expert Carolyn Dismuke takes a year off from her city job and chances upon larger than life personalities who make and drink sexy wines that bear hug, caress, and express the joy of California dreaming.
Robin L. Rosenberg, Ph.D.

Seaholm Wines and Liquors, New York

Drink Your Words book cover with Indie Award Medal

Carolyn Dismuke thought she was living the dream, but her view changed when she noticed beautiful vineyards on back roads. She became a diligent student in a world-renowned wine studies program, where she mastered the classic regions. Curious for more, she packed her wanderlust and set out to live in a different California region every month to soak in all the juicy details.
Join her on her journey for answers to many of life’s bubbling questions:

  • Discover the bounty that thrives beyond Napa
  • Find out why some old vines are replaced while others are revered
  • Enjoy the tales and life lessons of a solo traveler

You can purchase Drink Your Words from these sellers! Check out the author’s radio interview.


Just north of Santa Barbara, the small village of Solvang welcomes tourists and travelers with an abundance of hotels, motels, and inns. But the local heartbeat of the region is in the next town east, Santa Ynez, where vineyards and ranches thrive. In Santa Ynez, I rented a furnished bunkhouse on a five-acre horse ranch owned by a woman whose kids and grandkids ran around the corrals calling her Goose. She greeted me with a platter of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies, a bowl of apples picked from the tree next to her house, and a refrigerator filled with fresh-laid eggs from her henhouse. As heartwarming as it felt to see someone live up to a nickname like Mother Goose, the fluffy white comforter adorning the heavenly bed was the most welcome sight to this nomad.

I missed quite a bit about my life in San Francisco—my job, my apartment, and most of all my friends—but I welcomed the culture change of living on a big horse ranch. The pleasant climate and beautiful mountain scenery moved me to take morning hikes through the neighborhood with the friendliest horse I’d ever encountered cheering me on. This cinnamon-colored quarter horse named Angel would point her perky ears toward the sun and come to the fence to greet me every time I approached. She’d reach her nose over the top of the log fence and gently neigh as though she were chatting with me. She would even walk with me along the fenced border when I exited the property and would be there waiting at the same spot whenever I returned.




Farming practices aimed at cultivating healthy soil to garden and farm more ecological and ethical food.


A blend of wine or wine made from more than one grape.


A set of wines poured for a tasting.

Head-Trained Vines

A traditional viticulture technique where vines are not trained using wires.


Tear shaped drops of wine that trickle down the inside of your glass after you swirl.


Pronounced like heritage, meritage is a red blend that has some or all five of the noble Bordeaux varietals: cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, malbec, merlot, and petit verdot

Natural Wine

Natural wine means different things to different people but usually refers to wines produced with few or no additives. It supports a trend toward using traditional winemaking methods.


A connoisseur of wines.


A wine bottle with no label that contains wine from a barrel


A wine steward


The characteristics a wine develops due to its environment such as soil, climate, and location.


A wine’s ability to represent the hallmark characteristics of the grape used to produce it. It is often used to signify a wine’s quality to epitomize a grape’s signature characteristics.


Unfined wines are not clarified by filtration so they may have some sediment.


A grape variety


The process of cultivating and harvesting grapes for the purpose of making wine.