Wine People

Wine People

Michelle Wildgen

Published August 01, 2023



An intoxicating escape into the cutthroat world of wine and the complicated terrain of women’s friendship.



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What happens when two ambitious young women, opposite in every way, join forces in a competitive male-dominated industry?

Wren and Thessaly collide when they land coveted jobs at a glamorous New York City boutique wine importer. Hardworking, by-the-book Wren comes from a modest background and has everything to prove while Thessaly hails from a family of prestigious California growers—but she is plagued by self-doubt. Thrown together at work, where they're expected to have exquisite palates, endless tolerance for alcohol and socializing, and the ability to sell, sell, sell, they regard each other with suspicion.

It’s only on an important European business trip—with everything on the line for both of them—that they unexpectedly forge an alliance that will change the course of their careers and personal lives.

With mouth-watering descriptions of food and wine, Wine People takes readers from France, Germany, and Italy to the Midwest and Sonoma. An utterly entertaining page-turner that explores how close friends can both misjudge and uplift each other.

Featured Press

“25 New Books You Need to Read This Summer”
"Like a fine wine with complex tasting notes, this alluring novel has depths to unfold...Pour a glass and dive in."
“Readers will learn a whole lot about wine through this entertaining story, leaving them one step closer to sommelier status.”
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What people are saying...

Smart and very funny, satirical but deeply felt, Wine People is a shrewd, clear-eyed love letter to wine and the people who make, import, and drink it.

Chloe Benjamin

author of The Immortalists

Wildgen beautifully captures the shifting feelings and perspectives of a long friendship evolving over time, even as she illuminates a little-known corner of wine culture. An intriguing read!

Andrea Barrett

author of Natural History

I blazed through this novel—a complicated, authentic examination of female ambition and friendship that also happens to be such fun to read.

Vauhini Vara

author of The Immortal King Rao

An intoxicating story of friendship, workplace politics, entrepreneurship, and, of course, the elixir of the Gods, Wine People is all the wine metaphors and then some. Savor it.

Elisa Albert

author of Human Blues

So intoxicatingly real and so, so smart and moving, Wildgen’s novel plumbs the depths of female friendship.

Caroline Leavitt

author of With or Without You 

Why Zibby Loves It…

Michelle Wildgen is the best food and wine writer around. In WINE PEOPLE, she turns her evocative, sensory, delicious writing to Wren and Thessaly’s relationship. There are a lot of similarities between wine and women which serve as an undercurrent to this escapist tale that lets readers into a male-dominated industry but also gives them the chance to indulge.

WINE PEOPLE is the perfect summer read: sumptuous, thought-provoking, inspiring, and so well-written.

Michelle's Book Tour

Michelle WIldgen’s Wine People launches on August 1, 2023! What better way to celebrate than with WINE of course? Join us at Table Wine in Madison, Wisconsin with Susanna Daniel to celebrate Michelle’s launch!

Michelle's tour schedule