The Wine Tipster Reviews: Firing Blancs by Peter Stafford-Bow

Peter Stafford-Bow’s latest release, Firing Blancs, is an hilarious read from start to finish – showing the industry in every possible light and making sure no one gets away unscathed by Stafford-Bow’s light-hearted satirical narrative.

Volume three of the acclaimed Felix Hart Novels, Firing Blancs, offers some welcome escapism from the current climate. Despite his publisher’s wish to push its release to September 2020, Stafford-Bow’s assertion that this is what the world needs right now is entirely accurate – thank goodness for its June release date just in time for summer reading.

Featuring an array of comedic, outlandish and, dare-I-say, recognisable characters in the fictional Gatesave Supermarket and vineyards of South Africa, this book goes down a treat with a glass of something and an evening or two.

Like the previous two novels in the series, Corkscrew and Brut Force, Firing Blancs is rich with scathing insights into the world of wine in ways that readers from any industry can’t help but laugh at. As one who is familiar with the Wine and Drinks Industry, the book certainly shows every side of the business and with a self-awareness that makes its riotous plot and tone really hit the mark. Stafford-Bow’s award-worthy writing shines through in this fast-paced, masterfully executed and well-structured satire. The South African setting flits between beautiful vineyard scenes and dramatic holiday from hell vibes, making for a drink splutteringly good read.

Ever the hapless protagonist, Hart’s witty cynicism, bold interpretations of the truth and outrageous confidence make him what all great characters should be – loveable, loosely relatable and just a tad more adventurous than you would be in the absurd situations Hart finds himself in. I particularly enjoyed his taste for the finer things in life, and his daringly unapologetic ways of obtaining them – I’d hate to be his manager! His great comebacks and hilarious conversations, with an air of sophistication above others, are hugely enjoyable and his undercover persona even in the tightest of scrapes is still humorously confident and charming.

If you find yourself short of time to read it, although I highly recommend that you make the time to enjoy it like a good vintage, Peter Stafford-Bow has taken to YouTube for Wine O’Clock to share readings of the book with viewers.


Available to buy from Waterstones, Amazon, Audible, Apple Books, IndieBound (USA), and Bookshop (USA), as well as from a range of independent UK bookshops listed on Peter Stafford-Bow’s website

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