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Book Review: The New Chardonnay

Book Review: The New Chardonnay


Book Review: The New Chardonnay

In her engaging book, Heather Cabot argues cannabis is the great societal unifier.

In The New Chardonnay, award-winning journalist and former ABC News anchor Heather Cabot, explores how cannabis shed its “reefer madness” stereotype and — seemingly overnight — moved into the homes of wine-sipping soccer moms looking to take the edge off when the clock hits five.

Cabot’s writing style is engaging and informative as she seamlessly weaves the stories of various cannabis entrepreneurs willing to risk it all to profit from the Green Rush. Three years in the making, Cabot travels all across the U.S. with a stop in Canada, accompanying these characters in person, taking note of their conversations and personalities, and ultimately what drives them to reach success. She brings the reader with her, giving us an inside look into their homes and offices, courtrooms, release parties and bigwig networking events.

We meet Beth Stavola of the Jersey Shore, a boss babe and mother of six deemed “the Queen of Marijuana;” Jeff Danzer, former fashion marketing executive turned high-end cannabis chef; Ted Chung and Tiffany Chin, Wharton grads and masterminds behind Snoop Dogg’s cannabis endeavors; Bruce Linton, founder of the world’s first publicly traded cannabis company; and Mel McDonald, a devout Mormon and former U.S. attorney during Reagan’s War on Drugs who changed his stance on cannabis after the plant saved his son’s life.

The cast of characters spans a range of socio-economic backgrounds and their interests in cannabis all stem from different places. Cabot’s selection is no accident — their experiences give way to a larger narrative that shows how cannabis is changing lives for the better as it transitions from a taboo drug to an alternative medicine, to a sophisticated option for winding down.

Along the way, Cabot educates readers on the path toward legalization, highlighting political and voter interests while showcasing the complexities of implementing new infrastructure for both medical and recreational sales alongside the underground market. 

A great introduction for the canna-curious, the book outlines common terms such as indica and sativa and explains how the body interacts with the endocannabinoid system. It also shares new, innovative consumption methods, such as vape pens, precisely dosed gummies, pressed tablets, infused beverages and gourmet edibles. It’s a whole new world for those wary consumers who may have hit the gravity bong too hard back in high school. More seasoned consumers should also find the novel a good refresher while learning about some of the most successful people in the industry.

The New Chardonnay has a catchy title, and while it certainly offers insight into the continually growing cannabis customer base of women who are seeking alternative options for medicine and stress relief, at its core, this piece of investigative journalism is about the healing and unifying power of cannabis across all margins of society. It’s about how cannabis can change the world.

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