“Living Loaded”: The Wine and Spirits Travel Adventures of Dan Dunn

I write about wine and spirits travels around the world, but none of my adventures can quite compare with those of Dan Dunn. After all, how do you compare anything to the life of a wine and spirits writer who works for Playboy?

Living Loadedis the true story (with a few exaggerations thrown in there) of Dan Dunn, a liquor and wine writer whose main outlet is Playboy Magazine. Dan spends more than half his life traveling around the world. His dysfunctional upbringing in Philadelphia and inability to commit to a long term relationship fuels his need for heavy duty sex, drugs and booze. And these vices fit nicely in his profession. It is a battle he often discusses with himself, though not in the same way his mentally disabled mother does.

My life lends itself to more time for writing books than reading them, but this one had me engaged from beginning to end. There was times when I shook my head in disbelief and others when I smiled because I totally got it, but most of all, I spent a descent amount of time laughing out loud.

Beyond the fact that Dan is in the same professional as I am (well, sort of, my adventures are much more PG rated), there’s another reason I was anxious to read this book.  I was actually on a spirited adventure with Dan Dunn when he was starting writing Living Loaded. No, it wasn’t the kind of adventure depicted in this book, it was a Cognac trip with DISCUS (left). It was my first trip in this field, and I was thrown into the fire with some heavyweight booze writers. Dan was one of the writers that made me feel like I somewhat knew what I was doing (he also gladly finished any cognac samples I didn’t want).

Anyone reading Dan’s exploits in Living Loaded might think of him as a jerk (sorry, Dan, but keep reading…), but the ironic thing is je anything but that. He is actually a rare gentleman that will hold the door open for you (and not open the only door between your bedrooms). So, before you sit down with Living Loaded – and you should – keep that in mind. 

It all comes down to a conversation with his editor, one all of us in the business have had with a friend, family member or someone we were working for…

Editor: “Traveling the world, drinking and eating, having to type all those big words with your tender little fingers;. I’m sure it’s simply devastating.”
Dan Dunn: “It’s a grind, is all I’m saying. Being on the road all the time, the booze, the jetlag. Deadline pressure. And the pay isn’t want it used to be. It takes its toll.”

It does. And the only way to truly understand this is to get a copy of Living Loaded from Amazon and check out Dan Dunn’s Imbiber column.


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