Books are strange things. In the 21st century, they're curiously out of whack with our demands for immediacy, and fast being replaced by digital equivalents in many settings. Yet they carry a certain gravitas about them, perhaps due to their permanence or even their physical weight - not to mention
For Brits like myself, 2016 got off to a decidedly queasy start, with the extraordinary proclamations of the UK's Department of Health as it released new, draconian guidelines for alcohol consumption. Let's begin 2017 on a more positive note, ignoring for a moment the various political calamities on both sides of
When you put your nose in a glass, you may love what you smell, but how often are you at a loss to describe that essence, that bouquet? Ah, the mystery of our sense of smell. It is powerful and we can't really control it. When we smell something, our
The timing for the release of Brandy: A Global History could not be more perfect. Just as much of the country is settling in for winter’s long, cold nights, author Becky Sue Epstein comes along with a book ideally suited to curling up, under a blanket or near the fireplace,
Mozart was born in 1756. This is an admittedly odd way to begin a review of a book about wine, but stay with me. In Shadows in the Vineyard, author Max Potter tells the story of the attempt to extort the owner of the most famous vineyard in the world.
Did you know that the Kir Royale was named for a French resistance fighter? Or that the South American classic, the Pisco Sour, was invented by a bartender from Utah (!) who was working in Peru? These and other titivating tidbits are artfully presented in cocktail historian Erica Duecy's new
Wine Grapes, the huge new encyclopedic work by Jancis Robinson, Julia Harding, and José Vouillamoz covering 1,368 varieties of grapes used to make wine around the world, is at once full of surprises and unsurprising. It is full of surprises because it is full of information about the secret life
It’s a tough question to answer and it is a question that pierces straight through into our subconscious where answers are elusive. Yet, you should have an answer to the question. Anybody interested in wine that searches out information (online or otherwise) is inundated with an incomprehensible array of facts