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Book Report—A Splendid Six-Pack

Posted on  | December 6, 2013   Bookmark and Share
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If you or a fellow zythophile (beer lover), enophile (wine lover) or liquorphile (OK, you get it now!) happen to be thirsty for a good read, here’s a roundup of six super stocking-stuffers published in 2013. Here’s to your health and good cheer!

THE WORLD ATLAS OF WINE, 7TH EDITION
BY HUGH JOHNSON & JANCIS ROBINSON

Mitchell Beazley/Octopus/Hachette Book Group, $55

On a roll after last year’s magisterial Wine Grapes, now Jancis Robinson, MW, and fellow English wine authority Hugh Johnson, have just released the fully updated, 7th edition of their best-selling World Atlas of Wine. This fullcolor atlas is the go-to guide to locate, see and understand the true meaning of “terroir,” be it at one of the globe’s most recently delimited appellations in Ningxia, China or one of its oldest, say, in Burgundy’s Côte d’Or.

APOTHECARY COCKTAILS: RESTORATIVE DRINKS FROM YESTERDAY AND TODAY
BY WARREN BOBROW

Fair Winds Press, $21.99

Warren Bobrow, a respected mixologist, digs deep into our country’s cocktail past and examines how late 19th century homemade and commercial remedies, most laced generously with alcohol, inspired 21st century recipes that are breathtaking in their creativity and, often, sheer savory power. This collection of 75 annotated recipes will surely get creative juices flowing.

 

THE ESSENTIAL SCRATCH & SNIFF GUIDE TO BECOMING A WINE EXPERT
BY RICHARD BETTS

Houghton Mifflin, $19.99
Richard Betts is on a simple mission: Take the starch out of pretentious wine talk by offering an approachable, sense-based guide. Employing all our senses, and concentrating on a list of four smells and flavors—fruit, earth, wood and “other”—Betts gets down to the essentials of discerning what we like in a wine’s aroma and flavors. Common-sense tools and pithy vocabulary empower readers to articulate the why in wines.

THE WINE CURMUDGEON’S GUIDE TO CHEAP WINE
BY JEFF SIEGEL

at winecurmudgeon.com, $12.95

Jeff Siegel, a regular contributor to Beverage Media, boasts his work is “perhaps the only wine book ever written that doesn’t have pictures of grapes, vineyards or hilltop wineries.” To compensate, he succinctly differentiates between a wine made cheaply and a cheap wine. He also details how to buy cheap wine and how to find a good retailer; the latter section alone is worth the price of the book for merchants interested in raising their game.

THE AUDACITY OF HOPS
BY TOM ACITELLI

Chicago Review Press, $14.64
Not so long ago, the number of operating American breweries had dwindled to below 100; today the landscape in all 50 states is dotted with microbreweries, almost 3,000 at last count! What happened? Author Tom Acitelli lays out the historical background behind this frothy renaissance. Pour a mug and savor this uplifting story, full of hops, barley and ample measures of pure American moxie.

AMERICAN WHISKEY, BOURBON & RYE
BY CLAY RISEN

Sterling, $24.95
Much as craft brewing has exploded, there have been a slew of new distilleries built, brands launched and barrels filled with all kinds of artisinal whiskies in just the last five years. On top of catching up on the history and rebirth of the America’s whiskey business, Clay Risen also offers tasting notes for more than 200 whiskies and an alphabetical listing of each distillery and the brands they age and market.


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