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The Wild Vine is a must read for any lover of American wine or what we like to call “weird varietals”. Weird varietals are obscure wines that are often made from indiginous grapes or hybrids. In this case, The Wild Vine chronicles the birth, growth and near death experience of Norton, a grape that its author calls the most American of grapes. As you learn in the book, it’s obscure, a hybrid and indiginous to the United States.
The first print of The Savoy Cocktail Book was written during the darkest hours of Prohibition by a barman that sought refuge at the famed American Bar in the Savoy Hotel in London. Like many great American barman, Harry Craddock was forced to flee his native land in order to ply his craft. Luckily for us, he headed off to the American Bar where he was the head barman from 1925 to 1939 and wrote this time honored cocktail book. For those in love with the current craft cocktail movement, this book can be your blueprint. For many years, it was the bartender’s bible and served as an oasis in the American bartending movement, which has only now began to truly recover from Prohibition.
While January 16 marks a sad day in US history (it’s the day that Prohibition went into effect), it’s opposite is Repeal Day, which occurs on December 5. We thought that we would throw a discussion of Repeal Day into the mix to make sure that everyone knew Prohibition ultimately had a happy ending. Repeal Day is celebrated around the United States every year and each year, the celebration grows. For Repeal Day 2011, DOTW took to the road and journeyed across the country to spend it with our friends at the Left Coast Bartenders Guild in Tampa Bay, Florida.
When The Rivers Ran Red examines the impact of Prohibition on California’s wine country, particularly the famed Sonoma County. Vivienne Sosnowski spent many hours researching this little discussed topic, including hours of oral interviews with the few survivors of Prohibition, who were in their 90’s by the time Ms. Sosnowsky interviewed them. I have to admit that this book made me see red when reading it. Living in San Francisco, we are in close proximity to the wine country, and I particularly love Sonoma Valley. I could only imagine the impact that Prohibition had on so many hard working Americans in the wine industry.
I didn’t know much about Four Roses Bourbon other than that my friend Ingrid really, really likes it! We recently received a bottle of the Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon with the identification of Warehouse DS and Barrel 3-1I. Apparently, each of the Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon bottles come marked with their barrel identification and warehouse storage location. I thought that was pretty cool as bottles from different barrels can conceivably taste pretty different. It would be fascinating to track down a number of these bottles and do a taste test!
We are avowed bibliophiles (book lovers) at DOTW and consume books on drink history, spirits and cocktails. There have been amazing books published in the last few years on drinking history, Prohibition and the exploration of cocktail culture. We can’t think of a better gift to give this holiday season than a book.
As you know, we try to make Wine Wednesday’s fun and bring you interesting-yet-affordable wines for $10 and under. Our assignment is often challenging; it isn’t always easy to find wine at the $10 and under price point and end up drinking a fair amount of wine to bring you 52 Wine Wednesdays a year. This week’s pick is a familiar varietal from a relatively unfamiliar region.
This week’s Wine Wednesday is a Cabernet Sauvignon … Read more