I'll never forget whatsisname. . .

I’m reading, enjoying, and learning a lot from “Inventing Wine: A New History of One of the World’s Oldest Pleasures,” by Paul Lukacs (W.W. Norton, $28.95), a fascinating book. The author essentially re-tells the story of wine from a skeptical point of view rather than the usual romantic angle, adding science and commerce to the mix to provide some new assessments to an old story.
       One such note is ironic: In the Middle Ages, people re-discovered an ancient Roman idea, making wine from dried or semi-dried grapes—the alcohol was higher, which helped preserve the wine, and sweeter, which offset the variable flavors and inevitable spoilage. The wines were highly prized, and in honor of the tradition, they were known as “Romneys.” Surely, the lifelong teetotal recent former Presidential candidate (remember him?) will appreciate that this particular irony didn’t turn up during the campaign. . .

Being perfectly Frank

Cleaning out some old files, I came across an article I wrote a bit more than a decade ago, which included some remarks from my old friend Frank Prial, the distinguished columnist for The New York Times who died last year. What he said is still relevant:
          "Class and price have come to mean the same thing, unfortunately, and too often we see people afraid not to spend a lot of money on ‘fine wine.’ In many cases, price and availability are the defining elements of ‘quality.’ . . . ‘World-class,’ if we must use the term, should apply to all categories at all levels—a good $10 bottle that’s the best in its class is world-class to me.’”
          Amen.
copyright 2010-2015 by Brian St. Pierre