Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Inventing Wine - Author Paul Lukacs Featured on Fresh Air

The 8,000 year old history of wine is full of surprises, but until now, it was pretty much a necessity to slog through the brilliant but big book The Story of Wine by Hugh Johnson to get the download.

Now wine book author Paul Lukacs (author of American Vintage, and an English language professor at Loyola University) has written a new book on our favorite fascinating beverage, and tells us about it today on NPR's Fresh Air show with Terry Gross. The title is Inventing Wine: A New History of One of the World's Most Ancient Pleasures."

 Says Publisher's Weekly, "Lukacs combines an erudite, raptly appreciative connoisseurship of fine wines with lucid analyses of the prosaics of wine production, marketing, and consumption . . . His absorbing treatise shows just how much the grape’s bounty owes to human ingenuity and imagination.”

A few quotes from the show's web site give us a sense of what's in store. I ordered the book online from Amazon today, so will be diving in as soon as it arrives. It is also available in a Kindle edition for those of you who can't wait or prefer the digital version.

From the NPR web site"Pharaohs have been buried beside jugs of it. The Quran promises baths of wine in the afterlife because here on Earth, humans are too weak not to succumb to its temptations. In World War I, France sent bottles of wine to its troops to help fortify them against the horrors they were experiencing in the trenches."

Excerpt from the Interview:

"You've got to remember [that] for thousands of years, if you lived in a town or a village, the water was pretty undrinkable. ... [I]f you lived in ancient Athens or if you lived in ancient Babylon or Alexandria, you couldn't drink the water, so wine was something that people drank from morning to night. Babies drank it; old people drank it; soldiers drank it; everybody drank wine all the time, and in order for them not to be falling down drunk by 10 in the morning, they mixed it with water and used it to sanitize or purify the water."

Listen to the 45 minute audio program here.

For more about the book, see the book's web site at www.inventingwine.com - you can read a short excerpt there and see advance praise for the books.

Might just be the perfect gift for the wine lover in your life.

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