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Inventing Wine: A New History of One of the World's Most Ancient Pleasures

A New History of One of the World's Most Ancient Pleasures

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


"Meticulously researched history…look[s] at how wine and Western civilization grew up together." —Dave McIntyre, Washington Post

Because science and technology have opened new avenues for vintners, our taste in wine has grown ever more diverse. Wine is now the subject of careful chemistry and global demand. Paul Lukacs recounts the journey of wine through history—how wine acquired its social cachet, how vintners discovered the twin importance of place and grape, and how a basic need evolved into a realm of choice.

From Publishers Weekly

Oct 29, 2012 – Rather than an eternal cultural verity, wine is the product of innovative discontinuities, according to this flavorful history. Lukacs (American Vintage) argues that superlatively drinkable modern wines bear little resemblance to the barely potable swill vinegary, quick-spoiling, adulterated (with lead!), used mainly to get drunk, commune with the gods, or decontaminate water of centuries past. In his telling, that transformation is a story of technological revolutions, from the 17th century s new-fangled bottles and corks that kept souring oxygen away to latter-day temperature-controlled vats and winery chemistry labs. Intertwined were cultural and economic shifts that transformed wine from an intrinsically sacred object first to a secular commodity subject to intense market competition and then to a bourgeois art-beverage valued more for aesthetics and cachet than inebriating power. Lukacs combines an erudite, raptly appreciative connoisseurship of fine wines with lucid analyses of the prosaics of wine production, marketing and consumption. At times he succumbs too much to the mysticism of terroir, the complex interplay of soil, climate and culture that makes a wine true to its origins, even as much of the book tacitly debunks such invent traditions. Still, his absorbing treatise shows just how much the grape s bounty owes to human ingenuity and imagination.

Customer Reviews

Informative but needs editing

This book does a thorough job of laying out the fascinating history of vin fin. However I think it could have been done with about 200 less pages. Paul Lukacs' knowledge of wine is only surpassed by his ability to say the same thing over and over in different sentence forms.

Inventing Wine: A New History of One of the World's Most Ancient Pleasures
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  • $14.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Beverages
  • Published: Oct 21, 2013
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
  • Seller: W. W. Norton
  • Print Length: 384 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings