Napa Valley Maps from Vinous
Here’s something for the wine geek in your circle. Vinous has published a cutting-edge series of vineyard maps. These are not whimsical maps crafted to be hit on social media. These are precise vineyard maps that will be the standard for a generation. Hard-core cartography went into these maps and is available for six appellations within Napa: Pritchard Hill, Oakville, Stags Leap, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, and Yountville. Vinous Napa Valley Vineyard Maps
Colonial Spirits: A Toast to Our Drunken History
Author Steven Grasse is an interesting man. He’s the Philly native who invented Sailor Jerry rum and Hendrick’s gin. He is also the guy behind the re-boot of Narragansett beer (my favorite part of the movie Jaws), as well as the owner of two new distilleries: Tamworth Distilling in New Hampshire, and Art in the Age right here in Philadelphia.
The book reflects Steven’s deep love of booze and his uncanny ability to translate America’s spirited history into a modern-day vernacular. His cocktail recipes are legit and well-thought-out, and about 50 are included in this book.
Colonial Spirits is more than just a book of cocktail recipes. It’s a lively history of drinking in America. The book is a great gift for any drunk historian in your circle. Colonial Spirits: A Toast to Our Drunken History (Amazon)
Vertical: The Follow-up to Sideways
When the movie Sideways came out in 2004, I had been in Philly for only a few years. I school, I had read a lot of books about winemaking, but I really hadn’t read any wine-themed fiction. I was lucky enough to be invited to the Philly premiere of the movie, and I had a blast. I eventually went back and read the book a few years back and loved it.
Somewhat belatedly, I discovered that the author Rex Pickett had written a follow-up. Vertical is a darkly comedic book, just like Sideways, and is staged in the Pinot country of Willamette Valley in Oregon. The wineries are the star of the show in this book, including Archery Summit, Bergström, St. Innocent, and Van Duzer.
It’s a darker read than Sideways, but any fan of the first book should have this in their collection. Vertical: The Follow-Up to Sideways by Pickett, Rex (2010) Paperback (Amazon)
Real Food Fake Food
The food trade has always taken a bit of literary license when it comes to the provenance of its products. Is that Jamon really from Spain? Is that olive oil really from Italy? Is that brie from France? Is that really lobster? Is that really Kobe beef?
Larry Olmsted has crafted an engaging and well-researched book that shines a light on some of the darker corners of fine food. Real Food/Fake Food: Why You Don’t Know What You’re Eating and What You Can Do About It (Amazon)
This was one of those bottles I didn’t expect to like. High-end vermouth from California? But this is a Duggan McDonnell project. If you don’t know the name, he is a bartender-turned-svengali of the cocktail world. His company, Liquid Think Tank, is one of the most famous ad agencies in the wine & spirits industry.
Like all white vermouth, the Jardesca is a fortified wine infused with herbs, but it’s a thoroughly modernized one. It’s much brighter and fresher than the french and Italian bottlings. Served on the rocks with a twist, this is a great holiday aperitif. Jardesca Aperitif
A Gift Certificate to the Wine School
Yeah, a bit of blatant self-promotion, but can you blame us? It’s the holidays.
If you love the Wine School, then spread the love! Our gift certificates never expire and can be used for a wide variety of classes and programs, including wine classes, spirits classes, beer classes, cooking classes, and sommelier programs. Certificates can be for any amount you like, from $10 to $10 million*
*We’d suggest something between $40 and $600. If you plan on spending $10 million, we’ll throw in a massage from the school’s president, a bottle of our finest champagne, and a horse-drawn carriage ride through Rittenhouse.