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Monday, August 22, 2011

Drink Book of the Month!!

1. WINE; a cultural history (Reaktion Books, 2010, 2011, 280 pages,
ISBN 978-1-86189-790-9, $29 US soft covers) is by John Varriano, a
published art history professor, now emeritus from Mount Holyoke
College. It is actually a catalogue/guide to the exhibition "Wine and
Spirit: Rituals, Remedies, and Revelry" which was organized by Mount
Holyoke. The exhibition began in Massachusetts and moved to Rochester
New York. This is a celebratory book as told in reproductions of works
of art. Wine has a rich history: it has been found everywhere, used in
all circumstances from healing to religious ceremonies to dinner
parties to drunken bacchanalia. Varriano emphasizes the polarizing
effect wine has had on society and culture through the ages in this
richly illustrative book. He covers art, literature, science,
technology of wine making, and the like, in a witty, informative and
informal style. There are about 105 illustrations (88 in colour). As
such, it's more accessible than Younger's "Gods, Men and Wine" (1966).
There are extensive end notes and a long bibliography for further
Audience and level of use: the casual art or wine lover, those
interested in the cultural history of wine.
Quality/Price Rating: 90.

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