Saturday, March 10, 2007

"Thomas Jefferson On Wine" book review by (PB)


Okay it is rare that we do book reviews here but when it is a book on wine, why not?

John Hailman has chronicled the expansive explorations of wine as experienced by none other than one of our nation's best known patriarchs.

Having just read David MCulloch's biography of John Adams--T. Jefferson figures prominently into the era--this book focusing on the politician's obsession with wine was utterly intriguing. Thanks to the incessant quagmire of air travel, I had plenty of time for reading and breezed through the book in a matter of a few hours.

This is pure history, albeit, as stated, focusing on the vast pursuit of the fruit of the vine, replete with the written records of Jefferson, shows us not only his preferences in wine, but his character as a man.

While this sort of book is not everyone's cup of tea, (or glass of Madeira if you prefer...) the avid oenophile should take pleasure in reading all about the world of wine in the yesteryears of our nation's history and some of its influence on current times.

It can get a bit tedious and some of the lists of Jefferson's inventories can grow a bit wearisome but for the real oenophile, this book is a must read and is enhanced all the more by having read McCulloch's book first. Raise a night light and pour a glass of port.

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