Longing to travel this summer? Let the newest batch of drink books help scratch that itch. This latest crop will take you around the world to learn about mezcal in Mexico and beer in ancient Egypt. More of a homebody? Delve into the unbelievable details of a true case of wine forgery, or the seedy history of Al Capone’s illicit market for booze during Prohibition. Either way, fill your glass and find a comfy seat.
In Vino Duplicitas: The Rise and Fall of a Wine Forger Extraordinaire by Peter Hellman
Like Law & Order for oenophiles, In Vino Duplicitas is a true crime account set among the cognoscenti of the wine world. Hailed as a virtuoso of wine tasting when he first appeared on the scene in 2002, Rudy Kurniawan swiftly became a legendary purveyor of rare and coveted bottles—until one of his lots was pulled from auction as fraudulent. Journalist Peter Hellman’s new book profiles the tactics and ultimate downfall of Kurniawan, the unassuming character at the center of one of the largest cases of wine fraud in history.
Ancient Brews: Rediscovered and Re-created by Patrick McGovern
Patrick McGovern is the scientific director of the University of Pennsylvania Museum’s bio-molecular archaeology project. He also enjoys a fine beer. This marriage of profession and passion has led to the discovery of ancient beverage recipes through the examination of organic compound residue on drinking and storage vessels. But McGovern wasn’t content to simply learn about it—he wanted to drink it. A collaboration with Sam Calagione, founder of Dogfish Head, saw the creation of beers like the much-celebrated Midas Touch. McGovern’s new book, with a forward from Calagione, delves deep into the delicious tale of history and scientific discovery.
The Dirty Guide to Wine: Following Flavor from Ground to Glass by Alice Feiring
With so much emphasis being placed on wine varietal, Alice Feiring is encouraging people to look deeper—or dig, as it were—into the dirt itself. A longtime wine writer and natural wine advocate, Feiring looks at the impact of soil and stone as a means of gaining new insight on wine and broadening our understanding of the true impact of terroir. The Dirty Guide to Wine is divided into the three overarching categories of igneous, sedimentary and metaphoric, with the different types of rocks (and soils) in each category and the wine regions that display them. But as with all of Feiring’s writing, the intention goes beyond data to a place where passion is discovered through perspective.
Al Capone’s Beer Wars: A Complete History of Organized Crime in Chicago during Prohibition by John J. Binder
Bootlegging, famous gangsters, beer—what more do you need for a captivating summer read? Author and historical organized-crime expert, John Binder delves into the complete history of Prohibition in Chicago, exploring the monopoly enjoyed by the likes of Al Capone, who used a reign of violence to maintain control of the illicit booze trade.
Wine. All the Time.: The Casual Guide to Confident Drinking by Marissa A. Ross
Marissa Ross understands that choosing a bottle of wine can often feel like a stressful guessing game. As wine editor for Bon Appétit, author of the Wine. All the Time blog, and self-proclaimed leisure enthusiast, Ross wants drinking to be fun, offering easily quaffable tips, such as how to decipher a wine label, how to describe what you’re drinking and how to host a kick-ass wine dinner. More wine, less whine.
Mezcal: The History, Craft & Cocktails of the World’s Ultimate Artisanal Spirit by Emma Janzen
Relatively new to the international stage yet skyrocketing in popularity, mezcal is the spirit to know. Journalist (and Imbibe digital editor) Emma Janzen delves into the centuries-old history of the drink in Mexico where, despite its recent market growth, the majority of the spirit is still produced by independent makers using techniques passed down through generations. From the types of agaves used in production to creative cocktail applications at bars across the country, Janzen’s thorough exploration serves as a perfect primer on the topic.
Bursting Bubbles: A Secret History of Champagne and the Rise of the Great Growers by Robert Walters
Famous the world over, Champagne has long been seen as a symbol of the elite. In his new book, wine merchant, vineyard owner and longtime wine writer Robert Walters delves into the history and ensuing commercialization of Champagne, wherein large manufacturers realized they could simply add sweetness and sparkle to inferior wine—what Walters has dubbed the “world’s first mass-market party drug.”
Rum Curious: The Indispensable Tasting Guide to the World’s Spirit by Fred Minnick
Drinks writer and renowned whiskey expert Fred Minnick turns his curiosity toward a new spirit—the drink of pirates and tropical beaches and an often complicated history. In a whirlwind world tour, Minnick explores the sheer variety of rums and offers a comprehensive approach to tasting and understanding what’s in the glass.