"I could and would forgo any other liquid forever as long as I might drink one humble wine with my daily bread." MFK Fisher
We are a nation of wine lovers and wine drinkers. But how much do we know about the wine we drink, how it got here, and where it came from? What are the stories behind each glass of Bordeaux, Rioja, or Gewurztraminer that we find ourselves quaffing happily in the country's wine bars?
Nina Caplan, award-winning wine and travel writer, goes in search of the founding myths of our oenophilic civilization. Her journey takes her from a very personal case of her father's champagne arriving at her doorstep in 2003, through Northern France, Champagne, the Rhone, into Northern Spain, Andalucia and on into Sicily, and finally to Rome where it all began- when the Romans cultivated the first vines, eventually brought to England by their Celtic adversaries, the Gauls.
Following the Roman Empire she sets out from England to Burgundy, home of the Aedui tribe; on to the French medieval monasteries where the monks' need for wine for the Eucharist led to a profound knowledge of viticulture; through Avignon, home for many years to wine-loving popes in exile; Bordeaux, where English tastes were fed by French vines; Barcelona and Granada where one of the oldest parts of the Alhambra still contains the Puerta del Vino or "Wine Gate." Finally Nina arrives in Rome, seat of wine-loving Emperors and birthplace of an Empire that conquered half the known world.
A heady blend of history, culture, food, and drink, this is narrative travel writing at its absolute best.