Red Wine and Blue
Americans have a long and contradictory history of imbibing and proscribing.
Why Wine Matters
by Jonathan Nossiter
$26.00 List Price
Alcohol can cause delusions—among Americans, anyway, who think it's reasonable to let a person vote and go to war before giving them the right to sip a fuzzy navel. And these are just the latest symptoms of this affliction, which dates back to colonial days. According to wine-industry lawyer and vintner Richard Mendelson, author of the very engaging From Demon to Darling: A Legal History of Wine in America (University of California Press, $30), "early temperance advocates believed that beer and wine played a critical role in encouraging a life of temperance. So accepted was this wisdom that the 'Massachusetts Society for the Suppression of Intemperance . . . served wine at its gatherings.'" As Garrett Peck writes in The Prohibition Hangover: Alcohol in America from Demon Rum to Cult Cabernet (Rutgers University
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