Each year I like to share book recommendations for wine-related books I’ve read in the past year, for those who like to up the ante on their family and friends’ wine libraries… The book library, of course.

Here’s my list and a paragraph about each one for new books in 2014:

Mint Juleps with Teddy Roosevelt, The Compete History of Presidential Drinking, by Mark Will-Weber

Mint Juleps with Teddy Roosevelt, The Compete History of Presidential Drinking, by Mark Will-Weber, is a well researched and documented history book, the likes of which we’ve yet had revealed. Enlightening, frightening, and really captivating, this book will never be pried out of my stiffly clutched arms. I think I’ll take it with me for fun and giggles in the great beyond, for sheer entertainment, when I meet this cast of characters on my advisory board.

This is an excellent resource, written in an amusing and entertaining way… A very easy read and even easier recommendation. Mark explains who in the White House abstained, who imbibed, and who over-indulged during Prohibition. Secrets revealed…

The blog’s full report

Have you ever thought about Making Your Own Wine at Home? by Lori Stahl

Making your own wine is done by a lot of home winemakers. And, if you’ve ever thought about making your own wine, right in the comfort of your home, there’s a great new book on the market. Written by Lori Stahl, and published by Fox Chapel Publishing, Making Your Own Wine at Home is a no nonsense book that’s a practical, how-to beginners’ guide. Lori gives us creative recipes for making grape, fruit, and herb wines. From Fox Chapel’s Website…

Lori spent two cultivations with Jim and Sandy Whitmyer at their Coopers Hill Farm, based in Lititz, Pennsylvania. This is where she gathered her insights and learned all of the nuances of their wine supply business. This was great background for then going on to write about what she had learned…

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Fusion Food in the Vegan Kitchen and great wine pairings, by Joni Marie Newman

Pairing Fusion Food in the Vegan Kitchen recipes with some recently tasted wines was a great education for me.

Fusion Food in the Vegan Kitchen, published by Fair Winds, offers fresh ideas and flavor combinations for anyone, as it would for any vegan on the path of finding culinary satisfaction. The book is subtitled: 125 Comfort Food Classics, Reinvented with an Ethnic Twist!

I believe this book will be one of the best additions to your cookbook collection. When it’s all said and done, my wine and cookbooks will never leave me in this lifetime. I schlepped many of them from Maine to California, costing a bundle in shipping fees. They’re the books of life. Treasure your moments with your food and wine books. They nurture us in immeasurable ways.

The blog’s full report ~ I also include wine pairings for the recipes, so you’ll know how this book works for not only vegans, but guests who will love the vegetable dishes.

Reread: The First Global Village ~ How Portugal Changed the World, by Martin Page

In a historical time-line, Portugal has had pivotal dates and people, which have affected their country; and, in a trickle-down effect, world civilization. This book’s chapters outline the dates and people who migrated to Portugal, giving it such a varied culture. Each transformation, as adapted, has added rich fibers to the tapestry threads of these fascinating people of today.

On New Year’s Day, my resolution was to learn the Portuguese culture, which was inspired by this book. The titles of the chapters indicate each invasion and the ethnic traditions left behind as a result. To read these titles puts into perspective how the last (nearly) 3,000 years, Portugal became a nation set apart from all others, and yet has so many links to the past that many people can identify with the Portuguese of today.

The blog’s full report ~ So nice, I read it twice…

Wines of South America, by Evan Goldstein

This latest book by Evan Goldstein is just brilliant, but that’s what I’ve come to expect from him; and, that’s why he’s even more important to me than the books he’s producing… Evan Goldstein is capable of taking a book that he’s written and going on the road with the eduction he’s gained in the process… to eagerly share with the world all the knowledge that he’s discovered.

Wines of South America is now the most essential guide on this region, eclipsing any other bodies of work in my wine (book) library to this point in time, if not forever. If ever there is a wine educator extraordinaire, it’s Evan Goldstein.

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Buy the Right Wine Every Time, by Tom Stevenson

Written by Tom Stevenson, and published by Sterling Publishing, Tom is one of the wine business’s most prolific authors. Tom Stevenson is a British author who’s been writing about wine for more than 30 years. He’s regarded as the world’s leading authority on Champagne; I have his Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia in my wine library; and now, I see him as a quintessential authority who’s simplified a process that has terrified more than a few smart people, by reduced buying wine to it’s lowest common denominator… He’s removed the vintages.

How can that happen, you might ask? We’ll, there are good years and there are trying years for each vintage, I’ll grant you that. However, each vigneron and winemaker strive for some level of consistency. That means that if you trust a wine brand for delivering great wines from one year tot he next, as best they can from year to year, so you’re going to most likely be successful if you stick with what you know.

The blog’s full report