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Divine Vintage: Following the wine trail from Genesis to the Modern Age (January 10, 2013)

book review
by Dean Tudor, www.deantudor.com

Divine Vintage: Following the wine trail from Genesis to the Modern Age (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012; distr. Raincoast, ISBN 978-0-230-11243-8, $27 US, $31 CAN hard covers) is by Randall Heskett (biblical scholar, former wine importer, now President of Boulder University) and Joel Butler (president of the Institute of Masters of Wine, North America). Together they trace the development of both grapes and wines from the beginnings in the Fertile Crescent, through the Roman Empire, and into the Modern Era. It takes a close look at wines made with ancient techniques. There is also an interpretation with Biblical texts to references about wine, such as Jesus turning water into wine. There's also information about kosher wine and how it developed. The last half of the book deals with modern-day countries, and presents us with the current situation in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Israel and Greece, along with descriptions of wineries and some tasting notes. At the back there are end notes and a fairly comprehensive bibliography for more reading. Extremely readable.

Audience and level of use: Biblical scholars, those interested in wines from the Middle East.

Some interesting or unusual facts: All cultures and religions had wine gods, and some were better than others – Gestinanna, Osiris, Eshcol, Baal, Dionysus, Bacchus.

Quality/Price Rating: 90.

 

 

 

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