drinking

Circling the ‘Small Death’ of Alcoholism in A.A. Gill’s ‘Pour Me, a Life’

Lee Polevoi

In England, A.A. Gill has achieved a fair degree of notoriety as an outspoken restaurant and television critic. This notoriety apparently stems in part from his caustic and outspoken point of view, some of which bleeds into his memoir about life as a disappointed art student, habitué of down-at-the-heel environments like Soho at its seediest best in the late 1970s and as a far-from-ideal husband and lover. All of this is rendered with impressive honesty and in vivid language. 

How Millennials Reshaped the Wine Industry

Angelo Franco

As Millennials make their move out of college and into the workforce, their drinking habits also change. They opt for the sophistication often associated with wine—as well as cocktails and craft brews—over the party favors of liquor and mass-produced beers.  In addition, Millennials apparently do not need a special occasion to drink wine; rather, they find drinking wine to be a social activity as well as a relaxing one, such as when cooking or watching television.  The reverberation of this is that while Millennials are paying less for wine than their Boomers counterpart because of socioeconomic reasons.

A Toast to Cocktails in Literature

Benjamin Wright

Throughout the works of Russian writers, like Tolstoy and Chekhov, the characters drink vodka like there is no tomorrow, and also wine, as in Tolstoy’s War and Peace. Mead, the delicious honey wine first created by the ancients, played a significant role in Beowulf, with Beowulf, the hero, defending the king’s mead hall against the terrifying beast, Grendel. In works like Steinbeck’s classic moral tale, The Pearl, the featured drink of choice is pulque, a beverage made from the maguey plant’s fermented sap. 

Savoring Tequila and the Sophisticated Tastes of Mexico

Nancy Lackey Shaffer

Mexico carefully guards the name and legacy of its national spirit. Any liquor bearing the label “tequila” must be produced in Mexico, from blue agave (Agave tequilana azul) of the Weber Blue variety grown in Jalisco, or tequila of specially designated regions of Nayarit, Guanajuato, Michoacán and Tamaulipas. Distilleries are also carefully regulated, and assigned a NOM (Norma Oficial Mexicana) number. Much of the mass-produced tequila found in American liquor stores comes from fairly young agave plants, harvested when the sap is tart and acidic. 

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