Drinking books

Martin Field 2009-09-17T08:37:09+00:000000000930200909 Wine

Under the Influence – A history of alcohol in Australia

Ross Fitzgerald and Trevor Jordan. ABC Books, Paperback. $33.

Booze consumption, its benefits and abuse, have been an integral part of the history of Australia since the days of white colonisation. The authors present readers with a well-researched, academically referenced yet eminently readable account of the sometimes over indulgent foundations of this alcohol-girt land.

Wolf Blass – behind the bow-tie

Liz Johnston. Fairfax Books. Large format paperback – illustrated. $40

In 1961, Wolf Blass was head hunted and brought to Australia by wine scientist Ian Hickinbotham. This recruitment and their early partnership arguably changed the face of Australian winemaking.

Blass has had a remarkably successful career in Australia and author Liz Johnston traces his beginnings and subsequent adventures in her well-illustrated biography.

The Australian Wine Encyclopedia

James Halliday. Hardie Grant Books. Hardback. $60.

I don’t know how James Halliday does it. A prodigious output of well written, authoritative books, based on a wealth of personal knowledge and sound research. Here is another one. If you want to look up the hard facts on any facet of Australian wine – its families, technology, grape types, winemaking, regions, and lots more – this is the book for you.

Australian Wine Companion 2010

James Halliday. Hardie Grant Books. Paperback. $35.

Halliday’s annual guide gets bigger and better, with nearly 6000 tasting notes and details of nearly 1500 wineries. A necessary reference for any casual or serious wine buyer.

From the local library

Just finished a rambling, enjoyable book – Raw Spirit – by leftie sci-fi / mainstream author, Iain Banks. Published in 2003, it’s his account of a tour around Scotland’s single malt whisky distilleries and is a rollicking Grange gulping, Bush/Blair hating, petrol headed, digression laden, peat perfumed load of lovely old stuff. Worth a look. See also Scotch Malt Whisky Society.

: book reviews, malt whisky, Wine