NONFICTION

First Vintage: Wine in Colonial New South Wales

Univ. of New South Wales, dist. by IPG. 2013. 304p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781742233444. $51.99; ebk. ISBN 9781742241241. BEVERAGES
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Readers may encounter few Australian wine books and fewer still on the colonial history of Australian wine, which is what makes this title such a gem. McIntyre (Australian & European history, Univ. of Newcastle, Australia) incorporates a variety of fascinating facts into this work (e.g., in 1887, there were more than 400 colonial wine shops and more than 3,000 pubs in New South Wales [NSW]). Readers will surely drink in descriptions of wine's arrival in NSW, the first vineyards (including a time line of the first wine grapes across NWS), surplus and exports (wine economists argue that surplus led directly to wine's exportation), drinking culture, technology of crushing grapes, and wine-growing regions. The appendix contains tables that list first year imported, variety, importers, vineyards, numbers of presses, and regions. Those interested in history are sure to enjoy the illustrations and historical photographs.
VERDICT Though this book is well researched, owing to its specialized subject, it will largely appeal to the serious history buff and large libraries.

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