Wine and spirits expert Becky Sue Epstein is an experienced editor, broadcaster and consultant in the fields of wine, spirits, food and travel. Currently based in New England, she holds several positions requiring a substantial amount of (mainly enjoyable) worldwide wine- and spirits-related travel.

In between trips, tastings and events, Epstein writes books. Her award-winning cookbook The American Lighthouse Cookbook (Sourcebooks/Cumberland, co-written with Chef Ed Jackson) came out last year. Her second book is an entirely new update of the classic kitchen reference Substituting Ingredients (Sourcebooks June 2010) which is already in its third printing.

Her book, Champagne:A Global History (Reaktion, September 2011), includes sparkling wines from around the world; available in print and ebook formats.

Brandy: A Global History (Reaktion, September 2014) is her latest book. It chronicles the history of this very popular spirit, traveling from medieval alchemists to present-day drink mixologists and exploring brandy’s production and consumption from the Middle Ages to today.

Latest Articles

Follow me in my travels

More Unsatisfactory Chardonnay
So much of the time I’m disappointed – or even appalled – when I taste Chardonnay wines. I’d like to say this time was different. But it wasn’t. Paul Hobbs’ 2013 Crossbarn Chardonnay (around $26) offers a variety of very separate sensations. Perhaps they will come together in the future, but why not wait until then to release the wine? After tasting, I studied the label more carefully. The grapes come from respected areas: Sonoma Coast and Sonoma County. Which should have been fine. Only it wasn’t. Scents of flowers, dark fruit and cardboard wafted through the aroma. A bit of sweetness reared its head on the palate, only to be knocked down by bitterness on the end-palate, with bitter… Read more
This Mom Needs Help: Wine & Champagne
Becky Sue shares tips, hints and shortcuts to buying, storing and serving wonderful wines and champagnes on “This Mom Needs Help”.
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It’s OK to eat Chocolate – but make sure it’s good: Theo from Seattle
Remember when we found out that it was OK to eat chocolate? I mean when we were told that a little dark chocolate could be good for us? And remember that countless companies started producing dark chocolate, and everyone started raving about anything with a higher cocoa content. As usual with fads, a lot of it was hype. Just because 70% is written on a label, doesn’t mean the chocolate is good. Now, a few years later, many of us have learned that lesson. Another element in chocolate development was “fair trade.” Many people gobbled chocolate in order to help farmers at remote cocoa farms. And they did help. But again, not all of that chocolate was great. Times have… Read more