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

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When You Don’t Want to Give up Summer Whites: Wines of Alsace for Dinner
When it has cooled off enough to go back into the kitchen, we’re thinking about cooking again. Maybe grilling sausages, roasting meats, even putting potato gratin back on the menu. But we don’t want to give up our white wines just yet…So here is the third of three suggestions about how to extend summer in your glass, during dinner. We’re looking toward Alsace for the answer. A hilly region in the northeastern part of France, this area specializes in fine country-style cooking, with an emphasis on “fine,” from hearty meats to dishes with mushrooms and eggs, and even some freshwater fish occasionally. Start out with a delectable sparkling Cremant d’Alsace – this region is near Champagne, after all – like… Read more
Drinking Tall, Blonde and American: Guinness Blonde American Lager
On their third try, Guinness brewmaster Joe Gruss says, they “got it right” and now Guinness is in production on the first in their Discovery Series: Guinness Blonde American Lager. “Blonde” because of the golden color from the Mt. Hood and their trademarked Mosaic malts. “American” because…yes, it’s produced in the US, specifically in Pennsylvania. This golden amber beverage has a biscuity aroma, with light maltiness up front, some sweetness throughout, a softly bitter finish and distinctive hop flavor and a pleasant citrus tone that keeps it fresh. It pairs beautifully with buttery foods. Like the creamy, white chowder and crusted Faroe Island salmon dishes we sampled at the recent launch party at Bostonia Public House. Why is Guinness producing… Read more
3 Ways to Extend Summer in your Glass: Part 2, the Cocktail
When the warmth of the sun banishes autumn’s cool air, and the evening is just beginning, here is the second of three suggestions on what to pour into your glass to extend the feel of summer. The day I got a bottle of G’Vine Floraison gin I took it to a cocktail party and my friend Marti was already there using her own bottle to make French 75s – way to go, Marti! This is a lighter gin, tending toward complex and floral, and it comes from France’s Cognac region. G’Vine is made with the same grapes used in cognac – as well as a distillation of the grape flowers, and other botanicals like coriander, cassia bark (aka cinnamon), peppery… Read more