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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

Gin, Tonic, Summer: The Guide
If you’ve spent most of the summer trying to perfect the gin-and-tonic (and many of us have) there are only a couple more weekends to get it right. I suggest getting some immediate expert help, in the form of an entire book devoted to the subject: Gin & Tonic: The Complete Guide for the Perfect Mix by Frederic Du Bois & Isabel Boons. Want to know the history of the drink? How to move from floral to fruity to spicy in your mix? It’s all in here. In addition to describing just about every gin every tonic available today, the authors include flavor diagrams, lists of top bars, key dates in gin history. AND the secret list of the herbs… Read more
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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