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The Bad Catholic's Guide to Wine, Whiskey, & Song: A Spirited Look at Catholic Life & Lore from the Apocalypse to Zinfandel (Bad Catholic's guides) Paperback – May 1, 2007


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The Bad Catholic's Guide to Wine, Whiskey, & Song: A Spirited Look at Catholic Life & Lore from the Apocalypse to Zinfandel (Bad Catholic's guides) + The Bad Catholic's Guide to Good Living: A Loving Look at the Lighter Side of Catholic Faith, with Recipes for Feasts and Fun + The Bad Catholic's Guide to the Catechism: A Faithful, Fun-Loving Look at Catholic Dogmas, Doctrines, and Schmoctrines (Bad Catholic's guides)
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Product Details

  • Series: Bad Catholic's guides
  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: The Crossroad Publishing Company (May 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 082452411X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0824524111
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #130,899 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"All saints suffer one way or another but there are no sad saints. As this book makes abundantly clear, some more than others had the gift of earthly gladness which, by not being lived as an end in itself, points the way to heavenly joy." -- Rev. George Rutler, Author, Theologian, Host, Eternal Word Television Network

"Silly some of the time, respectful most of the time and hilarious all of the time, even the squirrel recipes sound delicious and will have me driving slower thru the red states, chumming for low cost snacks on the two lane all the way to Mardi Gras." -- Mario Batali, Chef, Host of "Molto Mario," "Mario Eats Italy," and"Ciao America" on The Food Network. Author, The Babbo Cookbook

"Thanks to John Zmirak and Denise Matychowiak's uproarious cornucopia of Catholic fun, now we can laugh ourselves up and out of literary purgatory. Their sharp-witted irreverence seldom fails to amuse--because they know the Church so well, and love her so dearly." -- Thomas McArdle, White House Speechwriter, former Communications Director, The Catholic League for Civil and Religious Rights

"This ingenious guide will leave you educated and entertained. A comical yet dignified must-read." -- Erik Blauberg, Chef, former Executive Chef, The `21' Club

From the Publisher

This book is great fun! The book moves through the year featuring different saints amd other holy people, the stories behind them and occasional recipes and other suggestions for celebrating these feast days. The saint's histories are written in a very light-hearted way although the underlying theme of this book is strong - the authors stick firmly to traditional Catholic doctrine including some of the more controversial areas such as contraception ...[A} fun and interesting book and the authors were able to very effectively and convincinlgy explain some more tricky and controversial Catholic doctrine. - Christian Marketplace, September 2006

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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This is not a preachy book, just a fun, orthodox book.
Marty
The short "chapters" mean that one can pick up this book when one has a moment and put it down again.
Marie A. Dean
Seldom has one book made me laugh out loud as many times as this one did.
Jeffrey Miller

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Miller VINE VOICE on June 6, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just finished reading this book and I can't recommend it highly enough. When John Zmirak emailed about the new book I ordered it immediately since I doubted my local Catholic book store would carry it. Though if you do find it in a Catholic book store you might be tempted to take it out in a brown paper bag (which is quite appropriate for a book on alcohol) so that you don't lose your pious creds among other store shoppers.

I had previously reviewed their first book Bad Catholics Guide to Good Living which I also enjoyed. This book takes the same format and applies it to the many intersections of the Catholics Church and the making of various spirits.

Take equal parts history, drinking songs, teleology, odd facts, monastery brewers, and add a heaping measure of humor you start to get an idea of what this book is like. At close to 400 pages this is a fairly long book and what I think is an amazing accomplishment that it is both informative and funny throughout. Seldom has one book made me laugh out loud as many times as this one did. The footnotes are also a major part of the book. If you are inclined to not read footnotes, do not do that with this book. Sometimes the footnotes provide fascinating information and sometimes they are just jaw-achingly funny.

The book covers various alcohols literally from A - Z and also contains segments on loopholes to the Ten Commandments throughout the book. This is a book only Catholics could write in the first place. There is not exactly a rich Baptist tradition between breweries and vineyards. While I was aware that many monasteries throughout history had their hand in these arts, it is rather amazing just how many connections there are of intersections between the Church and alcohol.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By David Zampino VINE VOICE on June 2, 2007
Format: Paperback
. . . romp through all things Catholic (A to Z) with an emphasis on the many contributions Catholics have made through the years in the realm of good singing -- and delicious potables!

The commentary, while truly very funny, is also quite enlightening -- and I can't wait to try some of the recipies! And the musical parodies? To DIE for!

Incidentally, for those who might think that a humorous book poking a bit of fun at the Church must be coming from a revisionist agenda -- think again! The theology presented here is quite orthodox -- and the liturgical tastes of the authors definitely seem sympathetic with the traditionalist!

Yes, it's possible to be a person of faith -- and to have a great deal of fun. This book is living proof!

Very, VERY highly recommended!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Rich Leonardi on September 1, 2007
Format: Paperback
After describing the German Kaiser's reconquest of Alsace-Loraine from France in the Franco-Prussian War and his persecution of the region's Catholics, which occurred while the forces of the Kingdom of Italy kept the Pope a prisoner in the Vatican, and which was followed by the Paris Commune's murder of dozens of French clergy and religious, author John Zmirnak writes, "All in all, the 1870s may have been even worse for the Church than the 1970s ... hard as that might be to believe." (From the entry "Gewurztraminer: The Alsacians Need Better Neighbors.") If the idea of combining libations, cuisine, history, orthodoxy, humor, and political incorrectness appeals to you, then this is your book. Highly recommended.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Penn Jacobs on September 14, 2007
Format: Paperback
John Zmirak and Denise Matychowiak's "The Bad Catholic's Guide to Wine, Whiskey & Song" is a hoot. If you look up "snarky" in the Catholic dictionary, you'll find a picture of this book. You'll find the answers to questions like:

* Why do Kentucky whiskeys bear the name of the famous French royal house of Bourbon?

* How did pisco become the national drink of Peru? (See answer below)

* Is vodka Russian or Polish in origin?

It's a random walk through the history of Christendom, viewed from an epicure/enophile perspective. Thoroughly Catholic in its attitude and orthodoxy, chock full of recipes (Matychowiak is a chef), The Bad Catholic's Guide to Wine, Whiskey & Song takes the givenness and goodness of creation and physicality seriously. They explain historical events like the Quietist heresy in France using references to things like Bobby McFerrin's hit, "Don't Worry, Be Happy." It's a funny celebration and will leave you chuckling and gabbing with friends. Highly recommended.

Oh, and about that pisco:
"[Catholic clergy] march[ed] through the country on foot[,] learning a dozen languages to preach the Gospel without the benefit of gunpowder. . . . When the priests saw the conquistadors robbing the country of everything not nailed down, and enslaving the natives to work in silver mines, they started defending the Indians' rights and organizing them on farms. Jesuits taught the Indians to grow grapes and ferment them. . . . Enraged Iberian vintners -- don't cross these people, trust us -- rioted for their right to soak the colonials, and in 1614, the ever-meddling Spanish Crown outlawed the sale of Peruvian wine.
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More About the Author

John Zmirak received his B.A. from Yale University in 1986, then his M.F.A. in screenwriting and fiction and his Ph.D. in English in 1996 from Louisiana State University. His focus was the English Renaissance, and the novels of Walker Percy. He taught composition at LSU and screenwriting at Tulane University, and written screenplays for and with director Ronald Maxwell (Gods & Generals and Gettysburg). He was elected alternate delegate to the 1996 Republican Convention, representing Pat Buchanan. He has been Press Secretary to pro-life Louisiana Governor Mike Foster, and a reporter and editor at "Success" magazine and "Investor's Business Daily," among other publications. His essays, poems, and other works have appeared in "First Things," "The Weekly Standard," "The Atlanta Journal-Constitution," "USA Today," "FrontPage Magazine," "The American Conservative," "The South Carolina Review," "The Atlantic," "Modern Age," "The Intercollegiate Review," "The New Republic," "Commonweal," and "The National Catholic Register," among other venues. He has contributed to "American Conservatism: An Encyclopedia" and "The Encyclopedia of Catholic Social Thought." From 2000-2004 he served as Senior Editor of "Faith & Family Magazine" and a reporter at "The National Catholic Register." He works now as an editor for several publishing companies.