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Thomas Jefferson on Wine Paperback – August 26, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 457 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Mississippi (August 26, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1604733705
  • ISBN-13: 978-1604733709
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #930,220 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

This definitive account of a great American’s lifelong passion for fine wine

--- Offers all of Jefferson’s significant writings on wine

--- Introduces an author who is a noted expert in established wine circles—former wine critic for Gannett News Service and the Washington Post

--- Combines the rising popularity of wine in American culture with the consistent appeal of Jefferson as a historical figure

--- Features numerous quotes from Jefferson’s own writings, preserving a rare personal perspective on a familiar icon --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From the Inside Flap

The definitive account of a great American's lifelong passion for wine

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By William C. Pratt on February 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Thomas Jefferson is so well known that it is difficult to find a book about him that offers new insight into his multi-faceted character. This book does: it presents Jefferson through his very discriminating taste in wine, which was so expert that his favorite French wines later became the great Classified Growths of Bordeaux and the premiere wines of Burgundy. He traveled through France, Germany, and Italy with the express purpose of selecting wines for Monticello, the house he had built in Virginia, capitalizing on an opportunity that came when he was appointed Ambassador Plenipotentiary to the French court. When he was elected President he built the wine cellar for the White House and stocked it with his favorite imported wines. All this is to his credit, and provides further evidence of Jefferson's extensive learning, which went beyond books. But he never succeeded in his pet project, of planting a vineyard and cultivating at home the fine wines he enjoyed abroad. That was for later Virginians to do, and the author provides a tour map of the wineries that now surround Monticello, fulfilling the dream Jefferson himself failed to realize.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Redwood on June 14, 2008
Format: Hardcover
What I was hoping for and got was a historical perspective on the man relative to the events of his time and how wine was viewed, served and distributed. In general the book is a great mix of all three although at times the inventory lists of wine in Jefferson's possession do not yield enough clues about him. Sometimes they are just lists. For those that want to try to at least purchase a little bit of history, the book is helpful in identifying French wineries that are still in existence from Jefferson's time. Some winery terms used to today are explained in the context of Jefferson's. The use of his letters to people are cool but sparse. Could have used more.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ivan Ledyashov on July 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Truly a book for lovers of TJ and wine. So thick in facts, history, TJ and wine that it comes off as a highly readable and quaffable technical manual. Some parts get into such minuscule detail that a book on any other subject would become trivial. This one, on the other hand, becomes twice as interesting. It is because the author analyzes the details and connects them across TJ's life and history. If devil is in the details than TJ's wine life is pure evil. The record-keeping stoic as he was he left us with all his cellar purchases, but almost without any indication how he felt about wine. This is the book that divulges his feelings, interest and love for wine and does it well. Unimaginable amount of research went into this book as the subject hasn't been addressed before. That only adds to it allure.
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Format: Paperback
Thomas Jefferson has been called an "American Sphinx" (Joseph Ellis), but there is no mystery about his love of wine. John Hailman has done his homework in this well-researched, fascinating portrait of Jefferson as not only one who enjoys drinking wine, but who seems driven -- bordering on obsessed, frankly -- to know all there is to know about all subjects related to wine: from what kinds of grapes are grown producing what kinds of wine in different parts of France, Italy and Germany (where Jefferson toured incognito on two different occasions while serving as a commissioner of the newly formed United States government to France); to listening to vineyard owners describe the process of making wine; to working to lower tariffs on imports of wine (there were, for all practical purposes, no American vineyards during Jefferson's lifetime) in the belief that, among other things, wine was much healthier for Americans than whiskey. I had no idea that so many of Jefferson's letters (and replies to his letters) still exist, and Hailman draws extensively on these in telling the story of a man with a lifetime passion. One of the pleasures of reading the book is that its focus is relatively narrow: Jefferson and his fascination with wine. There is little, if any, discussion, for example, of his being the primary author of the Declaration of Independence or his decision to purchase Louisiana from France while President. And yet, to really have a well-rounded picture of Jefferson, one must know about his love of all things wine. Hailman has helped fill out the portrait of who Jefferson actually was with this excellent contribution.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Trisha on January 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I gave this book to my Son No Law and he was thrilled with it. He loves both wine and TJ. He was reading it from the moment he opened the Christmas present. I highly recommend this book for those that love wine and Jefferson!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Caldwell on July 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Good read. This book provided an historical perspective I had not been exposed to before. The insight provided as to the difficulties of shipment, payment, location of goods, etc. was unique. This book is something of a biography of Jefferson and an insight into life and commerce in the late 1700's
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Jefferson was way ahead of his time when it came to wine, or most anything else...A must for wine lovers...
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