We've all come across those suave, confident, and all-so-knowing books that tell us precisely what to drink with which dish, how to swirl, sniff, slosh, and pronounce on our wine, and, above all, how to impress our friends and business associates with our expertise. Well, this is not one of those books. Is This Bottle Corked? is something different: a book that poses-and answers-the really important questions about wine. -What was Falstaff drinking when he called for more sack? -What was actually drunk at Plato's Symposium? -When is rot "noble"? -Who was the first American connoisseur of wine-it wasn't George Washington, but speaking of the general, what was his favorite wine? -Why on earth do wine connoisseurs talk like that? -Was Pliny the Elder the first Robert Parker? -Why do we drink to forget-and why doesn't it work? These and many other intriguing, amusing, and curious questions are answered within, guaranteeing the reader a "Yes, but did you know...?" for every occasion at which a cork is drawn. Best read with a glass of aged German riesling, or perhaps a soft, consoling Constantia (recommended by Jane Austen for heartbreak and, to boot, gout) or maybe even a glass of St. Anne's Rhubarb and Ginger Wine, this book is as much for bon vivants and those of us who just enjoy a good bottle or two as for the committed oenophile. Simply open, pour, and relax. From the Hardcover edition.