Time in a Bottle: A History of Wine

Friday January 25, 2008 – 7:30 p.m. at the Almonte United Church Social Hall

Speaker: Rod Phillips

Topic: Time in a Bottle: A History of Wine


This talk will look at the emergence of quality wine during the last two centuries. The focus will be on the way French wine became known as the best wine in the world during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, despite the disastrous phylloxera epidemic of the 1860s-1870s that wiped out most vineyards in France. We will take the story through to the 1990s, when France was challenged by New World producers (especially Australia, California and Chile) and we will consider the current responses of French wine producers to their reduced share of the global wine market.

Speaker’s Profile:

Rod Phillips teaches History (including the history of alcohol and the history of food and drink) at Carleton, and is also a wine writer, reviewer and judge. His wine books include A Short History of Wine (Penguin, UK, 2000; HarperCollins US, 2001; and seven foreign translations), Ontario Wine Country (Whitecap Books, 2006), and The 500 Best-Value Wines in the LCBO (Whitecap Books, 2007). He has written entries on wine for a number of encyclopedias, contributes to wine magazines in Canada, the US and the UK, and judges in wine competitions in Canada and Europe. He writes a weekly wine column for the Ottawa Citizen and was named “Wine Journalist of the Year” at the 2007 Ontario Wine Awards. He is currently completing a global history of alcohol for the University of North Carolina Press.

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