The Politics of Pleasure: Beer and Wine

December 7, 2011 2:25 PM -
December 7, 2011 2:25 PM


Down to a Science: The Right Way to Pour and Taste a Beer

Dave McLean, owner and brewmaster of San Francisco's Magnolia Pub and Brewery, demonstrates the proper way to enjoy a beer. "We usually mindlessly open our beers and pour them, and don't think too much about it," he says.

Alice Feiring Advocates Natural Winemaking

Wine writer Alice Feiring defines her idea of natural wine: minimal use of sulfur, no nutrients, no enzymes, no flavors.

Wine comes from grapes, Feiring says, not sulfur or additives.

How Expectations Bias Your Wine Selection

Best-selling author and physicist Leonard Mlodinow discusses the ways that the power of expectation applies to wine. Red dye can deceive even the most experienced connoisseur, and a false $10 price tag on a $90 bottle of wine can manipulate a test subject's reaction.

Are Blanket Proposals Leading to 'Neo-Prohibition' in US?

Radley Balko argues that while Prohibition will not be reinstated, policy makers are finding subtle ways to restrict alcohol consumption via blanket proposals.

He says the proposals are instated through laws against underage drinking and drunk driving and ultimately infringe upon legal drinking.

Should the UK Adopt a National Alcohol Policy?

Dr. Clare Gerada says the UK is "sleepwalking" into a public health disaster and suggests a national alcohol policy that addresses advertising, access, and affordability.

Christopher Hitchens' Favorite Whiskey

The late Vanity Fair columnist and alcohol enthusiast Christopher Hitchens shares a passion with the best dictators of the Middle East.  

David Carr Tries and Fails at Being a Suburban Alcoholic

New York Times columnist David Carr shares his experience with an alcohol relapse 14 years into his recovery from addiction to crack. Carr says he thought, "You know, I wonder what would happen if I poured whiskey all over this?"

P.J. O'Rourke's Solution to Teenage Drunk Driving? Drugs!

Conservative journalist and satirist P.J. O’Rourke offers an original solution to teenage drunk driving -- drug legalization.

About this series

Beer, wine, alcohol are among life's simple pleasures: a cold one after a long day at work, a salty frozen margarita, a glass of Merlot at a fine restaurant.

These pleasures can not come without a few caveats. The political culture of alcohol range from the sober (think teenage drunk driving) to the side-splitting (think Christopher Hitchen's whiskey of choice). presents P.J. O'Rourke, Christopher Hitchens, David Carr, among others, discussing the wide range of alcohol issues -- from the serious to the hilarious -- in the following series.