Bottlenotes, A Book For The Ages: Stern’s wine romp, Bonquet, still relevant 85 years later, October 7, 2011

Modern wine adventure books are often filled with fluffy descriptions and name-dropping stories (usually by people who enjoyed themselves a little too much). That’s why it’s important to get back to the classics.

Gladys Bronwyn Stern’s Bouquet is one such gem. In the book, the critic and author recounts with one-of-a-kind humor her 1926 romp through France’s historic vineyards with her husband Johnny, and friends, Rosemary and Humphrey.

Stern is sassy and poetic. Think a Flapper-era "Sideways" with a dose of "Thelma & Louise." As they visit awe-inspiring chateaux in Provence, the Rhône, Bordeaux, and Burgundy, Stern and her posse ruminate on everything from sexism and the foibles of the French to the timeless debate over which is the more profound wine, Bordeaux or Burgundy. Stern’s thought-provoking prose is as relevant today as it was 85 years ago. has issued a limited-edition reprint of the book for $85. Printed on heavy paper and bound with fine cloth, the book is silk screened with a whimsical illustration by Taiwan’s Hsinping Pan. A perfect early Christmas purchase for the wino you love.