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Steinberger Sings Happy Birthday to the AOC

This year, in case you missed the massive announcement and fanfare (there wasn't one), is the 150th Anniversary of the famous 1855 classification which decided for the first (and possibly last) time the ranked hierarchy of Bordeaux Chateaux. This illustrious document gave us (barring one or two minor changes since) the current set of Premier Cru, Grand Cru, First Growth, Second Growth, etc. classifications that confuse the hell out of all but the most dedicated Bordeaux drinkers.

Michael Steinberger, the wine columnist for Slate has written a very nice piece in honor of this anniversary. It's part celebration, part eulogy, and appropriate on both counts.

For those who are less familiar with this system and would like a quick crash course in what it actually classifies, Steinberger's article is also a good overview.

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Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson Wine Grapes The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson to cork or not to cork by George Taber reading between the vines by Terry Theise adventures on the wine route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud