Rod Phillips

  • The Myths of French Wine History

    Editor's note: For more on this subject, check out Rod Phillips’ new book, French Wine: A History. UC Press is graciously offering GuildSomm readers a discount. Order online using the code 16M4197 for 30% off.

    France occupies a special place in the world of wine. Only one wine is a household name globally, and it’s French: Champagne. There’s still a widespread belief that the best French wines are the world…

    • Oct 17, 2016
  • The Murky Origins of Sparkling Wine

    The story of Dom Pérignon and champagne – the blind monk who accidentally made sparkling wine and cried, “Come quickly! I am drinking the stars!” – is well known, as are the problems with the story.  Although many wine drinkers accept it at face value, there’s no evidence that Dom Pérignon was blind, no evidence that he had a heightened sense of smell or taste, and – very important – no evidence…

    • Mar 29, 2012
  • Ancient Wine: Then and Now

    Winemaking can be traced back thousands of years to ancient societies in China and the Middle East, and that has given rise to a lot of romantic ideas and myths about wine. There’s the general idea that wine is a “civilized” beverage, in part because one of its origins was the ancient Middle Eastern and Mediterranean societies – like Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece and Rome – that are often thought of as the basis of Western…

    • Oct 20, 2011