Mac ’n’ vino

illustration by Mark Stivers

Finally, there is a wine book that not only encourages you to indulge in a favorite alcoholic beverage, but also teaches you the best way to get smart off the wine-drinking experience. Michael J. Gelb’s Wine Drinking for Inspired Thinking teaches everything you need to know about imbibing. His “Wine Geek Jargon Guide” chapter, for instance, shows how to sound like a sophisticated wino so people will think you know what you’re talking about, no matter how much you’ve had to drink. My favorite section, though, teaches how to pair wine with “shabby-chic” dishes, including macaroni and cheese, Chinese takeout and popcorn, so you can have wine with every meal. Gelb even offers plenty of proof that drinking wine leads to genius moments, like the ancient Greeks and their original toga party. And his theory that drinking wine will make you more creative and socially adept may be true; use this book as an excuse to uncork a bottle and find out for yourself.