Book Review: Passions: The Wines and Travels of Thomas Jefferson (James M. Gabler): AH

by James M. Gabler (Bacchus Press Ltd., 318 pages, $29.95). Author James Gabler utilizes Thomas Jefferson’s diaries and letters, one hundred historical prints, and modern-day photographs and maps to chronicle two of the third U.S. president’s passions in life–traveling and good wine. Gabler recreates Jefferson’s days in Paris while Commissioner to France and his extensive travels through Europe, during which he acquired a deep appreciation for and knowledge of the local wines; his years in the White House, when only the finest wines were served to dinner guests as Jefferson reminisced about his years in France; and his 1809 retirement to Monticello, his Virginia estate, where economic considerations caused him to buy lesser-known vintages. The book is augmented by extensive chapter notes and a list of Jefferson’s favorite wines that are still available today.

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