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The 2015 Gourmand Award for “Best Drinks History Book” category in the USA


Bee D'vineSAN FRANCISCO, CA (March 16, 2015) “The Celebrated Story of Honey Wine” won the 2015 Gourmand International World Cookbook Award for the “Best Drinks History” category in the USA. This automatically nominates The Honey Wine Company’s publication for the global championships in Yantai, China in June 2015.

The audio and e-book are available for free download on www.DiscoverHoneyWine.org, on Amazon.com, from select independent bookstores in the San Francisco Bay Area (and complimentary for those who purchase Bee d’Vine brand honey wine online).

The vividly illustrated book conveys the 9,000-year recorded history of the first known alcoholic beverage, but also speaks to the modern revival and topics of interest to the company; namely rural development, forest conservation, climate change, and honeybee populations issues.

The Honey Wine Company’s founder, Ayele Solomon, a conservationist by profession and winemaker, was born in Ethiopia, where honey wine, or t’ej, remains the preferred alcoholic beverage. What caused him to write it?

“As we say in the book, honey wine is probably only surpassed by milk and water as the most consumed beverage in history. I come from the country that drinks over 95% of global honey wine now, but I partly grew up in the USA, which is undergoing the biggest commercial honey wine revival in the world. Even so, most people here have never heard of honey wine, much less tasted it, so when I got tired of answering ‘what is honey wine’ I decided a short and approachable book would help. The preface of the book is the personal side of the story; it tells how I got started in the business in 2009.”

Some of the practical chapters delve into: What foods go well with honey wine, cocktail recipes like the “Long Island Honey Wine” and “The Honeyrita,” and how to make your own honey wine. The appendix lists how to order honey wine in more than 170 languages.

While Solomon created the framework and had editorial control (authorship is attributed to his company) he worked with a team of six professionals from several states and from Portugal. “They were all amazingly talented, but more importantly their creative products all fit together seamlessly – the narrative, the illustrations, the layout, the tone, the pitch and tone in the audiobook, and the all-important cover – to tell a so-old-it’s-new revival story.

What other topic allows the reader to effortlessly and timelessly revel in stories from the Queen of Sheba, Roman philosophers, Greek bachelors, Baucus, Chaucer, Marco Polo, the Rig-Vedas, Norse and Moor tales, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Harry Potter, Michelle Obama’s White House gardens, farmers markets, and urban roof-top beehives?”

The concluding chapter, “Rebirth of Honey Wine” reads as follows: “The real point is this: people want to enjoy the finer things of life in a socially responsible way, and sometimes the historic past can teach us how to do this. Farmer’s markets are one example of an old world tradition returning as a hip, responsible lifestyle. But farmers markets did need a bit of a makeover to make this happen (you probably couldn’t get truffle goat cheese at ye’ olde farmers market).”

The Gourmand International World Cookbook Award recognition is just one of many awards for The Honey Wine Company since launching their wines in May 2014. The other awards are: seven gold and silver medals at established international wine competitions and two medal for the wine’s bottle and package design. Additionally, the natural wine, made from just honey and spring water, has earned “Best in Class” honors at the 2014 International Woman’s Wine Competition and the 2014 Eco Friendly Wine Competition.

“It’s exciting to receive the Gourmand award,” says Solomon, “and it’s an honor to be among the company of previous books who won this award.” Prior year winners include “Inventing Wine: History of One of the World’s Most Ancient Pleasures,” and “The Drunken Botanist.”

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