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I was at, of course, the book release party yesterday night for our fabulous executive wine editor Lettie Teague, in celebration of her new book, Educating Peter. The book is smart, witty, and jammed full of useful wine info, so I'd suggest going out and buying it immediately. However, if you're a wary sort & want a taste-test, as it were, then you can check out the original columns that inspired the book here, here and here.

The party itself was like all book parties, an excuse for people who know the author or who might want to write about the author and/or the book to stand around and chit-chat with one another while downing glasses of wine and noshing on random food tidbits. The difference, however, between the last literary shindig I went to and this one is that at the literary event (the announcement of the writers in Granta's Best of Young American Novelists issue, which will be out soon) they served evil plonk in plastic cups along with somewhat dragged-out looking platters of hummus and other Mediterranean whatnot; at last night's event, which was at Centovini down on Houston, the wine was a mighty tasty Carema (Nebbiolo from a small area north of Turin, in Piedmont) and the snacks were things like grilled octopus on skewers and polenta cakes topped with dabs of braised shortrib. In other words, novelists may open a can of whup-ass on wine writers when it comes to intellectual respectability, but we eat and drink way better.