Crush: The Triumph of California Wine

A Child’s Christmas in San Francisco

At the core of A Child’s Christmas in San Francisco are seven poems, composed, author John Briscoe tells us, by generations of San Francisco schoolchildren. Over the week before Christmas these children paired iconic San Francisco food and drink with the days of the week. Each day got a poem featuring a particular food or beverage. In this way, Briscoe observes, the young poets showed “a precocious affection for the culinary tradition and abiding spirits of Christmas in their City of St. Francis.”

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Praise for A Child’s Christmas in San Francisco

“An affectionately nostalgic, humorous remembrance of San Francisco gustatory pleasures in an appealing format.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Everyone, San Franciscan or not, should read this exquisitely written tribute to the city and to our youth.”
—Historian Charles Fracchia, Panorama

“In this collection, readers find not only clever, youthful poems that delight with their tongue-in-cheek sensibilities, but they also encounter brief historical lessons that celebrate San Francisco’s uniqueness. This charming book is sure to become a quick conversation piece at parties, book clubs, and historical societies alike.”
US Review of Books

A Child’s Christmas in San Francisco is a short and sweet regional poetry collection that includes light doses of history and entertainment.”
—Foreword Reviews

“Briscoe’s narrative is deft and sure, always evocative, sometimes humorous, sometimes luminous. A Child’s Christmas in San Francisco should appeal to anyone with a bent for nostalgia, history, or San Francisco.”
—Blue Ink Reviews (read the full review)

“Handsome, fiendishly ingenious. And unfailing.
I can almost hear the cable cars clanging at Market and Powell
because of the bargains they’re getting at Owl.”
—Robert Hass, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry,
and Poet Laureate of the United States, 1995–1997

Crush: The Triumph of California Wine


The Triumph of California Wine

Crush is the 200-year story of the heady dream that wines as good as the greatest of France could be made in California—a dream dashed four times in merciless succession, until it was ultimately realized in a stunning blind tasting in Paris. In that tasting, in the year of America’s bicentennial, California wines took their place as the leading wines of the world. For the first time, Crush tells the complete and dramatic story of the ascendancy of California wine in vivid detail.

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Praise for Crush

“Briscoe’s passion for California and its wine often shines through, and the book will offer many surprises to patient readers…. [An] essential history for wine aficionados.”
Kirkus Reviews

Crush is destined to earn a place among the classics of wine literature and California history.”
—Kevin Starr, historian and California State Librarian

Crush is simply superb—both as history and story-telling.”
—Dana Gioia, Poet Laureate of California

“Readers may never look at their glass of California wine in the same way.”
—Christopher O’Sullivan, professor of history, University of San Francisco
Crush is a hopeful saga… a tale written with panache and wry opinions…”
Rachel Jagareski, Foreword Reviews
“John Briscoe delivers a comprehensive history and a fascinating read… Highly Recommended!”
—Susan Keefe,