Wine & War

wine and war cover image Wine & War

by Don & Petee Kladstrup
History
Broadway Books
Paperback, 304 pages
$15.00

On a recent and gorgeous summer afternoon on Madeline Island we collaborated on an authors’ presentation of this splendid little history. Our hosts, Linda and Warren Mack, brought together some eighty people to hear their friends, the Kladstrups, talk about the French wine industry during WWII. Who knew? Much as The Monuments Men (published ten years later) did with fine art, this book chronicles the Nazi lust for fine wine and the efforts of the wine growers and vintners to protect their vineyards and caves. Millions of bottles were confiscated and stashed in Germany – especially at Hitler’s Berchtesgaden – for the pleasure of the Wehrmacht. Some was the real thing, but much was mislabeled swill. Millions of bottles were also hidden behind false walls and other repositories and were never discovered by the Nazis and their Petainist collaborators. Our Madeline Island afternoon was gloriously enhanced by the service of several of the wines featured in the book – a crisp Vouvray, an elegant Bordeaux and a rich Burgundy. Petey and Don told the story with energy, style and enthusiasm! A great event!