This Week’s Best Drink Reads

rum jamaica boat reggae

Welcome to The PUNCHbowl, a weekly installment where we share our favorite longreads on all things drinks and nightlife. This week, we learned why rum should be the official vice of reggae, how liquor license regulation sparked the Stonewall Riots, the science behind the “Red Wine Headache” is and more.

Rum Is My Religion
Mention “reggae,” and the first substance to come to mind probably isn’t rum—but maybe it should be. David Katz suggests that Jamaican rum deserves just as much credit as marijuana as reggae’s vice of choice, basing his argument on rum’s relationship to a spirit of the more ghostly kind. [Hot Rum Cow]

The Chameleon that is Cabernet Sauvignon
The fact that cabernet sauvignon is a ubiquitous and blendable grape is no surprise. The science behind what makes it so versatile, however, is something that Dr. Nicholas Vivas—a French molecular biologist specializing in red winemaking—has spent countless hours researching and distilling into a concise study, which also raises the question of how cabernet grape-growers will be affected by climate change. [TONG]

Sulfites, Shmulfites
If you’ve ever taken in a wine label loudly warning that it “contains sulfites” and wondered, “What are these things, really?” Wired has answers. Christopher Null parses through the science behind sulfites, explains why they’re probably not responsible for your Red Wine Headaches and tells you how to remove them from your wine. [Wired]

Liquor Licenses and Marriage Equality
While we continue to bask in the rainbow-hued afterglow of last week’s Supreme Court Ruling, it’s worth pausing to remember the people and events that helped pave the way for this moment. Nick Sibilla explores how liquor license laws affected gay bar-goers in the post-Prohibition era—and how increasing frustration with those rules helped spark the historic Stonewall Riots. [Reason]