Modern Living: The Elevation of Soda Pop

Winemanship has long held the status of an art in Europe, and when fine French and German wines began flowing across the Atlantic, the expertise came too. Vines, vineyards and vintages were soberly debated. Wine-tasting sessions became social events and the sniffy phrases of oenology became part of the language. Even plebeian beer has long since acquired its own stout band of connoisseurs. By contrast, little attention has been paid to the fine points of enjoying America's own proud indigenous beverage—ubiquitous, multi-flavored, effervescent soda pop. To remedy that omission, California Novelist Earl Shorris (Boots of the Virgin) has set down some...