“God made only water, but man made wine.” – Victor Hugo
This entertaining collection of over three hundred quotations illuminates many different aspects of wine-drinking down the centuries. The ‘nectar of the gods’ has been extolled as a friend and comforter from ancient times, as a source of inspiration and indeed as a valuable aphrodisiac. But as century, wine is a turncoat – ‘first a friend, then an enemy’.
We witness James Boswell and Samuel Pepys indulging in a little excess, we hear Keats rhapsodizing about claret, Henry James describing vineyards in Burgundy, and the artist Toulouse-Lautrec recommending garlic-steeped port as a remedy. Vintage wine writers from George Saintsbury to Cyril Ray give us the benefit of their drinking experience, while wine snobbery is gently debunked.
Whether your fancy is for a forward and voluptuous red or for an elusive and retiring white, there will be something here to please your palate. To be read in fastidious sip[s or in one long draught.