Saturday, October 18, 2008

Vive le vin!

My mother accused me of being a boozer. I don't think so, but I do enjoy a glass of wine with dinner - it's so civilized. So I cannot resist sharing a few quotes about wine. Music, poetry, and wine - plus a little gooey French cheese - what more could one ask?

I am currently reading I'll Drink To That: Beaujolais and the French Peasant Who Made It the World's Most Popular Wine by Rudolph Chelminski. Near the beginning of the book, Chelminski offers a short history of wine and its health-giving qualities. He mentions Dr. Guyot (1807-72) who wrote a massive study on the French wine industry. He recommends that a family of four (mother, father, and two children) drink at least 1500 liters of wine a year - that averages out to almost 1.5 US quarts per day per individual, children included. He goes on to quote a twentieth century maxim: "vegetables make merde, meat makes meat, wine makes blood."

And a few quotes from

"Wine is one of the most civilized things in the world and one of the most natural things of the world that has been brought to the greatest perfection, and it offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than, possibly, any other purely sensory thing."
Ernest Hemingway Death in the Afternoon

"If God forbade drinking, would He have made wine so good?"
Cardinal Richeleu

"They are not long, the days of wine and roses;
Out of a misty dream
Our path emerges for a while, then closes
Within a dream."
Ernest Dowson 1867 - 1900
Vitae Summa Brevis Spem Nos Vetat Incohare Longam [1896]

"How simple and frugal a thing is happiness: a glass of wine, a roast chestnut, a wretched little brazier, the sound of the sea. . . . All that is required to feel that here and now is happiness is a simple, frugal heart."
Nikos Kazantzakis 1883 - 1957
Zorba the Greek [1946], ch. 7

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