One of the most insidious myths in American wine culture is that a wine is good if you like it. Liking a wine has nothing to do with whether it is good. Liking a wine has to do with liking that wine, period. Wine requires two assessments: one subjective, the other objective. In this it is like literature. You may not like reading Shakespeare but agree that Shakespeare was a great writer nonetheless.
Upon the first goblet he read this inscription, monkey wine; upon the second, lion wine; upon the third, sheep wine; upon the fourth, swine wine. These four inscriptions expressed the four descending degrees of drunkenness: the first, that which enlivens; the second, that which irritates; the third, that which stupefies; finally the last, that which brutalizes.
Wine writers have been around for almost as long as there has been wine, but in the past, generally speaking, most wine writing was uncritical and emphasized wine as a romantic, historic beverage. Criticism and comparative tastings were eschewed for fear of offending the trade, which most writers depended upon for survival.
Robert M. Parker, Jr.
We laughed a lot and I grew warmer still, lovely and warm. I do realize that some of that warmth was due to the wine, but there was much more to it than that. There are two distinct aspects to Communion wine: one aspect is the wine itself, the other is the idea of communion. Wine is certainly warming, but communion is a great deal more so.
If a man go into the London Docks sober without means of getting drunk, and comes out of one of the cellars very drunk wherein are a million gallons of wine, I think that would be reasonable evidence that he had stolen some of the wine in that cellar, though you could not prove that any wine was stolen, or any wine was missed.
William Henry Maule
The world has changed - through technology, through wine-making techniques, the quality of wine is greater than it's ever been. Whereas ten, fifteen years ago it was very easy to find lots of bad wine, it's kind of hard now. The technology, the science - it's like, are you kidding? We're in the golden years of wine!
Wine has been to me a firm friend and a wise counsellor. Wine has lit up for me the pages of literature, and revealed in life romance lurking in the commonplace. Wine has made me bold, but not foolish; has induced me to say silly things, but not do them. If such small indiscretions standing in the debit column of wine's account were added up, they would amount to nothing in comparison with the vast accumulation on the credit side.
Just like literature, wine takes time to learn. Before having access to the emotion of a stunning poem or to the vigor of a captivating novel, we all had to go through a long initiation. First, we need to learn the alphabet, the sound of each letter. In wine, that would be learning about the grapes and their characteristics. Then, once we master our letters, we need to learn the arrangements of letters, the pronunciation, the grammar, the structure of sentences. Now we can read. In wine, that would be the stage when we start noticing differences between two reds. You no longer drink wine: you start drinking this wine.
Long ago, during my apprenticeship in the wine trade, I learned that wine is more than the sum of its parts, and more than an expression of its physical origin. The real significance of wine as the nexus of just about everything became clearer to me when I started writing about it. The more I read, the more I traveled, and the more questions I asked, the further I was pulled into the realms of history and economics, politics, literature, food, community, and all else that affects the way we live. Wine, I found, draws on everything and leads everywhere.
Inevitably I came to associate any wine I met with a specific place and a particular slant of history. I learned to perceive more than could be deduced from an analysis of the physical elements in the glass. For me, an important part of the pleasure of wine is its reflection of the total environment that produced it. If I find in a wine no hint of where it was grown, no mark of the summer when the fruit ripened, and no indication of the usages common among those who made it, I am frustrated and disappointed. Because that is what a good, honest wine should offer.
Scientists want to search for alien signals because that's what gets them publicity. They are like Jesus Christ." "Jesus Christ?" Nambodri asked, with a faintly derogatory chuckle. "Yes. They are exactly like Jesus Christ. You know that he turned water into wine." "I've heard that story." "From the point of view of pure chemistry, it is more miraculous to make wine into water than water into wine. But he did not do that. Because if he had gone to someone's house and converted their wine into water, they would have crucified him much earlier. He knew, Jana. He knew making water into wine was a more popular thing to do.
If wine disappeared from human production, I believe there would be, in the health and intellect of the planet, a void, a deficiency far more terrible than all the excesses and deviations for which wine is made responsible. Is it not reasonable to suggest that people that never drink wine, whether naive or doctrinaire, are fools or hypocrites....?
Wine has been with us since the beginning of civilization. It is the temperate, civilized, sacred, romantic mealtime beverage recommended in the Bible. Wine has been praised for centuries by statesmen, philosophers, poets, and scholars. Wine in moderation is an integral part of our culture, heritage and gracious way of life.
I was sitting on my own in a restaurant, when I saw a beautiful woman at another table. I sent her a bottle of the most expensive wine on the menu. She sent me a note: "I will not touch a drop of this wine unless you can assure me that you have seven inches in your pants." So I wrote back: "Give me the wine. As gorgeous as you are, I'm not cutting off three inches for anyone.
This is wine," Ghoolion said solemnly. "Wine is drinkable sunlight. It's the most glorious summer's day imaginable, captured in a bottle. Wine can be a melody in a cut-glass goblet, but it can also be a cacophony in a dirty tumbler, or a rainy autumn night, or a funeral march that scorches your tongue.
Do you dare to accuse wine of clouding the reason? Quote me more marvelous effects than those of wine. Look! when a man drinks, he is rich, everything he touches succeeds, he gains lawsuits, is happy and helps his friends. Come, bring hither quick a flagon of wine, that I may soak my brain and get an ingenious idea.
This is wine, " Ghoolion said solemnly. "Wine is drinkable sunlight. It's the most glorious summer's day imaginable, captured in a bottle. Wine can be a melody in a cut-glass goblet, but it can also be a cacophony in a dirty tumbler, or a rainy autumn night, or a funeral march that scorches your tongue.
We need not be intimidated by the wine snob because we know that, in the last analysis, he is only putting on a front. He may know more than we do, but how little he knows in comparison with what there is to know Wine, a hobby as fascinating and as human as one can find. One of the most fascinating aspects of the wine-hobby is the extent to which you learn all the time
Before you came, things were as they should be: the sky was the dead-end of sight, the road was just a road, wine merely wine. Now everything is like my heart, a color at the edge of blood: the grey of your absence, the color of poison, of thorns, the gold when we meet, the season ablaze, the yellow of autumn, the red of flowers, of flames, and the black when you cover the earth with the coal of dead fires. And the sky, the road, the glass of wine? The sky is a shirt wet with tears, the road a vein about to break, and the glass of wine a mirror in which the sky, the road, the world keep changing. Don't leave now that you're here- Stay. So the world may become like itself again: so the sky may be the sky, the road a road, and the glass of wine not a mirror, just a glass of wine.
Faiz Ahmad Faiz
You could say one wine is like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz while another is like the mature Judy Garland, or that a big voluptuous chardonnay is like Marilyn Monroe -round, bosomy - you can remember that chardonnay, If you say a wine is snappy and lively, like Robin Williams, that's very different than the Anthony Hopkins of wine - urbane, sophisticated, measured, considered.
Wine buffs write and talk as though the food and wine will be in your mouth at the same time, that one is there to be poured over the other. This is bullshit. Gustatory enjoyment comes from food and wine and cigars of your liking. So far no one has said that a Monte Cristo is the only cigar to smoke after Armagnac, Romeo and Juliet after Calvados ... but the time may yet come.
I had a little epiphany when I was a writer at 'Chicago' magazine. I sat down to dinner at the Ritz-Carlton. Somebody poured a white dessert wine with chocolate cake. It was a wine I would never have expected to make sense. The idea of any wine tasting fabulous with chocolate cake was fascinating to me.
At times we ought to drink even to intoxication, not so as to drown, but merely to dip ourselves in wine, for wine washes away troubles and dislodges them from the depths of the mind and acts as a remedy to sorrow as it does to some diseases. The inventor of wine is called Liber, not from the license which he gives to our tongues but because he liberates the mind from the bondage of cares and emancipates it, animates it and renders it more daring in all that it attempts
Wine is the source of the greatest evils among communities. It causes diseases, quarrels, seditions, idleness, aversion to labor, and family disorders. . . . It is a species of poison that causes madness. It does not make a man die, but it degrades him into a brute. Men may preserve their health and vigor without wine; with wine they run the risk of ruining their health and losing their morals.
Wine give strenght to weary men. and And wine can of their wits the wise beguile. Make the sage frolic, and the serious smile. and Let those who drink not, but austerely dine, Dry up in law; the muses smell of wine. and No poem was ever written by a drinker of water. and Bacchus opens the gate of the heart. and Might to inspire new hopes and powerful To drown the bitterness of cares.
Greek customs such as wine drinking were regarded as worthy of imitation by other cultures. So the ships that carried Greek wine were carrying Greek civilization, distributing it around the Mediterranean and beyond, one amphora at a time. Wine displaced beer to become the most civilized and sophisticated of drinks-a status it has maintained ever since, thanks to its association with the intellectual achievements of Ancient Greece.
Greek customs such as wine drinking were regarded as worthy of imitation by other cultures. So the ships that carried Greek wine were carrying Greek civilization, distributing it around the Mediterranean and beyond, one amphora at a time. Wine displaced beer to become the most civilized and sophisticated of drinks""a status it has maintained ever since, thanks to its association with the intellectual achievements of Ancient Greece.
Creatures are cups. The sciences and the arts and all branches of knowledge are inscriptions around the outside of the cups. When a cup shatters, the writing can no longer be read. The wine's the thing! The wine that's held in the mold of these physical cups. Drink the wine and know what lasts and what to love. The man who truly asks must be sure of two things: One, that he's mistaken in what he's doing or thinking now. And two, that there is a wisdom he doesn't know yet. Asking is half of knowing.
Wine is similar to music in that it's a purely experiential realm, and it's a purely subjective practice. That's sort of the funny thing about wine criticism or, for that matter, music criticism. At times, those are useful guides, but ultimately it's all about how you react to that music or wine.
Kalina remained paralyzed in her seat. 'Oh, crap. Aaron was a vampire.' She straightened up. Remain calm, Kalina. Breathe. 'You're not going to eat me, are you?' 'No, ' said Stuart. 'Not all vampires feed on humans. I choose not to. I drink Vampire Wine.' 'Vampire Wine.' Kalina put the pieces together. 'Jaegar... I thought he was kidding... ' 'And Aaron drank Vampire Wine, too. To avoid succumbing to temptation. To avoid drinking blood whenever he got too... excited... ' Kalina's eyes widened. 'So you mean... ' 'Vampire Wine wasn't the problem, Kalina. It was the only solution.
When I find someone I respect writing about an edgy, nervous wine that dithered in the glass, I cringe. When I hear someone I don't respect talking about an austere, unforgiving wine, I turn a bit austere and unforgiving myself. When I come across stuff like that and remember about the figs and bananas, I want to snigger uneasily. You can call a wine red, and dry, and strong, and pleasant. After that, watch out....