To Wine

To WineCompiled and produced by Graham Bathgate

This tribute to wine is full of original stories, “vignettes”, quotations, photos, information, interviews with winemakers, and even a couple of songs. There is something for everyone here, even if you don’t drink wine – surely a story, a poem, a quotation or a song to help you be of good cheer in this strange year of 2020.

Good health! Bonne Santée!

From one of the 18 stories: “Wine: Water of Life” by Wendy Jones Nakanishi:

 “It seems to me that the enormous variety of wine, like the many and diverse types of music, reflects something of the immense gamut of human experience and emotions. There is the sweet lightness of a Riesling and the rich full-bodied maturity of a Cabernet Sauvignon, the giddy effervescence of a good champagne and the rich and fruity, cheering notes of port. At the other end of the spectrum are vinegary, cut-price concoctions that scarcely deserve to be called wine.”

Wine Information and Photos

Three wine-makers in Northland, a big fruit-growing and wine producing region of New Zealand, tell their experiences of producing wine; there is also information and stories from the huge wine-producing region, the Languedoc in the south of France; there are literary quotes about wine and quizzes on popular songs about wine; also numerous quotes and sayings about wine, many from the great writers and some original ones created for this book, plus many wonderful wine-related photographs.

Specially composed songs about wine: 

Winemost (Red Wine Reel) – Composed and sung by Billy Jones

When We Share a Bottle of Wine – Composed and sung by Charles Harter

Examples of quotations

Wine is bottled poetry. – Robert Louis Stevenson

Within the bottle’s depths, the wine’s soul sang one night. – C.Baudelaire

A glass in the hand is worth two on the table. – Allan Murphy

Here’s to the corkscrew – a useful key to unlock the storehouse of wit, the treasury of laughter, the front door of fellowsip (oops!), and the gate of pleasant folly.  – WEP French

 Sometimes I sips and thinks, and sometimes I just sips. – Anon, thank you for allowing me to change from “sits”.

From one of the short pieces: “Wine Tastings at Ben’s Café, Tokyo” –  “As a wine lover, I’m biassed but Ben’s tastings were special in their simplicity, not for experts or connoisseurs, just for you and me. A wine expert, usually a wine dealer, hosted the evening and supplied the vino. It was a chance to taste six glasses of the same kind of wine, a Chardonnay, Merlot or Sauvignon Blanc, and to try to guess where they came from … there was always left-over wine for continued sipping at Ben’s tastings back in the 1990s.