Wine and spirits - PDF book by André Louis Simon

Wine and spirits - the connoisseur's textbook

Wine and spirits

Whatever use or misuse we make of our chances; whatever odds are against us in our struggle for existence; whatever share of the world's good things is ours; whatever aims and ambitions we cherish; we have both to work and play, fight and rest, spend our strength and recuperate. The amount and the quality of work which we are able to do, as well as the extent and degree of enjoyment which we derive from life, depend to a considerable extent upon the quantity and quality of our food and drink. The speed of a liner is due to its design and engines in the first place, but the quality of the fuel used is also most important. 

Of all laws which govern the human race, there is none more universal than that man shall eat and drink. Was there ever a subject of greater personal interest, in all times and amongst all nations, than the study of our food and beverages? 

Our bodily health, disposition of temper, brainpower, physical energy, moral courage, intellectual activity, all are affected in a marked degree by what we eat and in a much more striking manner by what we drink. Wine is " par excellence " the food of the brain; this is as true today as it was at the beginning of the world's history and as it has been ever since amongst all nations and under all climates. 

Long before the world we live in had become habitable, the vine flourished and bore fruit; vine leaves, pips and tendrils abound in all the earliest strata of the earth's crust. Specimens, which palaeontologists ascribe to the tertiary period, have been found in such widely different parts of the world as Iceland, Champagne, Alaska, the Rhone Valley, Japan, Devonshire, Wyoming (U.S.A.) and Central Europe. 

At a later date, when man made his first appearance upon the earth, he found the vine growing wild everywhere and among the human remains of the neolithic period which have been unearthed, grape pips have not only been identified but in such numbers and in so compact a mass that there can be no doubt that prehistoric man did press and make a beverage out of the wild grapes which he was able to gather. Mythology, the only link between prehistoric and historical times, abounds with proofs of the ubiquity of the fruitful vine and of the antiquity of mankind's appreciation of wine. 

The god of wine, who was credited with having taught men how to tend the vine and how to make wine, was worshipped from the earliest times and in all countries oi which we have records. The Soma of the Aryans, the Spandaramet of the Armenians, the Sabazios of the Phrygians, the Moloch of the Syrians, the Orotal of the Egyptians, the Dionysos of the Greeks and the Bacchus of the Romans were, under different names, the representation of the same idea, the expression of the same universal feeling of gratitude towards the Giver of that most marvellous gift: Wine!

 If we turn to the oldest written record of the world's history, the Bible, we find mentions of the fruitful vine at almost every page. Many also are the references to wine, strong drink and liqueurs, " Yayin," " Schechar," " Tirosh," " Soveh," " Ahsis," " Khemer," " Khometz," and " Shemah- rin." Yayin was the most common name for wine ; it is the word used to designate the wine which Noah drank when he became drunken; which Melchizedek brought forth to Abraham; which was prescribed in the drink offerings; which is said to be a " mocker/' and yet which " maketh glad the heart of man " ; which brings " woe " to him who drinks unreasonably, but of which it is also said: " Drink thy wine with a merry heart."

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the book details :
  • Author: André Louis Simon
  • Publication date: 1919
  • Company: London: Duckworth

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