Wine tasting: Brillat-Savarin (1825)

I am fascinated by how we can distinguish such complexity in a glass of wine.

I recently came across this piece from Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, the French lawyer and politician who published ‘Physiologie du goût’ (The Physiology of Taste)’ in December 1825.   A lover of wine as well as food, Brillat-Savarin wrote:

And yet of all our senses, taste, such as Nature has created it, remains the one which, on the whole, gives us the maximum of delight:

– Because the pleasure of eating is the only one, which enjoyed in moderation, is not followed by weariness
– Because it is of all times, of all ages and in all conditions
– Because it recurs of necessity at least once a day, and may without inconvenience be repeated twice or three times within the same space of time
– Because it can be enjoyed in company with all our other pleasures, and can even console us in their absence
– Because the impressions which it receives are at once more durable and more dependent on our will
– And lastly, because when we eat, we experience an indefinable and peculiar sensation of well-being, arising out of an instinctive awareness that through what we were eating we are repairing our losses and prolonging our existence.

184 years ago, he said:

A man who was fond of wine was offered some grapes at dessert after dinner. ‘Much obliged,’ said he, pushing the plate aside, ‘I am not accustomed to take my wine in pills

I can understand.   Good health!

John Simmonds