Monday, 15 December 2008


God has given us a dark wine so potent that,
drinking it, we leave the two worlds.

God has put into the form of hashish a power
to deliver the taster from self-conciousness.

God has made sleep so
that it erases every thought.

God made Majnun love Layla so much that
just her dog would cause confusion in him.

There are thousands of wines
that can take over our minds.

Don't think all ecstasies
are the same!

Jesus was lost in his love for God.
His donkey was drunk with barley.

Drink from the presence of the saints,
not from those other jars.

Every object, every being,
is a jar full of delight.

Be a connoiseur 
and drink with caution.

Any wine will get you high.
Judge like a king and choose the purest,

the ones unadulterated with fear,
or some urgency about "what's needed"

Drink the wine that moves you
as a camel moves when it's been untied,
and is just ambling about.

Twelth century thoughst on wine drinking. Now apart from the stanza about Majnun and Layla, it rather rings true. I'm guessing that the alcohols that were present in the 12th century persia were predominately dark coloured as they'd either be red and oxidised or sweet rich and oxidised - think PX sherry, the lighter whites would have been somewhat on the vinegary side.
So it's with this in mind that I'm drinking some dry amontillado sherry and feeling the weight of history upon my shoulders and wonderikng whether it's a tangiable benefit to wines.
If one can take pleasure in a well turned metaphor, or an allusion to a well loved story and derive a degree of intellectual satisfaction from hearing a familiar motif in a piece of music then is it acceptable to add the baggage of history to a wine you're drinking?
Does knowing that Chambolle Musigny was Napoleons favorite wine add to it's already multifareous charms or does it merely add a coating of the emperors newest clothes?
There is a certain intellectual rigourousness to appraising wines from a position of unbiased knowledge - applying a completely level playing field and merely judging what's in the glass, but does this apply a tourniquet to an extra level of pleasure, like being born anew each day, seeing everything for it's superficial beauty without appreciating the deeper connected levels?
Drinking something that's of my age still has a special thrill, annoyingly it happens quite rarely as I was born too early (about one year to be precice). But since beauty is in the eye of the beholder and quality is supposed to be separate from personal predilictions, can the two coincide? Or are they just products of separate spheres? Beauty being something utterly dependant on time, place and state of mind, whereas quality is more of a democratic product - i.e. agreed upon by the majority?