Hemingway and Wine Posted August 17, 2014 | Tags: ,


Those of you who have stayed in Villa St Simon, may have read the room book to help you make the best of your stay in this glorious region.

There is a page from Earnest Hemingway’s book, “Death in the Afternoon”, which we included in the room book, because it is one of the most evocative and accurate descriptions of wine.

“Wine is one of the most civilized things in the world and one of the natural things of the world that has been brought to the greatest perfection, and it offers a greater range of enjoyment and appreciation than, possibly,any other purely sensory thing that may be purchased.

One can learn about wines and pursue the education of one’s palate with great enjoyment, all of a lifetime, the palate becoming more educated and capable of appreciation and you having constantly increasing enjoyment and appreciation of wine, even though the kidneys may weaken, the big toe become painful, the finger joints stiffen, until finally, just when you love it the most, you are finally forbidden wine entirely.

Just as the eye, which is only a good healthy instrument to start with, becomes, even though it is no longer so strong and is weakened and worn by excesses, capable of transmitting constantly greater enjoyment to the brain, because of the knowledge or ability to see, that it has acquired. 

Our bodies all wear out in some way and we die, and I would rather have a palate that will give me the pleasure of enjoying completely a Chateau Margaux or a Haut Brion, even though excesses indulged in, in the acquiring of it, have brought a liver that will not allow me to drink Richebourg, Corton or Chambertin, than to have the corrugated iron internals of my boyhood when all red wines were bitter except port and drinking was the process of getting down enough of anything to make you feel reckless.

The thing of course, is to avoid having to give up wine entirely, just as, with the eye, it is to avoid going blind. But there seems to be much luck in all these things and no man can avoid death by honest effort, nor say what use any part of his body will bear, until he tries it.”

Couldn’t have put it better myself.


Look out for my forthcoming blog on hangovers and tips and treasures to make your vacation in our vineyard area, the best that you can.