Friday, February 03, 2017
George Edward Bateman Saintsbury, was an English writer and scholar. But he was also somewhat of a wine expert who possessed a rather extensive wine collection. Published in 1920, Notes on a Cellar-Book is really a book about an inventory; a detailed list, written in a simple exercise book, of the contents of Saintsbury's wine cellar - and the memories of all the wines, beers and spirits Saintsbury had consumed over his lifetime. And he had consumed a lot. Surely Saintsbury was a devoted, true lover of wine to go to all that bother of inventorying his cellar. And his mind.
It's an interesting read, very English, very English (he rails against Prohibition in the U.S.) and indispensable to anybody who wants to know how to keep whiskey and brandy in barrels in one's own cellar. (I mean, why wouldn't one?) George Saintsbury, whilst waxing lyrical about the wonder that is wine, once remarked, "...vintage wine, one of the most perfect of nature's products". Hear, hear!