What is conscious, intelligent drinking? What sets it apart from its less refined cousins?
When we talk about intelligent drinking – do we mean respect for oneself and for others, savouring the moment, acknowledging and appreciating the mantra ‘in vino veritas’?
Or do we mean intellectual conversation, the “witty talk and sparkling verse” that filled the houses of great men – wine parties in times of yore.
Does wine create art, or is wine an art form in its own right? Was Pushkin sipping a French red as he wrote Chapter 4 - Да здравствует Бордо, наш друг! – of Evgeny Onegin?
But maybe wine is really about the simple things in life: red for meat and white for fish; varietal over blend, chilled whites and warm reds.
Or perhaps it revolves purely around capturing the moment? Adding depth to any occasion – a glass of good wine implements the advise of the great sage, Persian philosopher and poet Omar Khayyam: "Be happy in this moment. This moment is your life."
Ah, and what is a favourite wine? Is it an absolute, a lack of knowledge or just a guard against disappointment?
However you answer these questions – and whatever wine means to you – it’s time to discuss human’s love affair with the drink through the ages and in Russia, over a glass or two, at Pushkin House.
To drink is to think - therefore I am! Let’s start a wine club!
There will be 6 wines to taste at each tasting session, which will include references to Russian culture, history and traditions.
About Tanya Nester:
Tanya Nesterova has been a visiting lecturer in translation at Westminster University for 17 years. She studied wine at WSET and has worked at the museum of wine, Vinopolis, for 8 years. She writes about wine and is currently working on the project Russia and the Wine World.
Вдовы Клико или Моэта
В бутылке мерзлой для поэта
На стол тотчас принесено.
Оно сверкает Ипокреной (25) ;
Оно своей игрой и пеной
Меня пленяло: за него
Последний бедный лепт, бывало,
Давал я. Помните ль, друзья?
Его волшебная струя
Рождала глупостей не мало,
А сколько шуток и стихов,
И споров, и веселых снов!