wine buffs and connoisseurs, this theme will intrigue. It takes
a look at the medicinal claims made over the centuries about the
health benefits of wine and the art of enjoying wine. As well as
guides to tastings and the writings of major Australian wine writers,
there are sections on wine clubs, investment, home winemaking, and
wine and food.
should have an absolute unity, it should taste
as one whole."
Druitt. Report on the cheap wines ..... 1865
P. Lucia?s A
history of wine as therapy of 1963 gives us a survey of
the use of wine as a curative down through the centuries, without
the knowledge we have today. In the seventeenth century, for instance,
wine was seen as a treatment for such diseases as typhoid, diphtheria
and tuberculosis. More recent developments have showed the scientific
bases for some of these theories.
Shaw, a London physician, in his 1724 work The
juice of the grape, claims that wine cures everything from smallpox
to venereal disease, including gout. The State Library?s copy, beautifully
bound with its spine and corners in calfskin, comes from the library of
the great twentieth century wine writer, Andre Simon, and contains his
elegant bookplate. Simon found the work ?very amusing?.
Sandford, the author of
A few practical remarks on the medicinal effects of wine and spirits,
a very rare 1799 book, was ?Surgeon to the Worcester Infirmary?. He pleads
"not to throw blame on wine indiscriminately, or to recommend the entire
disuse of it, but rather to guard against the misuse".
Druitt was a doctor-writer whose book, Report
on the cheap wines from France, Germany, Italy, Austria, Greece, Hungary
and Australia : their use in diet and medicine, was first published
in 1865. It is particularly fascinating because it contains what surely
must be one of the first attempts at writing about wine specifically for
women and the first to outline the contents of a course in practical wine
appreciation. In the second edition of 1873, which the State Library possesses,
the lecture for women is omitted.
firmly believed in the health-giving properties of light wine, especially
for sickly milliner girls. "They are admirably well-adapted for children,
for literary persons, and for all whose occupations are chiefly carried
on indoors, and which tax the brain more than the muscles."
health professionals, particularly in France, found the properties of wine
to be very beneficial. X.M. Boulestin, in his 1933 work What
shall we have to drink?, reports on the findings of a number of
different authorities. As well as the physiological advantages, he also
believes that "the qualities of good wine? react favourably on the individual?s
docteur le vin, with text by Gaston Derys and watercolours by renowned
artist Raoul Dufy has the following to say on "Water against obesity":
has a tendency to thicken the flesh. Indeed, it neutralizes the poisons
resulting from nutrition which are not destroyed by internal secretions
that have become insufficient for lack of a stimulation such as wine; it
is fat which forms and intervenes in the case of the drinking of water.The
matter is quite different with moderate drinkers of wine, which has a happy
effect on the glands responsible for burning up the residues of nutrition.
As well, Dr. Dougnac shows that these glands, which secrete hormones that
destroy the wastes, will do their work much better when stimulated by wine.
"They will defend themselves more actively against the auto-intoxications
which generate migraine, eczema, gout and obesity."And Professor Armand
Gautier of the Academy of Medicine, is also of the opinion that wine, as
an amplifier of the defences, of the organism, will allow a more vigorous
fight against the auto-intoxications, nervous depression and obesity. "Moderate
drinkers of wine are lean because they trim up their waste!"
vigneron and doctor, Dr
Philip Norrie, has written Wine
& health; a new look at old medicine, in which he
gives a summary of the early medicinal uses of wine. The book
also includes a copy of a letter from Dr. Lindeman to the Medical
Gazette in 1871 entitled, "Pure wine as a therapeutic agent and
why it should become our national beverage".
and wine appreciation should be enjoyable pastimes, all the more so
if the consumer is aware of the desirable characteristics of particular
wine styles ? and the possible faults ? and if she or he avoids discussing
them in pompous terms or jargon. Early books on wine rarely discuss
what the wine actually tastes like, although books on the taste of food
appeared at least early last century. There were no major books on winetasting
until the middle of this century.
Evans, the foremost of modern Australian wine writers
and doyen of the Australian wine industry, has a great, if
somewhat optimistic, theory of drinking wine. In his article "Theory
of consumption", published in 1979 in The
Australian wine browser, edited by Anders Ousback,
he states: "I?ve got no more than 10,000 to go and I cannot
afford to waste a single one".
edited the first regular publication for wine consumers in
Wine Buyer, which was first published in April 1968.
Len Evans and his team succeeded in "giving an expert analysis
of the best of available wines". The emphasis was on Australian
wines, but wines from other parts of the world were included. The
Wine Buyer ran for 96 issues, until January 1979. It is
fascinating to read today for what it tells us of industry
and consumer trends: it is also frustrating to read about some
of the great wines then available at bargain-basement prices.
important publication was Epicurean. It
was the first Australian magazine devoted entirely to food
and wine and had a considerable influence on later food and
wine writing. It was published from May 1966 to 1993 and was
noted for its wonderfully quirky front covers.
Australian magazines of note are the Wine & spirit
buying guide and the current wine magazines Winestate and Wine
overseas magazines are the English Decanter and
the American Wine
Evans also wrote a column for the Bulletin under the
pseudonym of Cellarmaster. It is believed to be the first
regular wine column in Australia. Many of his notes were
published in 1966 as Cellarmaster?s
guide to Australian wines. The State Library has
the 3rd edition.
of Evans? most noted publications was Australian
and New Zealand complete wine book (1973), an encyclopaedic
work giving a survey of the history of wine in Australia as
well as individual wineries and vintages.
earlier wine writer was Walter James. He produced some
of the first Australian books intended both for the fashion-conscious
dilettante and for the general reader without expert knowledge
but with an interest in the history and appreciation of wine.
wrote his first book sheltering behind the nom de plume of
Tom Turnspit. The title, Venite
apotemus : being some reflections on a year book, translates
from the Latin as ?Come let us drink?, and the book contains
the thoughts of James and others on various drinking habits
concluding with an entreaty for an increase in wine consumption
and book: a winemakers' diary was published in
1951 and Wine
in Australia : a handbook, the following year.
Many people in the 1950s and 1960s were inspired by his
books to take an informed interest in wine, which led to
many Australian newspapers having a regular column on wine.
James was our first ?popular? writer on wine ? he has had
many imitators, but few if any equals.
noted writer was Dan Murphy with his works Australian
wine guide and Classification
of Australian Wines (1974)
Australian wine guide, published in 1966, was the first
detailed guide to Australian wines for the inexperienced
and vigneron, Max Lake, founder of Lake?s Folly in the
Hunter Valley, has written a number of books including Classic
wines of Australia in 1966 and The flavour of wine in
1969. The latter discusses such influences on the appreciation
of wine as ethnic background, ambience, labels, gender, Circadean
rhythms and olfaction.
leading wine writer is James Halliday, whose works include
the annual Australia & New Zealand wine companion, Wine
atlas of Australia and New Zealand and James
Halliday's setting up your own wine cellar.
the current critical scene, the annual Penguin good Australian
wine guide, edited by Huon Hooke and Ralph
Kyte-Powell, is a selective guide to wines on the Australian
has been and is still frequently supplemented by inferior wines.
Outside the blending of wines, adulterations such as the addition
of Brandy, particularly in Port, have been quite commonplace.
Recently, with the ever increasing prices of old wines, there
has been a spate of wine substitutions, some very deceptive,
not only overseas but also in Australia.
art and mystery of vintners and wine-coopers (1682)
contains "approved directions for the conserving and curing
of all manner and sorts of wines, whether Spanish, Greek,
Italian, or French, very necessary for all sorts of people". For
instance, beetroot is used to darken pale claret.
Forrester was an Englishman who travelled extensively in Portugal
and owned property there. In the nineteenth century there were
many styles of port-wine, and it was a favourite tipple of
the English. Forrester?s pamphlet, A
word or two on port wine, first published anonymously
in 1844 and frequently reprinted, denounces the adulterations,
including brandy, inflicted on port by its Portuguese manufacturers.
Forrester had his detractors: he wrongly believed that his "countrymen
do not desire?wine full of brandy; they prefer wines the most
pure, and the least inebriative possible". The forceful feelings
of Forrester, his supporters and his opponents, make fascinating
1876 James L. Denman produced a volume Wine
and its counterfeits, which contains articles on "The
plastering of wines denounced", by Dr Thudichum and "The best
properties of wine destroyed by plastering", by Dr. Dupré.
southern hemisphere is tackled in "Australia and New Zealand
in trouble", an article in the more recent 1986 publication Wine
scandal, by Fritz Hallgarten. In discussing the means
of misleading the wine-buying public this work touches on the
Australian use of European wine names.
Wine and Food Society, the world?s oldest gastronomic
society, was founded in London in 1933 by a group of enthusiasts
including the influential André Simon. Now an international
organization, it is devoted to the "greater understanding
and pleasure in good food, good wine and good company".
of the menus of Society dinners include:
The Pursuit of Excellence Council Dinner 15/9/1986
International Festival 1986
Triennial Festival IWFS Treasures of the Pacific Rim Dinner,
Hong Kong Hilton, 29.10.1989
Wine & Food
Society of Aust. Mildura 1974 4th Nat. Conv. & Barbecue
and Food Society Awards Banquet Melbourne Hilton 3/4/81
Wine & Food
Society of NSW 17/12/1963
Bacchus Club, an Australian organization with similar aims, was
founded in Adelaide in 1939 and a Barossa Valley Branch commenced
in 1950. The history of the Club is part of the menu for
Bacchus 50th Anniversary dinner, Alphutte Restaurant
23 June 1989.
Bacchus Club, Barossa Valley Branch, annual vintage dinner,
Angaston Hotel 6 April 1960
Bacchus Club, Barossa Valley Branch, Yugoslav dinner, Angaston
Hotel 19 May 1967
Bacchus Club, Barossa Valley Branch, Australian classics,
Vintners Restaurant, Angaston 22 May 1987
Bacchus Club, Barossa Valley Branch, Bicentennial dinner:
Australia rediscovered, Vintners Restaurant, Angaston 13
Bacchus Club, Golden Bacchus 50th Anniversary
dinner, Alphutte Restaurant 23 June 1989
societies, which have world-wide connections, are the Confrérie
des Chevaliers du Tastevin and the Chaîne des Rotisseurs.
Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin was
born in 1934, in a time of economic crisis, to promote
the wines of Burgundy. Under the guidance of Georges Faiveley
and Camille Rodier from Nuits-Saint-Georges, a group of
fellow winemakers acquired the Château of the Clos
de Vougeot as its headquarters. The Confrérie is
noted for elegant dinners, in which the officials are adorned
with picturesque robes.
of the menus of the Chevaliers dinners, which the State Library
of South Australia holds, include:
des Chevaliers du Tastevin Adelaide Club 29/8/69
des Chevaliers du Tastevin Seaview Wine Cellar 29/12/78
des Chevaliers du Tastevin- Middlebrook Winery 14/2/87
des Chevaliers du Tastevin 24/4/1991 Urrbrae House
des Chevaliers du Tastevin 6/3/1968 SA Hotel
Chaîne des Rotisseurs was founded in Paris
in 1950 and "is devoted to promoting fine dining and preserving
the camaraderie and pleasures of the table". It bases itself
on the traditions of the old French guild of goose roasters.
des Rotisseurs 23/3/1981 Oberoi Adelaide
popular clubs in Australia are or have been the Beefsteak and
Burgundy Club, the Bacchus Club, the Chicken and Chablis Club
, and Les Femmes Wine & Food Club. Some of the menus of
those club dinners include:
Beefsteak and Burgundy Club 26/7/1963
Beefsteak and Burgundy 10th Annual Dinner Dance 22/7/1966
Beefsteak and Burgundy Club 34th Annual Dinner 11/8/89 at Orlando
Club Annual Vintage Dinner Angaston Hotel 6/4/1960
Club Yugoslav Dinner, Angaston Hotel 19/5/67
Valley Bacchus Club Australian classics Vintners Restaurant 22/5/1987
Bacchus 50th Anniversary Dinner 23/6/1989 Alphutte
Femmes Wine & Food Club 23/10/1971 Naracoorte Hotel
Wine Press Club of South Australia Inc. is a not-for-profit
club which endeavours to promote and encourage the interaction
of people involved or interested in the wine industry in
South Australia.The Committee of nine meets monthly, and
aims to present interesting speakers and topics at monthly
luncheons during the year. The main function is the Royal
Agricultural and Horticultural Society of South Australia?s
Royal Adelaide Wine Show?s annual luncheon, at which the
Wine Press Club of South Australia?s trophy for the best
red wine of the show is presented. Past speakers at Club
luncheons have included Len Evans, Hazel Murphy, James Halliday,
Louisa Rose, Stephen Millar, Huon Hooke, and Grahame Kraehe.
The November 2000 speaker was Anne Ruston, Chief Executive
Officer of the National Wine Centre. Club activities are
reported in PRessings, the quarterly newsletter of Peter
Fuller and Associates Pty Ltd. For further information telephone
Louise Fisher on (08) 8231 3555.
Wine Press Club March Lunch - An American In
Wine Press Club Feb. lunch 1999, Rock Lobster Café
Wine book collecting
has a wine book collectors' society, the Wayward
members are known as Tendrils. The name comes from the
book, The wayward tendrils (1948), by Ian Campbell. Its
quarterly newsletter is a goldmine of information for anyone
interested in wine books and wine history, and has contributors
from all over the world. The April 1993 issue has an article "On
the joys of collecting wine books", by Gail Unzelman.
: words on wine in the State Library of South Australia,
by Valmai Hankel is an outline of the books held by one
of Australia?s leading wine book collections. It gives
a brief description of some of the more important volumes
and describes two of the donated collections, the Thomas
Hardy Wine Library and the Cellarmaster Collection of Rare
investment has become a great interest to many new collectors
and a number of guides have been produced to help the consumer,
though they do not always stay the distance.
you take wine? By E.J. Foote (1935) contains an
early article on the subject "Wine as an investment", which
also gives hints on misleading names.
catalogue of rare Australian wines, 12 March 1976, Theodore
Bruce (Auctions) Pty. Ltd.
auction records of Australia. Nedlands, W.A. :
Rossarden Pty. Limited, 1980-1981
is that wine worth? : a comprehensive guide to the current
intrinsic value of over three thousand Australian wines from
1960 / Robin Bradley. [Melbourne] : JWT Publications,
1983 being digitized
Halliday's setting up your own wine cellar. North
Ryde, N.S.W. : Angus & Robertson, 1989.
vintage wine price guide.
and New Zealand wine vintages, 16th ed, 1999, edited
by Robin Bradley. A selection of pages which give
brief descriptions of the wineries including winemakers.
Barossa rare wine auction 1999 ? Barossa Vintage Festival.
Silent Auction October 18, 2000
Home wine making
the interest in wine increased many people began to take an
amateur interest in wine making. A number of publications have
an early article on the subject noted Victorian viticulturalist,
Francois de Castella, gives advice on "Home
wine making", reprinted from the Journal of Agriculture
of Victoria in 1921.
the 1960s and 1970s when do-it-yourself methods became popular
Rigby Ltd put out a pocket-sized publication Home wine-making,
by B. A. Chatterton (1974), as one of a series for home bottlers.
writer, Nick Bulleid, in an article in The
Australian wine browser, edited by Anders Ousback in
1979 also provided assistance for the home enthusiast in his
article, "Home bottling".
Wine and Food
Goodwin, an Englishwoman, writing for Australians in 1954 in
her book How
to cook with wine, comments that there is a new interest
in the use of wine in cookery which "may be due to the influx,
over the past year or two, of many European nationalities into
Australia". Some examples of the use of wine with poultry are
in the home: cooking recipe book was put out by H.M.
Martin & Sons Ltd for Stonyfell Wines in the 1960s.
and Elizabeth Ray give their version of what wines go with
what food in their 1974 work Wine
with food, pointing out that it is only "one man?s
individual taste, and an Englishman?s at that". They illustrates
how the French from wine-growing regions often drink only that
region's wines, and includes a description of a banquet in
1926 at which a different Château d?Yquem was served
with almost every course.
tasting and wine appreciation should be enjoyable pastimes, all
the more so if the consumer is aware of the desirable characteristics
of particular wine styles - and the possible faults - and if
she or he avoids discussing them in pompous terms or jargon.
Early books on wine rarely discuss what the wine actually tastes
like, although books on the taste of food appeared at least early
last century. There were no major books on winetasting until
the middle of this century.
Alexander Henderson's 1824 work The history of ancient and
modern wines is one of the few early books to describe the
flavours of wine.
is up to consumers to discourage bad winemaking?knowing what
to drink is based in knowing how to taste." The Bordeaux-loving
Emile Peynaud's classic work Le gout du vin (Paris: Dunod,
1980), is directed at the amateur as well as the professional.
An English edition, The taste of wine: the art and science
of wine appreciation, translated by Michael Schuster and
introduced by noted English wine writer, Michael Broadbent, appeared
himself has produced several books on the subject, including Wine
tasting : a practical handbook on tasting and tastings (1968)
and The compleat winetaster and cellarman (1984).
writers have also contributed to the subject. Max Lake in his The
flavour of wine: a qualitative approach for the serious wine
taster, published in 1969, discusses such influences
on the appreciation of wine as ethnic background, ambience, labels,
gender, circadian rhythms and olfaction.
Rankine gives advice particularly for Australians in his Tasting
and enjoying wine : a guide to wine evaluation for Australia
and New Zealand published in 1990.