Notes on a Cellar-Book: Corrections and Comments

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jdaw1
Cockburn 1900
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Notes on a Cellar-Book: Corrections and Comments

Post by jdaw1 » 10:55 Sun 28 Sep 2008

In the thread entitled [url=http://www.theportforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=2067]Notes on a Cellar-Book, by Professor George Saintsbury[/url], jdaw1 wrote:This thread contains the text of the chapter on Port in George Saintsbury’s book Notes on a Cellar-Book, as typed by jdaw1. There will doubtless be errors in the typing, and readers may well have other comments. Please post corrections and comments in the thread Notes on a Cellar-Book: Corrections and Comments.

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jdaw1
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Notes on a Cellar-Book: some comments

Post by jdaw1 » 11:06 Sun 28 Sep 2008

Professor George Saintsbury wrote:To find ’70 and ’73 always maintaining and improving their place to the very last bottle, when tears would have mingled with the wine but for spoiling it ; to see the ’90’s catching up and beating the (as it seemed to me) always over-rated ’87’s : or to pit against each other two such vintages as ’96 and ’97 from the same shipper—these were intellectual as well as merely sensuous exercises, and pleasing as both.
How little changes—except perhaps that we might contest his use of the word “merely†.
Professor George Saintsbury wrote:The best and most robustly and skilfully prepared wines, such as ’51, ’63, ’70, ’73, ’78, ’78, ’81, ’87, ’90, and most ’96’s with some ’97’s, probably arrive at their best between twenty and thirty.
Still today, ┰¥20 but ┰¤30 is not a bad guide.
Professor George Saintsbury wrote:A Canadian lady once told me that, when she was a girl, she was playing lawn-tennis with other maidens in the gardens of the late Professor Goldwin Smith ‘over there.’ It was a very hot day, and he came and good-naturedly asked them if they would like something to drink. … after a few minutes, during which the damsels naturally became thirstier than ever, their host reappeared, bearing on a mighty silver salver glasses of—port wine!
It is possible, depending on the age range covered by the term “maiden†, that the man who argued for “the abolition of celibacy as a condition of the tenure of fellowships† might have had a specific motivation for the provision of something as sweet and alcoholic as “port wine†.
Professor George Saintsbury wrote:—then still the milk of donhood, as Greek was its unthreatened mother-tongue—
The Professor likes his em-dashes (“—†), and uses them and hyphens correctly. However, unlike Saintsbury, I am not fond of the American style of punctuation, in which commas and full stops, that properly belong to the outer quoting author, are instead placed within the quotation.

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DRT
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Re: Notes on a Cellar-Book: Corrections and Comments

Post by DRT » 17:13 Sun 05 Oct 2008

A very interesting read. Thank you to JDAW for taking the time to type out this text.

I love this paragraph. To me this proves beyond doubt that the Prof would have enjoyed being a member of :TPF: - He would have fitted right in :wink: 88)
jdaw1 wrote:Between 1895 and 1915 I collected in this way small lots of most of the best back-vintages from ’70 onward, with a few older still : and laid down a dozen or two of several sorts of the best that followed from ’96 to ’08 (I had bought but not cellared ’11 before I gave up housekeeping). At one time I had, I think, about fifty or sixty different kinds of port, though seldom more than a dozen of each, sometimes only two or three bottles. The financial result when the cellar came to be sold was disastrous ; but the amusement during the twenty years was great. You could continually try different vintages of one shipper, or different shippers of the same vintage, against each other ; and as each year made a different in the good wines, and these differences were never exactly proportionate, the permutations and combinations of experiment were practically infinite, and always interesting in the trial, even if disappointing in the result. To find ’70 and ’73 always maintaining and improving their place to the very last bottle, when tears would have mingled with the wine but for spoiling it ; to see the ’90’s catching up and beating the (as it seemed to me) always over-rated ’87’s : or to pit against each other two such vintages as ’96 and ’97 from the same shipper—these were intellectual as well as merely sensuous exercises, and pleasing as both.
"The first duty of Port is to be red"
Ernest H. Cockburn

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