I never write about wine. Although I love the stuff, I can’t describe it well, beyond “wow, smooth,” or some such. I let others say it better. Like this, translated from the Spanish:
“There are five reasons to drink wine: the arrival of a friend, the thirst of the moment, the thirst of the future, the quality of the wine, and any other reason.”
Or this, from my eight-greats grandfather Sir John Harington’s loose translation of an ancient Roman medical poem called The School of Salerno, in which the number five reappears:
“Choose wine you mean shall serve you all the year,
Well-savored tasting well, and colored clear.
Five qualities there are, wine’s praise advancing,
Strong, Beautiful, and Fragrant, Cool and Dancing.
“White, Muscatel, and Candy wine, and Greek,
Do make men’s wits and bodies gross and fat;
Red wine doth make the voice oft-time to seek,
And hath a binding quality to that;
Canary, and Madeira, both are like
To make one lean indeed: (but wot you what)
Who say they make one lean, would make one laugh,
They mean, they make one lean upon a staff.
Wine, Women, Baths, by Art or Nature warm,
Used or abused do men much good or harm.”