21 JULY 1866, Page 13


[To THE EDITOR OF THE " SPECTATOR."] SIR,-I hope you will allow me to say a word in reply to an observation which occurs in your notice of my pamphlet on " Wine " in your last number. In that notice, for which I here, in the first place, beg to thank you, you make an arbitrary distinc- tion between " wines," by which you mean port and sherry, and "light wines" (by which you designate Greek and other wines).

You subsequently recommend dealers in light wine to "invent a decanter in which their wines will keep as port and sherry do." Now, Sir, as the whole argument of my pamphlet depends upon the fitness or unfitness of those words, you will perhaps permit me to say that Greek wines, being the fullest-bodied of any known vintage, are miscalled when they are spoken of as "light wines," and that they are fully as strong as either natural port or sherry, and fully as capable as they are of remaining sound in a decanter. On the other hand, you speak of the spirited drinks sold in Eng- land by the name of port and sherry as wines—intimating, as I understand, that they are the proper standard of vinous excellence, whereas I contend, not only upon the authority of my own ex- perience, but upon that of all wine connoisseurs, that those mixtures are not entitled to the name of " wine." I go farther, and say, that if you, like Englishmen generally, had not been mis- led into the use of those spirited compounds, you would not speak of " light wines " as you do, nor would you "want to keep wine about, not to drink a bottle a day." If you had not been accus- tomed to sip it like a liqueur, in small quantities, you would think it not unreasonable for a family to drink, at all events, one bottle a day, or one person a pint bottle. I beg to add that I have not • only kept half empty bottles for days together, but that I shall be happy to show you, or any one who may call upon me, samples of those so-called "light wines," whose great merit is their purity, which have been so kept many months, and are still as good as ever.—I am, Sir, your most obedient servant,