Posted by R. Berg on December 11, 2002
In Reply to: Re: Words, not wine posted by Karl on December 11, 2002
: "In France, there are village fetes every September where the wine is sampled after the first fermentation (i.e. before being bottled, from the barrel)."
: Almost no grapes are harvested until the middle of October, certainly none before the last week in September. Wine undergoes its fermentation prior to being put into barrels. If it fermented inside the barrels, the barrels would explode.
: Your reading of the phrase "wine in the wood" as marked on young girls' notepaper sounds likely, but you should leave the wine trail stories to someone else.
Excuse me: In the grape-growing region that I came from--admittedly, not in France--September is the month for most harvesting.
: It's only mildly alcoholic and very fruity and effervescent at this stage so I will hazard a guess your notepaper dates from the Victorian era and is a metaphor for the fresh and lively charms of youth.
: : I also vaguely recalled a related Chesterton quote, but as the library isn't open at 3 am, I could only try Google and found:
: : "G.K. Chesterton, in what is still one of the best introductions to the Dickens world, stressed the immense joviality-the bacon in the rafter and the wine in the wood-a Pickwick feast of snowballs and plum puddings." (John Bayley reviewing Kaplan's biography of Dickens in the New York Review of Books, January 18, 1989)
: : Hmm...Maybe a glass of wine will help me get to sleep!