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Taking wine in the wood

Posted by Wine in the Woodchuck? on December 11, 2002

In Reply to: Taking wine in the wood posted by R. Berg on December 11, 2002

: : dear friends
: : does anyone know the meaning of this phrase?
: : it is from a text from the 19th century and it is enscribed on a letter paper of little girls.
: : thank you very much
: : miri

: It might mean nothing more than drinking wine in a forest. Can you provide more context?

Two thoughts: "wine in the wood" is young wine, still in the oak barrel. 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). 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!