Home > History of Wine > Wine and the Sea: The Posts Are In!

Wine and the Sea: The Posts Are In!


Ships Trading in the East. Vroom, Hendrick Cornelisz. 1614. Object ID BHC0727.  National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Palmer Collection.

Ships Trading in the East. Vroom, Hendrick Cornelisz. 1614. Object ID BHC0727. National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Palmer Collection.

In August 2013, Erin Scala (Thinking Drinking) and I set out to encourage researched posts about the history of wine.   To do so we presented An Open Invitation For Posts about Wine and the Sea.  Three months later the posts are now published.  I encourage you to read through them all and share them with your friends.

Dorit Handrus
Wine and the Sea
Dorit recently visited Portugal where she became amazed by the Colares vineyard. This unique vineyard is located on a sandy cliff between the town of Sintra and the Atlantic Ocean. Here the ungrafted vines grow just inches off of the ground as they are buffeted by strong gusts of wind. She describes the wines as, “a crazy mash-up between your softest, silkiest, lightest Volnay and that lovely, tarry, tannic old Barolo you have packed away somewhere.”

Graham Harding (Wine As Was)
‘On the scale from riches to ruin’: the cargo of champagne in R.L.Stevenson’s Ebb-Tide
Graham writes of one of Robert Louis Stevenson’s last books Ebb-Tide. Davis is an American sea-captain who is hired to transport a cargo of Californian champagne to Sydney. Once at sea the champagne is opened and drained at the rate of two cases per day.  Davis’ plan is to sell the cargo in Peru but difficulties ensue.  Graham’s captivating post takes an engaging turn when he investigates “Victorian attitudes to champagne and to Stevenson’s own troubled relationship with addictive substances and behaviours.”

Frank Morgan (Drink What YOU Like)
“Wine and the Sea — Consider the Oyster”
Frank has developed a deep passion not just for the wines of Virginia and those who make them but also for the local oysters. In his post he leads us from the earliest descriptions where “oysters…lay on the ground as thick as stones” to that of Thomas Jefferson who drank half a bottle of Graves and ate 50 oysters on March 14, 1788. At the end he recommends his favorite wine and oyster pairings.

Aaron Nix-Gomez (Hogshead Wine)
“they had drunk English wine sold at Jacatra” : The Cultivation of the Vine in England and the East India Company’s Concern for Wine 1600-1630
In 1626, two captains of the English East India Company were questioned about the English wine they drunk in the modern day city of Jakarta.  At the time wine and beer was being secretly stored in outward bound ships to be sold for great profit in the Indies.  In this post I look at the wines provisioned for the fleet as well as the cultivation of the vine in England during this early period.

Erin Scala (Thinking Drinking)
Wine and the Sea: Aphrodite Rising
Erin writes of how seas dry up on land, leaving traces behind of which “[p]lant roots can access this elemental memory.” She investigates several ancient sea from the famous Kimmeridgian soils of the island chain Chablis to the higher ground of Horse Heaven Hills.  She concludes with a “poetic perspective” that the desire for wine from these sea beds is “a balanced take on reincarnation, our world’s dead seas are reborn as some of our most vibrant wines.”

Adam Zolkover (Twice Cooked)
Madeira, Wine, and the Sea
Adam’s post begins with Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence when Mr. Sillerton Jackson contemplates dinner with the Archer family and thinks, “the Archer Madeira had gone round the Cape.”  Madeira is considered “a capital foundation for pork” in the Aubrey/Maturin novels.  After describing the voyages of Madeira, Adam writes of bottles he has enjoyed of this “nautical” and “delicious” wine.

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