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Catherine and Vincent on a picnic, an open bottle of wine and a wine glass between them

Wine Is Bottled Poetry

So said Robert Louis Stevenson, many years ago. I took his words to heart. I took them to the wine store as well, buying bottles more by the labels – for the scenes and chapters in my Catherine and Vincent imaginings they conjured – than by any anticipated taste or knowledge of the grapes.

These labels tell me a story of wine and roses, of love triumphant and rather breathless.

I hope you’ll hear one too.

Three wine bottles: Legend of the Vine, Once Upon a Vine, Thorny Rose

Three cups open the grand door to bliss.
Take a jugful, the universe is yours.
Such is the rapture of the wine.

 

Li Bai, Wine: A Vindication

Wine comes in at the mouth
And love comes in at the eye;
That’s all we shall know for truth
Before we grow old and die.
I lift the glass to my mouth,
I look at you, and I sigh.

 

William Butler Yeats, A Drinking Song

Three wine bottles: Dreaming Tree, True Myth, Phantom
Three wine bottles: Dreaming Tree, True Myth, Phantom

Wine comes in at the mouth
And love comes in at the eye;
That’s all we shall know for truth
Before we grow old and die.
I lift the glass to my mouth,
I look at you, and I sigh.

 

William Butler Yeats, A Drinking Song

Three wine bottles: Carnivor, Uncaged, Ravage

Wine stirs the spring,
joy grows like a plant,
walls, large rock fall,
abysses close up, song is born.
Oh thou, jug of wine, in the desert
with the woman I love …

 

Pablo Neruda, Ode to Wine

All the pictures that hung in my memory before I knew you have faded and given place to our radiant moments together.

Now I cannot live apart from you … Your words are my food, your breath my wine. You are everything to me.

 

Sarah Bernhardt, letters to Victorien Sardou

Three wine bottles: Angeline, Belle Ambiance, Motto: Backbone
Three wine bottles: Angeline, Belle Ambiance, Motto: Backbone

All the pictures that hung in my memory before I knew you have faded and given place to our radiant moment together.

Now I cannot live without you … Your words are my food, your breath my wine. You are everything to me.

 

Sarah Bernhardt, letters to Victorien Sardu

Two wine bottles: Slow Press, Milestone

Let us celebrate the occasion
with wine and sweet words.

 

Plautus, Asinaria (835)

I have drunken deep of joy,
I will taste no other wine tonight.

 

Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Cenci, Act 1 Scene iii

Two wine bottles: Gnarly Head, Bliss
Two wine bottles: Gnarly Head, Bliss

I have drunken deep of joy,
I will taste no other wine tonight.

 

Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Cenci, Act 1 Scene iii

Two wine bottles: both Magnificat

Fill the goblet again! For I never before
Felt the glow which gladdens my heart to its core.
Let us drink! Who would not?

 

Lord Byron, Fill the Goblet Again

Because he is, of course …

••• THE MAGNIFI-CAT •••

Vincent, shirtless, with a knowing, rather besotted, grin on his face

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