I Drink Therefore I Am: A Philosopher's Guide to Wine
We are familiar with the medical opinion that a daily glass of wine is good for the health and also the rival opinion that any more than a glass or two will set us on the road to ruin. Whether or not good for the body, Scruton argues, wine, drunk in the right frame of mind, is definitely good for the soul. And there is no better accompaniment to wine than philosophy. By thinking with wine, you can learn not only to drink in thoughts but to think in draughts.
This good-humoured book offers an antidote to the pretentious clap-trap that is written about wine today and a profound apology for the drink on which civilisation has been founded.
In vino veritas.
Much wider scope than the title suggests
By David in the USA - February 1, 2010
This book stayed unopened on my bookcase for a few weeks, as I expected it to be slight in content.
But, per bacco, what a surprise it turned out to be!
Scruton's is a mind that glows and this book distills a lifetime of intellectual adventure, with insights into French culture, Hindu philsophy, the breakdown of western society, and many other areas - all linked (usually tongue-in-cheek, or rather nose poised over glass) by the mystical presence of wine.
This is a deceptively deep book, an exciting read, and the best possible justification for the virtuous consumption of wine.
Civilised wine companion
By Sirin - April 28, 2010
Roger Scruton is an oddity. A conservative intellectual (perhaps, that should be prefixed with the definite article), he offers a curiously recidivist philosophy, nostalgic for a past that never really existed anyway. It is easy to dismiss him as many do as an anachronistic fox hunting old fart. But that would be a grave mistake, for Scruton actually has much to say in his quirky highbrow style, about the smashed pint glass of modern culture.
Scruton is unapologetic in his commitment to the civilised life. Yes, he lets himself down occasionally by his taking of bribes from Japanese cigarette manufacturers to write pro smoking articles in the media, but his philosophy is in the Spinoza tradition - an attempt to locate man in his proper place as a creature of society and community, with longings and desires that cannot be satisfied by the hedonistic transience of everyday life.
Not that Scruton is against hedonism, mind you. This book is a testament to his love of... read more
The best of this book comes at the bottom of the glass
By Ripple - November 26, 2009
In this book conservative philosopher and composer, Roger Scruton seeks to combine his interest in philosophy with his love of wine. He laments the passing of the Greek "symposiums" where wine was drunk and important issues discussed. The book is certainly interesting, but it is not the jolly, "good humoured antidote to the pretentious clap-trap" that the publishers promise. At least not until the appendix where he suggests what to drink while reading major philosophers' works with is very funny and well written.
He begins by recognising two people influential in his own discovery of wine, which read a little like appreciative retirement speeches to the two gentlemen concerned. He then moves on to discussing in detail French wines and then more briefly other wine regions. Here Scruton's knowledge and enthusiasm are evident, but he is something of a wine `buff' and there is plenty of wine-speak in evidence. Thus he suggests that `the best accompaniment to a bottle of fine... read more
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