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I Drink Therefore I Am: A Philosopher's Guide to Wine Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
He begins by recognising two people influential in his own discovery of wine, which read a little like appreciative retirement speeches. 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 old white Hermitage is a clay-baked hedgehog' and if you `roll the name Maillol in your mouth while imagining well-shaped buttocks and well-matured wine, and you won't be far from the taste of Collioure'. Not much of the promise of `an antidote to clap-trap' evident here, then. Overall, this half of the book is hard going.
In the second half, things get more interesting as he turns to philosophy and the role of wine and the implications of certain ideas to wine. Scruton is one of those writers who lets much of their character and opinion infuse his writing.Read more ›
Like other reviewers, I thoroughly enjoyed the witty and well-informed appendix "What to drink with what". It was the second part, where the author turns from a preoccupation with wine to his stock in trade - philosophy - that lost me. Apart from his patronizing dismissal of the Muslim prohibition on drinking alcohol, which seems reasonable enough but which he tries to argue out of existence, he keeps uttering flat and unqualified fiats on matters that I would consider value judgments. And then there are his frankly mystical remarks about how a wine somehow conveys spiritual qualities simply by being drunk. If I didn't respect Professor Scruton so highly, I would classify those as exactly the kind of "pretentious clap-trap" to which this book is supposed to be an antidote.
However, if you enjoy wine at all, and if you have any interest in ideas and philosophy, you should enjoy "I Drink Therefore I Am". You'll be royally entertained, amused, provoked, and greatly informed. Just be prepared to experience some moments of serious irritation along the way! (And maybe that's what you should expect from a professional gadfly...)
The important assertion running through the work is that philosophers should be judged by the results of their ideas as the winemaker should be judged by his wine. Because these are essays there are some surprising omissions, notably Robert Pirsig, who in the 1960s established Quality as so important in his fabulous Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance; and Epicurus, whose maxim ‘Life is good! Make sure to enjoy it’ could be the book’s leitmotif. Epicurus also said ‘Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have is among the things you only hoped for.’ So this book is an excellent sherry, an appetizer rather than encyclopaedic, and no worse for that. He certainly suggests some unusual solutions and, like Plato, ‘should always be esteemed – not because his conclusions are the right ones, but because he attempted to prove the others wrong’.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Humorous, informative, and profound at the same time. How inspiring a philosopher which can live in our own world... How wonderful and provocative novelist... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Luiz H.S.de Vasconcellos
I bought this book as a present for my father in law and he absolutely loved it. I then got a copy myself on his recommendation and spent a number of nights enjoying it.Published 7 months ago by Ian Bone
Excellent book - educational and witty in equal measure..Published 14 months ago by Amazon Customer
I now retract the one star given. This book deserves no stars, but that is not possible in the review system. Read morePublished on 9 Sept. 2013 by UKReader
I already have read some of Roger Scruton books and found them challenging and interesting. I wanted to buy his book on Beauty (having watched his television program on Beauty). Read morePublished on 28 Mar. 2011 by Rod
Roger Scruton's book 'I drink therefore I am, a philosopher's guide to wine' is one of the most unusual, and gripping, books on wine ever written. Read morePublished on 12 July 2010 by P. L. D. Taylor
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