Friday, 9 October 2015

Wine tasting - hic!

I find it fascinating to look through the House of Lords parliamentary papers; you never know what you might find.  The reports are full of detailed information, they can include maps, plans, tables of all sorts of statistics and other interesting titbits.  I also love the use of the elaborate English language in these 19th Century reports, the following paragraph is from the report on the wines tasted at Vienna Universal Exhibition of 1873 , by Henry Vizettelly, Esq  
“The credit of the first attempt made to assemble together the wines of the world for the purpose of comparing and judging them is undoubtedly due to the French king, Philip Augustus, noted for his patronage of learning and his persecution of the Jews, a friend and enemy by turns of our own Coeur de Lion, and above all the grand consolidator of the regal authority in France, who sent forth his heralds, as the old chronicles tell us to summon, with due flourishing of trumpets, all the wines of the world to his royal and convivial table, that honour might be rendered them accordingly to their deserts.”
He goes on to explain that there has not been such a sample of wines tasted before at a universal exhibition and that most of the wine producing districts of the world were represented.
An example of this is “…the wines of the United States of America exhibited at Vienna were not remarkably varied, still they enabled one to form a fair estimate of the produce of a land which is destined to become, like Australia, one of the great wine-producing regions of the world.  There were merely 17 exhibitors, who, however, contributed among them as many as 82 specimens.”
 I can imagine this gentleman looking over his report, 158 pages in total about wine tasting, and wondering if he tasted every wine!  He also did a report on the beer tasting  at the same exhibition.
In total, there are 5 volumes about the Vienna Universal Exhibition of 1873, 4 in-depth volumes full of various reports and the last volume is full of maps and plans.  These are some photos of the plans that can be found in the 5th volume.

All  the reports on the Vienna Universal Exhibition of 1873 can be found in the House of Lords parliamentary papers session 1874 vols. LXXIII to LXXVII.