The idle ramblings of a Jack of some trades, Master of none

Apr 16, 2011

Barbarian in Orvieto

The great Polish poet Zbigniew Herbert managed to eke out the five dollars he was allowed when he left his country to travel around 'Western' Europe. When he returned, he had three dollars with him, much to the bemused notice of the Communist apparatchik at customs. When quizzed how he had managed six months abroad on such a little amount, he replied, 'I saved.'

Here's an oenological excerpt from his masterpiece of travel-writing, Barbarian in the Garden. He is in Orvieto:
On the menu I find a wine named after the town. The padrone praises it more loudly than the cathedral... It is more difficult to describe the wine than the cathedral. It is the color of straw and has a strong, elusive aroma. The first sip is rather unimpressive. The effect starts after a moment. The well-like chill flows down, freezing the intestines and heart while the head begins to blaze... The sensation is enchanting.

From Ewa Hryniewicz-Yarbrough's review of the book, here.


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