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Ten Poems about Wine

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John Keats’ “beaker of the warm South” must be the most famous glass of wine in poetry. Who could fail to remember the “beaded bubbles” and the “purple-stained mouth”? We can almost taste the rich berry notes as we read.

This selection features part of that much-loved paean to a luscious red, alongside poems that celebrate delicious wines of other hues. We experience a grape harvest in Spain which is celebrated as a form of alchemy, and a wedding reception at which wine represents all the good things that lie ahead for the new couple.

Elsewhere, one poet’s experience of a glass of Sauvignon Blanc is so intense that she almost becomes the wine as she drinks:

“I can drink
on my own. I am cut grass,
light-bodied, off-dry.”

from ‘Tasting Notes’ by Emma Storr

Poems by Li Bai, Jane Commane, Wendy Cope, Jonathan Davidson, John Keats, Gregory Leadbetter, Miriam Wei Wei Lo, Matthew Stewart, Emma Storr and James Thomson.

Cover illustration by Jane Walker.

The poems are selected and introduced by poet, reviewer and writing mentor Jonathan Davidson. Jonathan favours an enigmatic red of a winter evening, but seeks out a crisp, giddy white when the sun shines – as it often does in the English Midlands.



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