Maurizio Cucchi is the author of a variety of essays, novels and poems, as well as a translator. He is also a gourmand and a fine connoisseur of wine. It is no coincidence that the world of literature abounds with estimators of this ancient and fascinating beverage.
“Baudelaire’s poems immediately spring to mind – says Cucchi – together with Le vin, a very “Baudelairish” song by Georges Brassens, truly awesome. However, unlike at that time – he continues – wine is nowadays viewed with an excessive amount of philologism, scientificity and technicism. I often read invitations to drink little but well. True, how could anyone raise any objection, since drinking badly makes no sense, and drinking excessively only makes us drunk and ruins our health? However, there is something in this statement that clashes with the history of wine. When in bygone days people went to inns and taverns, moderation wasn’t their main priority. It is therefore necessary to repossess traditional drinking habits, integrating them with the knowledge we have now acquired. The excess of philologism that we are currently witnessing, in the long run becomes deceitful; after all, we eat and drink because otherwise we would not survive. Let us not forget. When we are hungry we would relish anything, we cannot only be exasperatingly sublime and noble when we savour delicacies”.
Maurizio Cucchi isn’t completely wrong, often one forgets the meaning of drinking and philosophizes endlessly. Wine deserves our respect, and cannot be trivialised by passing fads. It entails a certain initiation. “My father – reveals Cucchi – used to drink a glass of wine with his meals and he saw me growing up and gradually starting to appreciate it too. Now I always have wine with my meals, and to be honest, I would feel that something was amiss if a bottle weren’t present on the table”.