As a post this is almost a week behind the time. The excuse is that firstly I’ve just found the reference (in an old copy of Decanter) and secondly, it’s just too good a coincidence.
Graham’s 1948 Vintage Port shares my name and my birth year – and now I find that on my birthday John D Symington whose family still own this legendary port house, reporting on the harvest prospects for 1948, wrote “Grapes looking healthy and nice and very sweet.”
An Age UK study, released today (8 August 2013) has raised concerns that too many over-65s are drinking to excess. Many of the over-65s interviewed, however, did not see a particular problem. Drinking helped them relax, made it easier to socialise, and, in their view, wasn’t much of a problem so long as they weren’t out of control in any way.
Francis Anstie, the Victorian doctor whose 1877 book On the Uses of Wines in Health and Disease, I was reading yesterday might have shared their view. He was concerned about the ‘grave danger’ of excessive drinking caused, in his view, by the “multiplication of alcoholic drinks, with different flavours, each tempting in its turn” and by the lack of accurate label information on the strength of drinks. However, he was also determined (perhaps in the face of a temperance threat) “to demonstrate the prominent fitness of wine, above all other alcoholic drinks” as a remedy for a wide range of illnesses.
Francis Anstie, FRCP, MD