Today’s words come to us from 17th century Italian astronomer, mathematician, physicist, and all-around Renaissance man, Galileo Galilei. Galileo proposed the absurd and terrifying idea that the earth revolves around the sun (and not the other way around), which resulted in a little misunderstanding with the Catholic Church. Galileo was tried and convicted of heresy, forced to recant (as an alternative to being burned at the stake), and spent the rest of his life under house arrest. The Catholic Church eventually came around (359 years later, in 1992) and issued a pardon and apology to Galileo.
These are some of my very favorite wine words. In the movie, Bottle Shock, (the story of the 1976 Judgement of Paris), Steven Spurrier (played by Alan Rickman, aka Severus Snape) says these words, and he says them beautifully (it’s probably the swoony British accent — everything sounds better with a British accent).
Of course, they aren’t the real words. The real words were likely, “wine is light held together by moisture”.1
Plain old light and moisture?!? No, no, no. That’s all wrong. I’m not sure who changed these words, but they changed them for the better. Sorry, Galileo.
1Drake, Stillman. Galileo at Work: His Scientific Biography. Chicago: U of Chicago, 1978.