I am referring to Ernest Hemingway and his groundbreaking novel from 1926 The sun also rises, in Europe also known as Fiesta.
A group of American expatriates head off to Pamplona for the yearly San Fermin bull fight Fiesta. It’s the gay twenties, a lost generation, looking for satisfaction in alcoholic gatherings, tempts the reader to come along on their journey of soothing pleasures.
The juxtaposition of weariness and gayety is reflected in the heavy consumption of alcohol, wine in particular and is being referred to throughout the book. I would love to go on about the book but that would probably blow up the size of this post and distract from the real subject matter which is wine. So I leave the reading to you though your comments are as always welcome.
“It was like certain dinners I remember from the war. There was much wine, an ignored tension, and a feeling of things coming that you could not prevent happening. Under the wine I lost the disgusted feeling and was happy. It seemed they were all such nice people.”
– Chapter 13, The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway
“You’re an expatriate. You’ve lost touch with the soil. You get precious. … You spend all your time talking, not working. You are an expatriate, see. You hang around cafés.”
– Chapter 12, The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway
Reading the novel back in Germany I not only reinforced the idea of becoming an expatriate myself, I actually literary happened to develop a longing for wine and for the Spanish fiesta. The depiction of a jolly crowd hanging out in cafes, drinking wine and listening to swinging Jazz was an authentic attraction and would soon become part of my own expatriate reality. Of course there is without any doubts more to Spain than wine, fiesta and coffee culture but talking about wine and wine relations on a blog I felt I needed to bring in this book in particular as in my opinion there is no other that would describe the viva la vida better.
My recommendation to all the becoming expatriates out there; pair a vintage merlot cabernet-sauvignon (a Montau de Sadurni goes well) with Hemingway’s Fiesta, you will love it.
“This wine is too good for toast-drinking, my dear. You don’t want to mix emotions up with a wine like that. You lose the taste.”
– Chapter 7, The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway
Anyone out there who has read the novel and craved for wine while reading it?