Pepys Page - Samuel Pepys on Drinking

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Samuel Pepys on Drinking

“Off to the Exchange with Mr. J. Cutler and Mr. Grant to the Royall Oake Taverne in Lumbard-street, where Broome the poet was, a merry and witty man I believe, if he not be a little conceited. And here drank a sort of French wine called Ho Bryan, that hath a good and most perticular taste that I never met with.”

April 10, 1663 marks the first mention by Pepys (much quoted since) of the Bordeaux wine we know today as Haut Brion. While he fails to give it a numerical rating, he undoubtedly would have done so had he known he could make a business out of it.

“Then to the Theatre, The Alchymist, which is a most incomparable play. And that being done, I met with little Luellin and Blirton, who took me to a friend's of theirs in Lincoln's Inn Fields, one Mr. Hodges; where we drank great store of Rhenish wine and were very merry.”

June 22, 1661 gives us just one of the many Pepys references to the concept of making “merry.” The Alchymist was a comedy by Ben Jonson, newly revived for Restoration audiences. German white wines (Mosel and Hock) were usually consumed in special Rhenish winehouses in London.

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I'll never catch up to the famous London diarist Samuel Pepys (1633-1703), who in addition to being a keen observer of his age, had a certain talent for drinking (women and song also seemed to be high on his list).

food writer Elliot Essman James Beard Foundation Journalism Award
James Beard Award Nominee Elliot Essman

food writer Elliot Essman James Beard Foundation Journalism Award


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