This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V25", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
All the world knows of the ravages which the Phylloxera has made on the European grape for some years past. The depredations of this terrible pest have been in no ways exaggerated. Ingredient on ingredient, process on process, have been tried, the experimenters having little more than their labor for their pains. In view of this evident result, some, with the encouragement of some learned societies, have had the courage to propose the total abandonment of the culture of this once precious plant, because they have discovered all they desire to replace it in another vegetable. This is neither more nor less than varieties of the common Sugar Beet, which there is now no doubt for wine-making purposes, can be made to succeed to the famous heritage of the vine. The beet furnishes a first class alcohol. The red beet, strong in sugar, produces by fermentation a wine which has been found fully the equal of any produced by the grape in the meridian of the Southern Cross.
In all worldly troubles there is usually something occurs to give relief, and it will only be another instance of the beneficence of this law, if now, with the inevitable fate of grape culture in the old world clearly before us, the beet should arise for all the purposes of wine-making, to give relief to the distressed grape grower.