"Wine put upon its trial is subjected to two jurisdictions; the one altogether belonging to the senses, the other wholly physiological. The appreciation of wine by the senses is referred to three of our organs of sense - the eye; the nasal chambers, in front and behind; and the mouth, equally at its anterior and posterior part.

"Wine judged by the sight. - Wine pleases the eye by its clearness and colour; and be it ruby, rose, amber, or white, it ought always to have perfect clearness and freshness of colour. Neither of these latter tones will be out of harmony in a really good wine, even in extreme old age. If you will not take upon yourself to decide whether a wine is good when it is attractive to the sight, you can always say that it is not good, or at least that it is not in the best condition, when its transparency and shades of colour are questionable. Freshness of colour and clearness are good signs. Though they are not to be regarded as qualities, yet any appearance to the contrary betokens real defects in the wine.

"Wine judged by the sense of smell; the two odours of wine. - Wine reveals itself by two sorts of odours (the aroma and the bouquet) to the outer organ of smell - that is to say, when that sense is exercised by inhaling (or sniffing) the wine. The first, or aroma, is the general and common odour peculiar to most wines. It is always strongest when the wine is newest, but it always characterises good wine, however old it may be. This first odour seems to be due to the volatilization of the spirit, which holds in solution an essential oil, more or less volatile, more or less powerful, and more or less characteristic of each kind of wine. This aroma is a sign of real quality in the wine, and is generally very strong and very noticeable during the first years; it becomes concentrated, refined, and attenuated as the wine ages. The second kind of odour, the bouquet, on the contrary, is developed with age, and would appear to be owing to the reaction of vinous acids on the spirit, which gives rise to certain ethereal combinations.

" Wines are not made chiefly to please the senses of sight and smell. - Aroma, like colour, is a favourable or unfavourable sign, agreeable or disagreeable. Yet before everything wine is a nourishing beverage. It is a very good thing that sight and smell should be gratified in this way, but it would be puerile and ridiculous to exalt beyond measure the importance of these organs of sense; and to pretend that the superiority of wine rests almost exclusively on the pleasurable impressions which are derived therefrom. I have seen many hosts bother their guests with vexatious insistence to look at, hold up to the light, sniff their wine, even the empty glasses, almost throughout the whole duration of a banquet - at the risk of making them well nigh die of thirst. The true amateur, the wine-taster, knows perfectly well how to look at and how to smell his wine; but he knows full well also that these two preliminaries ought to be immediately followed by the taking of the fluid into the front part of the mouth. Colour and smell are merely two notes introductory to a gastronomic theme; if they are only by themselves they lose their relative value, and the theme is not properly understood.

"Wine judged by taste; that is, by the mouth at its anterior and posterior part. - Before speaking of the impression wine gives to the sense of taste, I ought to say that this sense is the only one in the animal organization which possesses a double apparatus for perception - one at the tip and edges of the tongue, the other at its root and at the soft palate. The first perceives acid or electro-positive tastes through the two lingual nerves; the second detects alkaline tastes by the two glosso-pharyngeal nerves. Tastes perceived by the front part of the mouth, in the case of liquids as well as solids, are not the same as those discriminated by the back part of the mouth. An alkaline salt, for instance, gives to the front part an acid, styptic, salt, or sweet taste, but communicates to the posterior part a basic, bitter, or saponaceous taste.

" Wine-tasting properly so called. - Wine taken into the front part of the mouth gives rise to acid, sweet, and styptic tastes at the outer edges and tip of the tongue. All shades, in harmony, ought to give a pleasing sensation to the organ, when neither acidity, sweetness, nor astringency predominates. Next we pass the wine to the posterior part of the mouth, and delay it there by a kind of gargling. It is now that we get the smack of the soil, the taste of cask or wood, the insipidity of salts, or any bitterness. If the whole effect is pleasing to the back part of the mouth, with the absence of all disagreeable impressions, we must, to put the finishing touch on the wine-tasting, not spit it out, but swallow it. As soon as the wine has passed over the root of the tongue and the soft palate and its pillars, a most pronounced odour ascends from the pharynx into the nasal cavities, and gives forth newer and more powerful revelations, as to the qualities or defects of the bouquet of wine, than can ever be obtained by the outward sense of smell. Moreover, the last contact of wine with the mucous membrane of the pharynx and of the base of the tongue leaves a lasting impression of taste, and when this sensation is disagreeable it is designated under the collective name of 'after-taste.'

"Good and bad wine judged by the senses. - If, then, a wine possesses perfect clearness and freshness of colour, if it has an agreeable odour, if the combined effect of the acid, sweet, and astringent tastes is gratifying to the anterior part of the mouth by a fusion, seeming to form a unique taste like many notes in a complete harmony; if to this harmonious impression the back part of the mouth adds a feeling of glow and vinous richness, without alcohol being noticed; and if, at last, the act of swallowing crowns the whole with a natural bouquet, not followed by any ' after-taste,' we may pronounce the wine to be good as judged by the senses. But, on the other hand, the wine is unsatisfactory if it fail in any of these points. It will be inferior in proportion as the acids, sugar, and the salts become individually perceived by the tip of the tongue. Again, it is imperfect when the chilliness, flatness, the essential oils, the taste of earth and of cask, and above all, an excess of free spirit, are manifestly noticed at the base of that organ. And lastly, it is defective just as the 'arriere bouquet' is less pleasant, and the 'after-taste ' more disagreeably prolonged.

"The difficulty of judging by tastes. - In this unfolding of the process of wine-tasting I have endeavoured to be clear, and yet I feel I have not been sufficiently so. It will be impossible to judge by tastes until science has laid down signs or words representative of their quality, of their stamp, or of their harmonious relations. The science of tastes has yet to be founded. Till then, chefs de cuisine and the clever caterers for banquets will remain isolated geniuses or empiries; while, as regards wine-tasters and gastronomists, they approve or they criticise, but they do not establish any rules. It would be a curious collection that would comprise all the expressions used by wine-tasters, wine-merchants, commercial travellers, amateurs (by far, indeed, the most numerous class), to express the feelings they experience in tasting wines. I know an English traveller who only liked a wine when it caused a ' peacock's tail in the mouth'; and everybody knows the expression of the Auvergnian drinking a glass of generous old wine - 'It's a yard of velvet going down the throat.'

"The physiological effect of wines. - The inhabitants of a beer-drinking or spirit-drinking country will never possess the vivacity of wit and the light-hearteduess of those who live in a wine-producing land. It is not by any means the alcohol in itself which constitutes the worth and goodness of wine, for beer may contain as much, and spirits certainly contain more. To be more or less spirituous does not constitute good wine. All natural wine is good, whether it be strong or weak in spirit, if it keeps its organic life. It is good, too, if it reveals itself by a fresh odour, by a union of all its elements in a taste harmonious to the palate, by being easily digested, and by causing greater activity of body and mind, and a sensible augmentation of muscular force. Be the taste of the wine fresh, sharp, or delicate; be it soft, unctuous, or rich; be it acid or strong, the wine is good if it supports and increases the forces of body and mind, without wearing out the digestive organs.

"Wine is good relatively and not absolutely. We ought to have before everything good common wines. - A wine is good according to the use to which we put it. Even an excellent liqueur or dessert wine is undesirable and out of place for ordinary drinking purposes or for nourishment. "We must distinguish between wines for ordinary use, those for side dishes {entremets), and those for dessert. And these again should be differentiated into wines for small, medium, or large glasses, relatively, proportional to the quantity which we can or ought to drink. A good cake is always good if we only eat a little at a time, and seldom take it; but bread is infinitely better and preferred by everybody to eating cake always. It is vastly more important to have good ordinary wines than to have good vins d'entremets or good liqueur wines. And, indeed, this very matter affects the total consumption within and out of France, and the interests of producer and consumer, as well as the interests of public hygiene. Good ordinary wine, alimentary wine - for wine is a real and excellent food - is by no means a wine strong in spirit, nor is it a wine of great age; but it is a wine of fine cepage, not going beyond 10 per cent. of spirit, or even 6 per cent."