Bibulous-o-graphy for A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

After the Russian Revolution Count Alexander Illyich Rostov, aristocrat and bon vivant, is imprisoned in the luxurious Hotel Metropol. Not in his usual suite but a tiny attic. From here he watches the world change around him. He spends a lot of his time enjoying the hotel’s bar and celebrated wine cellar: “But the Count knows every bottle contains a story, if you know how to read it: “The contents of the bottle in his hand was the product of a history as unique and complex as that of a nation, or a man. In its colour, aroma, and taste, it would certainly express the idiosyncratic geology and prevailing climate of its home terrain. But in addition, it would express all the natural phenomena of its vintage. In a sip, it would evoke the timing of that winter’s thaw, the extent of that summer’s rain, the prevailing winds, and the frequency of clouds. Yes, a bottle of wine was the ultimate distillation of time and place; a poetic expression of individuality itself.”

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