Roger Scruton (1944-2020), I Drink Therefore I Am: A Philosopher's Guide to Wine
(2009; rpt. London: Continuum, 2010), pp. 176-178:
Plato. There is a dialogue of Plato to suit every wine. A fine claret will
take you at a leisurely pace through The Republic, while with the Phaedrus
a light rosé would be more appropriate, and only a bone-dry Manzanilla
would do justice to the Philebus. The Laws would benefit from a robust
Burgundy, giving courage and permission to the inevitable desire to skip.
When it comes to the sublime Symposium, by contrast, something light
and semi-sweet will help you to capture some of the gaiety of the
company, and to drink to each of the participants as they rise to speak.
Aristotle. Readers of the Metaphysics will understand when I say that
plain water is the only conceivable accompaniment. To swallow the driest
book ever written you need plenty of liquid, and an attitude of Spartan
detachment as you fight down the words. Before moving on to the Prior
Analytics a ginger biscuit might be suitable. Only with the Nicomachean
Ethics do things lighten up a bit, and here, because the argument is
absolutely vital to the concept of virtuous drinking as I have been
advancing it, I would recommend a celebratory glass or two. My best
experience of the Ethics came, in fact, with a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc
from the Beringer Estate in California — one of those original Californian
wineries that have been a by-word for craftsmanship both before and after
Cicero. Not exactly a philosopher, though a jolly good bloke, who had
much to say about the life of virtue, and whose creative ability to make
himself hated ought to serve as an example to us all. His careful sentences,
with their burden of dignified thought, are prime claret material, and
should be approached after dinner, with a glass or two of Pauillac, where
the poet Ausonius once had a villa. The great Ch. Lynch-Bages 1959 could
not be better used, by anyone fortunate enough to have a bottle remaining.
But while on the subject of Ausonius, how about the equally great 1959
from Ch. Ausone?