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May. 29 2012

Uncorked: We’ll Drink To That!

By Dyana Neal | Posted in Host Blogs | 3 Comments

“It warms the blood, adds luster to the eyes, and wine and love have ever been allies.” – Ovid

Jim & I love museums. We also enjoy wine, so when we learned that Winterthur was featuring an exhibition called “Uncorked! Wine, Objects, & Tradition”, we knew we’d have to pay a visit to Delaware. Our chance came last Saturday. Yes, we braved I-95N on a holiday weekend; hideous traffic notwithstanding, we had a great trip.

“Uncorked!” contains over 300 objects related to the history, making, &, of course, consumption of wine. Besides the obvious items (drinking vessels, storage & travel cases, etc.) there are song sheets, trade cards, artworks, & more on view. Some of the mezzotints & engravings are hilarious & quite bawdy – if you have delicate sensibilities, you’ve been warned! I loved the trick drinking vessels – decanters pierced in various spots or otherwise constructed so that one would have quite a time taking a swig out of them without spilling the contents. I’m sure these provided quite a bit of entertainment back in the day, especially when used by folks who had already been imbibing for a while. The show also includes “The New Game of Virtue Rewarded & Vice Punished” as well as other items related to the temperance movement & the potential ill-effects of wine.


One 19-century British music hall song referred to in “Uncorked!”, George Leybourne’s “Champagne Charlie”, was also hit in the U.S.  The song inspired a play based on Leybourne’s life – apparently he lived exactly the sort of decadent existence detailed in the lyrics. The play was even filmed in 1944.

Having seen “Uncorked!”, we wandered around Winterthur’s grounds for a bit – alas, it was too late at that point to visit other parts of the museum, but we’ve been before & most certainly will go back – then had a lovely Italian dinner. With Chianti, of course.

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Dyana Neal


Dyana is WBJC's midday host. Her full bio can be read here.

3 Responses to Uncorked: We’ll Drink To That!

  • Doug says:

    Have you been up to Longwood Gardens, in the same area? Another neat place to go… I up there once in the fall, might be fun to be there during the winter and go into the conservatories.

    I’ve never been to Winterthur, if you can believe it… it’s on the list…


  • Jill says:

    We’re so glad you enjoyed your trip here to Winterthur. Next time, get in touch beforehand and we’ll take you through the house! Bring Doug with you!

  • Dyana Neal
    Dyana Neal says:

    Doug, alas, we haven’t – need to fix that! Looks like another trip to DE is in order.

    Jill, that sounds great; we’ve only been inside the house at the holidays. Thanks!

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