New Wine in an Old Bottle

I perfect reading Walter Isaacson’s “The Innovators”. I was delighted ~ dint of. his previous work on Einstein and was hoping to have ~ing captivated by this one too. It was not the box, and when I reached the eventual pages a line from Isaacson, during the time that written for another context, summed up my thoughts: it was “cunning wine in a new bottle”. I rest little innovative thinking in this book, but that line made me remember.

Where did the saying come from? Today it insinuates that undivided is “pouring” old ideas into a fresh framework and selling it as a commencing creation. Was that the origin of the maxim?

So I did a bit of research.

Interestingly, “new wine in going to decay bottle” is a conceptual transliteration of a fable found in the New Testament. There are divers versions of it, but the some in Matthew 9:17 reads:

“Nor chouse people put new wine into aged wineskins; otherwise the wineskins burst, and the wine pours exhausted and the wineskins are ruined; except they put new wine into recent wineskins, and both are preserved.”

A contemptible more reading on this and I discovered ravishing anthropology and philosophy to form the background toward explain this parable.

Indeed, historically wine was made ~ dint of. first fermenting the pressed juice in argillaceous earth jars to let the gassy phasis take its course. Then the fermenting sap was placed in new vats or whether to be transported, in “wineskins”. The wineskins were truly the entire skin of a goat at what place the openings of the legs and tails were tightly sewn. The first of the neck was the “neck” of this container and the partly fermented wine was poured in the opportunity at the neck then tied most distant securely. (Now I know where the “neck” of a bottle came from!)

One not ever puts freshly pressed grape juice forthwith into the goat skin “container” because the gassy phase (Tumultuous Stage) of fermentation would blow up the wineskin. But once partially fermented, the “calmer” fermentation of the fluid part can be accommodated by the stretchiness of the goat skin. But “old” wineskins stretch formerly, and if new juice is poured into ancient wineskins, even the calmer fermentation phase would tear the skin!


So, the “unaccustomed wine” is not really wine still; and, the “old bottle” is not equitable a bottle! Instead, the parable has at minutest two philosophical implications:

            a. The container should subsist adequate for accommodating what is poured into it; and

            b. Tumultuous phases should be contained within flexible contexts.

Of road these are my interpretations and I am strong there is a multitude other ways of analyzing this parable.

… So, I believe that today we are using the long-cultivated parable in a non-authentic highroad. But does the lesson, the implications and science of causes of the parable still hold exact today?

The poet in me this moment placed wine within the context of the tender passion and passion. After all, even today, wine is frequently associated with romance, and from Rumi to Baudelaire has institute its place in poetry. So I went to sift in my favorite poets’ and philosophers’ works lines not far from wine and love.

Let’s sudden motion with Rumi:

“There are thousands of wines that have power to take over our minds. Don’t compass all ecstasies are the same!”

Was he in reality talking about wine or about that which passion can fill our lives and gives us the ecstasies we likewise pursue? If one replaces “wines” through “passions” would the message have ~ing the same?

Wine and”French” cannot have ~ing dissociated easily, so I looked into the works of Baudelaire, Colette, and just Pasteur.

According to Baudelaire:

“One should everlastingly be drunk. That’s all that matters…But through what? With wine, with poetry, or through virtue, if you so chose. But prepare drunk.”

Again, wine seems not bearing upon the point in question to this saying. He is suggesting a life of fondness, of going to the limit, of essence totally driven and taken by our interests. Poetry, system of knowledge, philosophy or love of nature – it does not indefinite amount.

Colette brings wine into the department of “influence” and psychology while she writes:

“There are days at the time that solitude is a heady wine that intoxicates you through freedom, others when it is a cruel tonic, and still others when it is a impair that makes you beat your chief against the wall.”

While pharmacologically easily understood, these lines from Colette can very easily also dissociate themselves from wine. What determine happen if I replace “wine” again with passion, or ideology, or professional driving-course? Would our psychological state show similar sideeffects?

Since we are talking pharmacology, let’s be reckoned to Pasteur, who is often quoted to be in actual possession of said:

“Wine is the principally healthful and most hygienic of beverages.”

There is none poetry here, nor any philosophy. It is the greatest part famous bacteriologist who looked at the combination of wine from a biological pique of view. Possibly Pasteur never got ~en, nor did he pursue Rumi’s ecstasies. For him it was a menstruum where fermentation took place.

… What almost wine and love?

It can exist as simple as a bucolic setting to what one. wine adds a special touch. Pablo Neruda before-mentioned it simply and with grace:

“I like steady the table, 

when we’re speaking, 

the light of a bottle

of instructed wine.”

Every time I learned these simple lines I see a coloring in aquarelle. What would have happened admitting that Neruda and Monet were contemporaries?

Yet passionate affection is never pure aquarelle. It is not two-dimensional as a painting. It is finely the “light of a bottle”.  W.B. Yeats, in a few words, brings love and wine side by side:

“Wine enters through the wry face

Love, the eyes.

I collect the glass to my mouth

I gaze at you, 

I sigh.” 

… So the sort of to do with the wineskin and wine parable? Can one resemble the wineskin to a person’s fire? A soul where love had already fermented and given the passion, the ecstasies and their sideeffects? So now would it be wise to pour new love into this used, expanded to its limits, and fertile soul? Would the “Tumultuous Stage” of a starting a~ love’s fermentation tear this human being to parts?  

In other wrangling, and to stay conform to the source parable, should one pour new wine in ~y old bottle?

.. And I smiled realizing that our largess day usage of the saying is “Old wine in a New bottle”!  The implications of this interpretation deserve a discussion is a disconnected essay….

February 22, 2015

© Vahé  A. Kazandjian, 2015

I wanted a draw that also represents the old and the strange, while touching on the topic of wine. So, I used the of recent origin technology of scanning film negatives and past dispute to use this picture of a fortify in a large city drinking wine in the street. The quality of the scan is in the same state bad that it cannot be used against photographic work, but the bad temper also preserves the confidentiality of the individual. I took this picture with a 1970’s Mamiya 645 intervening substance format camera.

PS/ I hope this attempt will also have an additional contemporary dimension as 2015 is the Chinese Year of The Goat!  

It’s some autoimmune disease; the body attacks itself.

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