1964 Burgundy and Carrying the Fire by Michael Collins

I am thoroughly enjoying the 50th Anniversary Edition of Michael Collins’ Carrying the Fire, An Astronaut’s Journeys. I was pleasantly surprised to discover this wine-related passage on page 69:

But if 1964 was for astronauts a year of technological doubt, a year for questioning scientists, engineers, and flight planners, it was also a year of great spiritual exuberance. We had not been with the space program long enough to become jaded by constant close contact with its marvels. Nineteen sixty-four was a great vintage year for Burgundy wine, as well, and it was a pleasure to know that the longer the wine waited in its bottle, the better it became—up to a point. When the time to drink came, years later, in some cases it would be harsh and bitter, but in others delicious and rewarding past expectation. Nineteen sixty-four was a year of promise, a year without manned space flights, but a year in which knowledge was being harvested and bottled for future use. Wise or not, we were on our way, and I remember 1964 as a vintner might: “Young, still tasting of tannin, rough around the edges, but solid, with body, a spicy bouquet, and a strength suggesting greatness in five years’ time.”


I highly recommend this book. Collins is an excellent writer who injects a keen sense of humor and a refreshing dose of humility into his storytelling. The Burgundy reference was a surprising bonus!

~ by Thomas on August 11, 2019.

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