The Politics of Wine in 18th-century England
After the upheavals of 1688, England’s shifting social order needed new ways to define itself. A taste for fine claret became one such marker of wealth and power, as Charles Ludington explains.
Political authority needs many props and in early 18th-century England claret was among them. Wine was symbolic of both the court and the church: the former because of its heavy use by the aristocracy and its importance as a source of royal revenue; the latter due to its central role in the Eucharist.