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Wu Ting
How would you interpret ‘tannic and lovely’ in the context? How would you interpret ‘tannic and lovely’ in ‘and the wine, clear red, tannic and lovely, poured out into the glass held with the same hand’? I think the word ‘tannic’ means the wine is astringent and the word ‘lovely’ means the wine is fragrant. What do you think? Thanks. It’s from A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway. the context: That night in the mess after the spaghetti course, which every one ate very quickly and seriously, lifting the spaghetti on the fork until the loose strands hung clear then lowering it into the mouth, or else using a continuous lift and sucking into the mouth, helping ourselves to wine from the grass-covered gallon flask; it swung in a metal cradle and you pulled the neck of the flask down with the forefinger and the wine, clear red, tannic and lovely, poured out into the glass held with the same hand; after this course, the captain commenced picking on the priest.
Dec 30, 2015 10:01 AM
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Answers · 3
I think "lovely" just means generally good... the overall impression... probably both in appearance and taste. The tannic acid taste is the kind of thing that some people like and some people don't. I hardly ever drink wine myself so I'm not sure, but it is a bitter taste, like tea, and very likely it is considered a sophisticated taste. Probably people begin liking sweet, fruity wines and gradually acquire a taste for the tannic flavor. I believe the writer is saying both that the wine is tannic, and that he likes that flavor and thinks that the tannic flavor is one of the things that makes it lovely. I happen to dislike French roast coffee myself, but I can imagine somebody saying "The coffee came: pitch black, bitter, and lovely."
December 30, 2015
Tannic does refer to the astringency from the tannins in wine. Lovely, which describes the wine, means that it is nice and pleasant. However, exactly what about the wine, to me, isn't clear. It could be its color, the fragrance, etc.
December 30, 2015
Wu Ting
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, French
Learning Language
English