Skip to main content

#1463: Willa Cather to Julian Street, December 19, 1939

More about this letter…
Plain view:

Guide to Reading Letter Transcriptions

Some of these features are only visible when "plain text" is off.

Textual Feature Appearance
passage deleted with a strikethrough mark deleted passage
passage deleted by overwritten added letters overwritten passage
passage added above the line passage with added text above
passage added on the line passage with added text inline
passage added in the margin passage with text added in margin
handwritten addition to a typewritten letter typed passage with added handwritten text
missing or unreadable text missing text noted with "[illegible]"
uncertain transcriptions word[?]
notes written by someone other than Willa Cather Note in another's hand
printed letterhead text printed text
text printed on postcards, envelopes, etc. printed text
text of date and place stamps stamped text
passage written by Cather on separate enclosure. written text
⬩W⬩S⬩C⬩ NY My dear Julian Street1:

Just a word to thank you for your wonderful wine letter3, which has been read and reread many times. The picture you paint of what is still to be had from Bellows4 would tempt me into absolute bankruptcy, if I had any cellar or any proper place at all to keep wine. I have a trunk room in the basement of this apartment house5, surely. But you know these basement rooms are subjected to constant changes of temperature - and in the winter they are blazing hot! As I read over your list of beautiful names, there are very few points in which I differ with you. By Château Cantenac-Brown 1926, do you mean Château Brane Cantenac? If so, I prefer it to Mouton-Rothschild, which you say is your favorite of all wines. Last Christmas, Alfred Knopf6 gave me a half dozen Brane Cantenac 1900. And I think it the best wine I ever drank. I agree with you heartily on Montrachet and Richebourg, of course. But in champagnes I differ with you, though I know my taste is not so elevated as yours. Perrier-Jouët is just a little dry for me (I suppose most American women want champagne to taste like soda water). I really prefer Louis Roederer, of a good year. This may horrify you, but it is always best to tell the truth.

I am now in the middle of a Christmas jam and everybody I ever knew in the far West is coming to town2, so though it is a little previous, let me wish you a Happy Christmas, with something soft and rich and mellow from your cellar to recall the beautiful civilization from which the best wines come,—and all that it has lived through. I am just now reading Guizot7’s long History of France8 and Michelet9’s even more wonderful one10, both at the same time. I had read them several times before, but every time I go through them France11 seems more wonderful to me. I ⬩W⬩S⬩C⬩highly recommend them. I find that I can live more vividly in those great records of how France “became”, than I can in the morning paper.

With friendly greetings to you both12, Willa Cather