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Baron Brisse also gave a clear picture of the wines available to rich dinersof his day when he set out the following rules. "During the whole of dinner, well-iced dry and sweet champagne must be served. After the soup: madeira and vermouth. With the fish: burgundies, either Beaune, Volnay or Pommard; clarets, either Mouton, Rausan-SegIa, Leoville, Gruaud-Larose, Lascombes, Pichon-Longueville, Clos-d'Estournel or Monrose. Between the cold entrees and the game, offer either Chateau Yquem or Rhine wine... slightly iced, in green glasses. With the roasts and dressed vegetables: burgundies, La Romance Conti, Clos Vougeot or Chambertin; clarets, Chateau Lafite, Margaux, Latour or Haut Brion. With the sweets: sherry. During dessert: sweet wines, such as malmsey, muscatel or tokay."

While the upper classes were displaying their wealth in ostentatious banquets, the newly wealthy middle classes enjoyed the simpler pleasures of good home cooking. The French in the early 19th century were hugely interested in food, as was demonstrated by the instant success of La Physiologie du Gout, a study of taste by the judge and gourmet Brillat-Savarin (1755-1826). Brillat-Savarin's book offers many fascinating insights into the eating and drinking habits of the time; and his description of a well-hung pheasant, larded with bacon, stuffed with truffles, roasted, and washed down with "a good wine from upper Burgundy" remains mouthwatering to this day.

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