Modern Living: The '76 Grapes of Joy

God made only water, but man made

wine.

—Victor Hugo

God spared precious little water for France this past summer, but wine-making man is glorying in His neglect. From the rolling, red-earth slopes of Burgundy, whose minuscule vineyards might have been stitched into place by the Gobelin tapestry masters, to the gravelly, gray fields of Bordeaux, where sunny days are normally counted like pearls, the long, sultry Cézanne summer has wrought wonders among the grapes. For many wines, 1976 may prove to be the vintage of the century. At worst, the 1976 wines will...