A historical dive into the wine preferences of one of England's most infamous figures

What Do You Drink On Bonfire Night?

When we think of rebellious figures in British history, one name that undoubtedly comes to mind is Guy Fawkes. Known for his infamous role in the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605, Fawkes is a character shrouded in mystery and intrigue. But have you ever wondered about the details of his life that aren't as widely discussed, such as what wine did Guy Fawkes drink? In this article, we delve into the historical context of the era to answer this intriguing question.

What did Guy Fawkes drink when planning the Gunpowder Plot? (Photo by TheFamousPeople.com)

The Wine of the 17th Century

In order to understand what wine Guy Fawkes might have drunk, it's important to consider the common wines of the 17th century. Wine was an integral part of daily life during this time, often safer to drink than water due to poor sanitation practices. Ale was the common drink for the lower classes, while wine was typically reserved for the wealthier gentry. English vineyards were not as developed as they are today, so most wine was imported from France, Spain, and Italy. The most popular wines were reds, particularly claret (a dry red wine from Bordeaux), and sack (a strong, sweet white wine from Spain), and malmsey (a sweet, strong wine from the Mediterranean).

Guy Fawkes and His Socio-Economic Status

Guy Fawkes was born into a family of moderate wealth, allowing him some luxuries, such as education and, possibly, finer drinks such as wine. As he grew older, Fawkes sold the estate he had inherited from his father and used the funds to support his travels and adventures, including his role in the Gunpowder Plot. His socio-economic status suggests that he would have been able to afford imported wines, which were considered a luxury at that time.

The Probable Choices of Wine for Fawkes

Given the historical context and Fawkes' socio-economic status, we can surmise that he probably enjoyed the popular wines of his time. Here are three possible choices:

1. Claret: A fine Bordeaux, this would have been a likely choice for Fawkes. Its full-bodied, rich flavor would have been appreciated by the wine connoisseurs of the time.

2. Sack: This strong, sweet Spanish wine was a favorite of the English gentry.

3. Malmsey: Known for its sweetness and strength, Malmsey was another wine that Fawkes could have enjoyed. Although we can't say for certain what wine Guy Fawkes drank, we can make an educated guess based on the wines that were popular during his lifetime and his socio-economic status.

Who Do You Want To Drink Like?

The question 'What wine did Guy Fawkes drink?' invites us to explore the lesser-known aspects of his life and the historical context in which he lived. Though we may never know for certain, it's fascinating to imagine him sipping on a glass of Claret, Sack, or Malmsey, planning his next move. So, next time you raise a glass of your favorite wine, consider a toast to history and the intriguing characters it holds.

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