Imágenes de páginas
[ocr errors]

removes much of the confusion that has same quality as those witch have since arisen from the misnomer above alluded to. been so largely imported under the name Whether the Canary Islands then furnish of Mountain. But that the richest growths ed any dry wines, similar to those which of the Malaguese vineyards were not unare now imported from Teneriffe, seems known in England at this period, the fredoubtful : but it is clear, that Canary Sack quent notice of the Pedro Ximenes, under resembled the liquor which still passes un. various disguises of the name, sufficiently der that denomination. Of the precise de. testifies. gree of sweetness which it possessed, we “ Judging from what is still observable may form some idea from the observation of some of the wines of Spain, we may of HOWELL, who informs us, that · Sher. easily imagine, that many of the Sacks, ries and Malagas well mingled pass for properly so called, might, at the same Canaries in most taverns, more often than time, be both dry and sweet. At all events, Canary itself.' Ben Jonson mentions when new, they would belong to the class his receiving a present of Palm-sack, that of sweetish wines ; and it was only after is, sack from the island of Palma.

having been kept a sufficient length of “ With these decisive authorities before time, to ensure the decomposition of the us, we can more readily understand the greater part of the free saccharine matter description which MARKHAM has given of contained in them, that they could have the various kinds of Sack known in his acquired the peculiar dryness for which time. Your best Sacks,' he observes, they were distinguished. We find, ac• are of Xeres, in Spain,-your smaller, cordingly, that they were valued in propor of Gallicia and Portugall; your strong tion to their age; and the calls for old Sacks are of the islands of the Canaries back," as Back xar' ioxiv, were very comand of Malligo; and your muskadine and mon. We may also presume, that there malmseys are of many parts, of Italy, would be much less difference of taste Greece, and some special islands.' It thus among the several species of Sack, in their appears, that the Xerez wine, though the recent state, than after they had been long driest of any then imported, was inferior kept; for even the sweetest wines betray in point of strength to the growths of Ma- at first some degree of roughness, wliich is laga and the Canary Islands ; which is gradually subdued by age; while the much the same character that was given of character of dryness, on the other hand, it at a subsequent period. With respect will hardly apply to any of the dura. to the Sacks of Galicia and Portugal, How ble wines, as they come from the vat. ELL would persuade us, that few of them Mountain and Canary were always sweeter could have been then brought to this coun than Sherry: but between the richer kinds try.

• There is,' he remarks, a gentle there is often 2, strong resemblance in filakind of wine that grows among the moun. vour, which is the less extraordinary, as tains of Galicia, but not of body enough to they are made from the same species of bear the sea, called Rabidavia. Portugal grape, though growing in different soils. affords no wines worth the transporting.' It was, therefore, not without reason, that This opinion, however, I conceive to be they were considered as near allied.' erroneous. In the verses above referred to, * The conclusion at which we thus which were published soon after the Revo- arrive is so far satisfactory, as it proves, lution, the wines of Galicia and Carcavel that the wines formerly known under the los are noticed ; and there is some reason name of sacks, though they may, upon to believe, that the latter may have been the whole, have been inferior, yet differed the growth which MARKHAM had in view, in no essential quality from those with when speaking of the Portugal Sacks. which we are at present supplied by the SHAKSPEARE and other dramatic writers same countries that originally produced mention a wine called Charneco, which, in them, and which are still held in such de. a pamphlet quoted by Warburton, is enu served estimation. They probably first merated along with Sherry-sack and Ma. came into favour, in consequence of their laga. According to Mr Stevens, the ap- possessing greater strength and durability, pellation is derived from a village near and being more free from acidity, than the Lisbon. There are, in fact, two villages white wines of France and Germany; and in that neighbourhood, which take the owed their distinctive appellation to that name of Charneca ; the one situated about peculiar sub-astringent taste which characa league and a half above the town of Lis- terizes all wines prepared with gypsum. bon,—the other near the coast, between

The history of the English taste in Collares and Carcavellos. We shall, there. wines may be carried down from these "fore, probably not err much, if we refer days to the present in a single sentence. the wine in question to the last-mentioned Claret became the standing liquor at territory, “ The Malaga Sacks must have been not

the Restoration, and continued so until only stronger, but also sweeter than the

the abominable Methuen treaty gave other kinds; as, by mixing them with

those shameful advantages to the PorSherry, a liquor resembling Canary wine tuguese growers, by which their pockwas produced. They were doubtless of the ets are to this hour enriched, and our

stomachs crucified: Since the peace, discussion of the wines now in daily however, a visible increase in the con use among the well-bred classes of the sumption of French wine has taken community,---make it your business place; and it may at this day be safe to taste, deliberately and carefully, at ly stated, that the man, generally least one genuine sample of each wine speaking, who sported good port in the Doctor mentions. Go through a 1812, sports good claret in 1824. Still regular course of claret and burgundy a fine field remains for the patriotic in particular. Lay the foundations of a exertions of Canning, Huskisson, and real thorough-knowledge of the RhineRobinsun. And if anybody, out of a wines. Make yourself intimately acshovel-hat, drinks port habitually in quainted with the different flavours of 1834, these statesmen will have done the dry wines of Dauphiny and the Jess for their native land than I at pre- sweet wines of Languedoc. Get home sent auspicate, from the known li some genuine unadulterated Alto Douberality, good taste, &c. &c. &c. by ro, and compare that diligently and which they are, one and all of them, closely with the stuff which they sell so egregiously distinguished. Let no you under the name of port. Compare Althy, dirty notions of conciliation ihe real Sercial which has been at Chicondemn much longer the guts of the na, with the ordinary truck or barter middle orders--the real strength of the Madeira, and let the everyday Sherry nation—to be deluged diurnally with be brought into immediate contact the hot and corrosive liquor of Portu with the genuine vino catholico of gal—the produce of grapes grown by Seres. Study this with unremitting slaves and corrupted by knaves—while, attention and sedulity for a few years, by a slight alteration of the British and depend upon it, that, at the end code, every rector, vicar, and smallish- of your apprenticeship, you will look landed proprietor in England, might back with feelings, not of contempt easily be enabled to paint his nose of a merely, but of horror and disgust, upon more delicate ruby, by cultivating an the state in which you have so long affectionate and familiar intimacy with suffered many of your noblest powers the blood of the Bordelais.

and faculties to slumber, or at least to But enough of all this. It is a truly doze. distressing thing to me, and I am sure I cannot sufficiently expatiate upon every right-feeling mind will go along the absolute necessity of this in the with me in what I say, to observe the course of a periodical paper, such as awful ignorance which most men

the present. Let it be impressed make manifest whenever the different upon your mindslet it be instilled branches of oinological science happen into your children—that he who drinks to be tabled in the common course of beer, ought to understand beer, and Christian conversation. I speak of that he who quaffs the generous juice men in other respects estimable. I of the grape, ought to be skilled in its allow the full meed of applause to their various qualities and properties. That virtues, personal, domestic, civic, and man is despicable wbo, pretending to political ;—but is it, or is it not, the sport vin de Bourdeaux, gives you, unfact, that they scarcely seem to be der the absurd denomination of claret, aware of the difference between La a base mixture of what may be called fitte and Latour ?-while, as for being Medoc smallbeer, and Palus, and Stum in a condition to distinguish Johannis- wine, and Alicant, and Benicarlo, and berg from Steinwein, or Hockheimer perhaps Hermitage, if not brandyfrom Rudesheimer-the very idea of poison, for which he pays, it is proit is ridiculous. I earnestly recom- bable, three shillings a-bottle more mend to those who are sensible of their than he would do if he placed upon own culpable deficiencies in these his board in its stead the genuine unbranches of information, or rather in contaminated liquid ruby of the Bordeed I should say, of common educa- delais. I want words to express my tion, to remain no longer in their pre contempt for him whose highly pow. sent cimmerianism; and the plan I dered and white-waistcoated butler would humbly propose for their adop puts down vin de Fimes, that is to say, tion is a very simple one. Buy this the worst white Champaigne, stained work of Dr Henderson's, and do not with elderberries and cream of tartar, read through, but drink through it. when the call is for Clos St Thierry, Make it your business, after coming to or Ay-wines tinged with the roseate the page at which he commences his hues of sunset by the direct influence

of Phæbus. If you cannot afford though they will keep a certain namber of claret, give port; if you cannot afford years, are much more liable to spoil, than port, give beer-The only indispen- those of the Rhine, especially when remosable rules are two in number: Give ved to warm climates. We must therefore the article you profess to give, genuine, look for this preservative quality in some of pure, and excellent ; and give it freely, under consideration ; and we shall find it, liberally, in full overflowing abun- if I mistake not, in the large proportion of dance and profusion.

free tartaric acid which they contain, and Now for a few more samples of the which can only be separated by the usual doctor's admirable style of treating the chemical reagents. Other wines, it is true, practically useful parts of his very ex also contain this acid, but chiefly in comtensive subject. Perhaps no kinds of bination with potash; in which state it is wine are less understood in this coun of difficult solution, and is gradually pretry than those of the Rhine. Let the cipitated, at least in part, and with a porfollowing sentences be considered by tion of extractive matter, as the liquor adthe uninitiated as a sort of first page

vances in age; leaving the mucilaginous

and spiritous parts disposed to acescency in the grammar, which, if they are

from the slightest exciting causes. Even ever to be worthy of dallying with a

in some of the strongest and most perfect green goblet, they must make it forth

wines, such as Sherry and Madeira, when with their business to master.

long kept in bottle, this deposit may be " The wines of the Rhine may be re- perceived ; but the completeness of their garded as constituting a distinct order by fermentation, and the alcohol in which they themselves. Some of the lighter sorts, in abound, ensure them from any farther deed, resemble very much the vins de change. With most light wines, however, Graves ; but, in general, they are drier the case is different. Their feebleness will than the French white wines, and are cha not admit of the separation of any portion racterized by a delicate flavour and aroma, of their tartar, without risking their total called in the country gare, which is quite ruin : but in Rhine wines, not even the peculiar to them, and of which it would, evaporation, which is occasioned by long therefore, be in vain to attempt the descrip- keeping in the wood, is sufficient to detion. A notion prevails, that they are na. range the affinities. The proportion of al. turally acid ; and the inferior kinds, do cohol, indeed, is very sensibly diminished, doubt, are so : but this is not the constant and the wine becomes more acid than be. character of the Rhine wines, which, in fore; but the acidity is still very distinct good years, have not any perceptible acidi. from that of vinegar, and by no means unty to the taste, at least, not more than is grateful to the palate ; while the colour is common to them with the growths of war. beightened from a pale yellow to a bright mer regions. But their chief distinction is amber hue, and the peculiar aroma and their extreme durability, in which they are flavour are more fully developed ; thus not surpassed by any other species of wine; shewing, that no other changes have taken and as they often possess this valuable qua- place, than the dispersion of part of the lity, when they have little else to recom spirit, and the concentration of the remainmend them, it would seem to furnish an ing liquor. exception to the rules detailed in the pre As these wines are capable of almost ceding part of this work. A brief inquiry indefinite duration, and as their flavour and into the causes of the peculiarity in ques. aroma are always improved by long keeption will, however, show that this is not ing, it becomes of essential importance to exactly the case.

determine the respective characters of the • As the Rhine wines, when new, con different vintages, for a more extended pe. tain little more than half the quantity of riod than is necessary in the case of most alcohol which is usually found in the Ma. other wines. In favourable seasons, as al. deira wine when imported into this coun. ready observed, the growths of the Rhine try ; and as this quantity is often reduced are free from acidity ; but, in bad seasons, bý long keeping so low as seven or eight they contain an excess of malic acid, and per cent., it is evident, that the conserva are consequently liable to those imperfec. tive power does not reside in the spiritous tions which have been described as attend. principle of these liquors. Their dryness ant on the presence of that ingredient; and proves, that the saccharine matter, which as the moisture of a northern autumn often seldom or never exists in excess in the obliges the grower to gather his grapes be. Rhenish grapes, has been fully decompo- fore they have attained their full maturity, sed; and from their brightness it may be it is evident that a large proportion of the inferred, that the superfluous leaven has vintages must be of this description. Hence been entirely precipitated. But these con- the wines which have been made in warm ditions, it may be urged, are found in ma and dry years, such as that of 1811, or the ny of the Gascon white wines ; which, al- year of the comet, as it is sometimes called,


are always in great demand, and fetch ex. may be partly attributed to die favourable orbitant prices. Of preceding vintages, exposure, which allows the grapes to ripen those of 1802, 1800, 1783, 1779, 1766, fully, and also to the lateness of the vin. 1748, and 1726, are reckoned among the tage, which seldom commences till the end best. That of 1783, in particular, is the of October, or the beginning of Novemmost highly esteemed of any in the last cen ber. The Rüdesheim Hinterhuüser, so tury.

called from its growing immediately behind “ At the head of the Rhinegau wines is the houses of the village, and the Rüdesthe Johannisberger, grown on the south heimer Berg, or Mountain wines, approach side of the hill of that name, a little below in excellence to the first-rate Johannis. Mentz, which was first planted by the berger. An ancient deed, by one of the monks of the abbey of Johannisberg, about archbishops of Mentz, shews, that the hills the end of the eleventh century. The soil in this neighbourhood were not planted is composed of the debris of various colour. with vines till the year 1074." ed stratified marble. The grapes are ga. “ The vineyard of Grafenberg, which thered as late as possible. The choicest was another appanage of the wealthy conproduce is called Schoss-Johannisberger, vent of Eberbach, but of much less extent and is indebted for its celebrity to its high than the Steinberg, is still distinguished by favour and perfume, and the almost total the choiceness of its growths. Those of absence of acidity. Formerly the best ex. Markebrunne, in the same neighbourhood, posures of the hill were the property of the and of Rothenberg, near Greisenheim, af. Bishop of Fulda, and it was only by ford wines which are prized for their soft. favour that a few bottles of the prime vin. ness and delicate flavour. tages could be obtained from his lordship's “ All the above-mentioned wines are cellars. On the secularization of the cc white. Of red wines, the only kind worthy of clesiastical states, the Prince of ORANGE notice in the Rhinegau is grown at Asmansbecame possessor of the domain ; and lat. hausen, a little below Rüdesheim. In good terly it has been transferred to PRINCE VON years it is scarcely inferior to some of the METTERNICH. During these changes, a better sorts of Burgundy ; but the quantity considerable quantity of the wine has come produced is small, and other wines are into the market ; but a portion of that often substituted under its name. which grows at the foot of the hill is al “6 The Hochheimer, as before observed, ways to be had ; and even this is preferable is, strictly speaking, a Mayn wine ; but a in point of flavour to most of the other corruption of its name has long furnished Rhine wines, and bears a high price. the appellation by which the first growths

“Next to Johannisberger may be rank. of the Rhine are usually designated in this ed the produce of the Steinberg vineyard, country.f The two chief vineyards at which belonged to the suppressed monas. Hochheim were in former times the protery of Eberbach, and is now the property perty of the Deans of Mentz, and do not of the GRAND DUKE of Naszau. It is exceed 25 or 30 acres in extent ; but the the strongest of all the Rhine wines, andsurrounding lands yield an abundant proin favourable years, has much sweetness duce, which, as in the case of other wines, and delicacy of flavour. That of 1811 is often passes for the first rate.” compared by Ritter to the drier kind of

I shall conclude with a few separate Lunel, and has been sold on the spot as high as five and a half florins, or half a ims-with which the Aberdonian him

observations, I had nearly said marguinea the bottle. The quantity made is about three hundred hogsheads, of which self winds up his volume. Most of sixty are of first-rate quality. Some per.

them cannot be too carefully laid up sons, however, give the preference to the in the mind, nor too diligently acted Rüdesheimer wine, which grows on the hill upon in the cellar of the reader. opposite to Bingen. The rock here is com "1. Among the brisk wines, those of posed of micaceous schist, in many places Champagne, though not the strongest, may entirely denuded; and the acclivity is so be considered as the best ; and they are cersteep, that it has been necessary to form tainly the least noxious, even when drunk great part of it into terraces, and to carry in considerable quantity. They intoxicate up in baskets the requisite quantity of ve very speedily, probably in consequence of getable mould and manure. The Orleans the carbonic acid gas in which they abound, grape is chiefly cultivated, yielding a wine and the volatile state in which their alcowhich combines a high flavour with much hol is held ; and the excitement is of a a more body, and is freer from acidity than most lively and agreeable character, and shorter of the other growths of the Rhine. This duration, than that which is caused by any

• " Der Rheingauer Weinbau. 8vo. 1765, p. 5.

+" Hock is the contraction of Hockamore, which, again, is evidently a corruption of Hochheimer, according to English accent and pronunciation. As the term Rhenish is commonly understood to denote an inferior quality, I have, to avoid confusion, adopted the foreign distinction of Rhine wines, whon speaking of the growths of the Rhinegau, Hochheim, and the neighbourbood."

other species of wine, and the sabsequent of soaking large quantities of Port and Maexhaustion less. Hence the moderate use deira, an occasional debauch in Claret may of such wines has been found occasionally bring on a gouty paroxysm, is very possito assist the cure of hypochondriacal affec. ble; but the effect is to be ascribed chiefly tions and other nervous diseases, where the to the transition from a strong brandied application of an active and diffusible sti. wine to a lighter beverage---a transition al. mulus was indicated. They also possess most always followed by a greater or less marked diuretic powers. The opinion derangement of the digestive organs. Be. which prevails, that they are apt to occasion sides, we must recollect, that the liquor gout, seems to be contradicted by the in- which passes under the denomination of frequency of that disorder in the province Claret is generally a compounded wine. It where they are made ; but they are gene is, therefore, unfair to impute to the wines rally admitted to be prejudicial to those ha- of the Bordelais those mischiefs which, if bits in which that disorder is already form- they do arise in the manner alleged, are ed, especially if it has originated from ad probably, in most instances, occasioned by diction to stronger liquors. With respect the admixture of other vintages of less to this class of wines, however, it is to be wholesome quality. (Quite right all this, observed, that they are too often drunk in my dear Doctor.) a raw state, when, of course, they must “ 4. The wines of Oporto, which abound prove least wholesome; and that, in conse.. in the astringent principle, and derive adquence of the want of proper cellars, and ditional potency from the brandy added other causes which accelerate their con. to them previously to exportation, may be sumption, they are very rarely kept long serviceable in disorders of the elementary enough to attain their perfect maturity. It canal, where gentle tonics are required. is also worthy of notice, that, in order to But the gallic acid renders them unfit for preserve their sweetness, and promote ef weak stomachs; and what astringent virfervescence, the manufacturers of Cham. tues they shew will be found in greater perpagne commonly add to each bottle a por- fection in the wines of Alicant and Rota, tion of syrup, composed of sugar-candy which contain more tannin and less acid. and cream of tartar; the highly frothing The excitement they induce is of a more kinds receiving the largest quantity. sluggish nature than that attending the use Therefore, contrary to the prevailing opic of the purer French wines, and does not ennion, when the wine sparkleth in the glass, liven the fancy in the same degree. As a and moveth itself aright,' it is most to frequent beverage they are unquestionably be avoided, unless the attributes of age much more pernicious. (True again, my should countervail all its noxious proper- good man.) ties. (I doubt extremely as to some part “ 5. For a long time the vintages of of this, Doctor.)

Spain, and particularly the sacks, proper“ 2. The red wines of Burgundy are dis. ly so called, were preferred to all others for tinguished by greater spirituosity, and a medicinal purposes. The wines of Xerez powerful aroma. Owing, perhaps, to the still recommend themselves by the almost predominance of the latter principle, they total absence of acidity. (Well said, canny are much more heating than many other Aberdeen.) wines which contain a larger proportion of “ 6. Of all the strong wines, however, alcohol. Though in the time of Louis those of Madeira, when of good quality, XIV. they were prescribed in affections of seem the best adapted to invalids ; being the chest, no physician of the present day equally spiritous as Sherry, but possessing would dream of giving them in such cases. a more delicate flavour and aroma, and, The exhilaration, however, which they though often slightly acidulous, agreeing cause, is more innocent than that resulting better with dyspeptic habits. Some have frorn the use of heavier wines. The better thought them beneficial in cases of atonic sorts may be sometimes administered with gout, probably without much cause; for, advantage in disorders where stimulant and whenever a disposition to inflammatory dissub-astringent topics are required. The orders exists, the utility of any sort of fersume observation will apply to the wines of mented liquor is very doubtful. (AU this the Rhone, and the lighter red wines of is doubtful, Doctor.) Spain and Portugal.- Euge, Doctor!) “7. The lighter wines of the Rhine, andi

“ 3. Possessing less aroma and spirit, those of the Moselle, are much more refri. but more astringency than the produce of gerant than any of the preceding, and are the Burgundy vineyards, the growths of frequently prescribed, in the countries the Bordelais are, perhaps, of all kinds, where they grow, with a view to their diu. the safest for daily use ; as they rank among retic properties. In certain species of fe. the most perfect light wines, and do not ver, accompanied by a low pulse and great excite intoxication so readily as most others. nervous exhaustion, they have been found They have, indeed, been condemned by to possess considerable efficacy, and may some writers, as productive of gout; but, certainly be given with more safety than I apprehend, without much reason. That most other kinds; as the proportion of al. with those persons who are in the practice cohol is small, and its effects are modera

« AnteriorContinuar »