27 Annotations

Mary   Link to this

The purchase of wine

Picard (Restoration London, p.157/8) reports that wine was not sold in bottles at this date, as corks had not yet been developed. It was sold by the cask, and the purchaser would decant suitable quantities into his own bottles for service. The fahionable would have their crests embossed on their bottles.

Eric Walla   Link to this

Good catch on the bottle issue ...

... it is amazing how many things you take for granted that have only been around for a relatively short period of time. I assume you then mean this holds for all bottles and all liquids? Would there be any more decanter types? Screw tops are probably even more recent.

I get the feeling the taverns become absolutely vital, unless you want to carry a small cask around with you.

George Robins   Link to this

In those days the wine was decanted into bottles by the "bottler" who became in time the "Butler"

vincent   Link to this

1638 The retailing of wine in bottles prohibited. Bottling was necessary for light wines, which will not keep in a cask, and the act thus probably led to adulteration...(plus other titbits from ), http://www.shu.ac.uk/schools/cs/teaching/sle/Bo...

Andrew Stephenson   Link to this

On the subject of corks - in fact they have an ancient lineage having been used as bottle stoppers it is suggested for as long as there has been wine. Apparently the Greeks used corks to close wine jugs as did the Romans who used pitch to ensure a good seal. It seems the cork bottle stoppers in europe were thereafter a victim of the dark ages. There is a reference in Shakespeares "As you like it" (1598 - 60) which appears to be to a cork stopper.The first mention of a corkscrew is reported as 1681. The other thing to note is that production of corks was facilitated by uniformity of glass bottle openings so that good fits could be reliably achieved. This uniformity it is suggested was achieved in the seventeenth century. Not always successfully however judging by the following comment from the wonderfully entitled "Treatise on cider" by Worland (1676) "Much liquor being absolutely spoiled through the only defect in the cork. Therefore are glass stoppels are to be preferred"

Andrew Hamilton   Link to this

Sack

Definition from 1911 Enclyclopedia site

A Spanish wine, which was of a strong, rough, dry kind (in Fr. vin sec, whence the name), and therefore usually sweetened and mixed with spice and mulled or burnt. It became a common name for all the stronger white wines of the South.

dirk   Link to this

Wine and Pepys...

"Seventeenth Century:
Wine growing was not commercially viable until very recently, but this does not mean that vines were not planted, grown and written about. Innovative landowners planted small acreages of vines from which they made wines. The reign of Charles II, (in the 1600s) which saw considerable innovation in many diverse fields also produced an interest in viticulture. The Royal Gardner, appropriately named John Rose wrote about the growing, training and pruning of vines in a paper entitled "The English vineyard Vindicated".
In 1610 the renowned botanist John Tradescant (after whom the tradescantia flower is named) was asked by Robert Cecil, the first Earl of Alsibury to go to Flanders to search from some suitable vines for his estate at Hatfield House. He established a vineyard of 20,000 vines the ollowing year and expanded this steadily. **Samuel Pepys** visited it in 1661 and again in 1667."

Source:
http://www.scan.ukhelp.com/Encyclopaedia/Histor...

Neil Adams   Link to this

Burnt Wine
If not mulled wine, a popular winter warmer prepared by plunging a hot poker into spiced wine, then probably 'Malmsey' or Madeira wine that had been heat-treated on its long voyage... http://www.madeirawine.com/html/sauna01.html

language hat   Link to this

French wine in the late 17th century:
From Tim Unwin's Wine and the Vine (a scholarly history published by Routledge):

On 10th April 1663, Samuel Pepys wrote in his diary,
Off the Exchange with Sir J. Cutler and Mr. Grant to the Royall Oake Taverne in Lombard-street... And here drank a sort of French wine called Ho Bryan, that hath a good and most perticular taste that I never met with.
This wine was none other than that produced on the property of Haut-Brion in the Graves, by Arnaud de Pontac, first President of the Bordeaux Parlement. Three years later in 1666, Arnaud de Pontac sent his son to London, where he opened a restaurant, grocers and tavern named the Sign of Pontac's Head, and here he introduced his wines to the discerning elite of London society...

Following the collapse of trade with England in the middle of the fifteenth century, the wine merchants of Bordeaux increasingly turned to the Netherlands as a market for their wines during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries... However, ...following the restoration of peace between the Netherlands and Spain in 1648, and the subsequent outbreak of war with France in 1672, the Dutch turned to the sweet wines of Portugal and southern Spain... rather than those of France.... Moreover, although the wines of the Graves had reached London society through the activities of such enterprising men as Arnaud de Pontac in the 1660s, the outbreak of war between France and England... led to a crisis for the Bordelais.

The solution was to abandon the production of low quality wines, and to invest in specialist wine production which would bear the high costs imposed by war and customs barriers. Gradually, at the beginning of the eighteenth century, more and more names of individual wine producing properties begin to appear, and despite trade restrictions... these wines found their way onto the English market....

Previously, most of the wines exported from Bordeaux had come from the south or east of the city, but these wines, known at the time generally as New French Clarets, were from the Médoc, to the north. Here, on the poor quality sands and gravels, the first half of the eighteenth century saw a veritable explosion of vineyard development, as money was invested in the production of high quality wines… The New French Clarets were the preserve only of the very rich, who could afford the high duties that were levied on them, and they thus became one element in the new symbolism of the rich and powerful of early eighteenth century England.

vincent   Link to this

Vineyard Agriculture
Most of Germany's vineyards owe their existence to the Rhine river
the outline of the wines of German wines: scroll down
http://www.rollintl.com/roll/rhine.htm

This guide contains 18464 German wines with description, rating and pictures,1767 producers, 654 of it with detailed
http://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.wein-plu...

vincent   Link to this

from the bottle [wot the a bottle of sack might look like]; go to Dirks finding
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1661/03/22/#c12842

Kim Bergman   Link to this

On the subjects of wine and the cork: I found that Peter Earle, in his biography, Pepys,wrote that: "The cork [as we know it], without which wine cannot achieve the subtleties that comes from bottle age, only began to come into use about the time of his [Pepys] death, so that his taste lies on the medieval side if that dividing line." Which can also be said for his eating habits and tastes.

language hat   Link to this

From The New Great Vintage Wine Book, by Michael Broadbent:

1771: One of the earliest recorded good vintages. The first red Bordeaux vintage to appear in a Christie's catalogue: "Excellent fine flavoured Claret of the year 1771", in March 1776.

(In case you're wondering, the Margaux was still drinkable when Broadbent tasted it in 1987: "After 30 minutes, developed a slightly quince-like scent and remained sound after 80 minutes in the glass. On the palate distinctly sweeet, medium full-bodied, with positive flavour and remarkably good acidity." He gives higher marks to the 1784, "the greatest vintage of the period"; the Margaux was "a glorious, healthy-looking red brown wine with orange rim... it must have been magnificent.")

Pauline   Link to this

Muscadine, Muscatt
(from L&M Companion)
muscatel wine: the use 'muscatt', which puzzled P, OED 1747, through 'musticat' 1578 (Scotland) and 'muscat' for 'muscat grape' 1655;

muscatel is strong and sweet, and the description was accorded to strong sweet wines even when not products of the muscat grape

Bradford   Link to this

1 August 2005 "New Yorker," pp. 80-82, has a review by Steven Shapin of Tom Standage's "A History of the World in 6 Glasses." (Standage is tech editor for "The Economist"; the beverages in question are beer, wine, distilled spirits, coffee, tea, and Coke.) The review contains extensive summaries of the part the relevant drinks played in Pepys's life (beginning "A typical day's drinking for Samuel Pepys in early Restoration London might go like this").
Unfortunately the article does not seem available on-line; nor can I tell from the reviews or summaries on Amazon (US) just how much attention Standage pays to him in the book proper. (Shapin teaches the history of science at Harvard, and has written on 17thC science.) But if your local library takes the "NYkr," well worth looking up these three densely-packed pages.
Here's a link to the US edition:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0...
and to the UK (no reviews or summary given):
http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/080271...

dirk   Link to this

Steven Shapin reviews Tom Standage's A History of the World in 6 Glasses, a "social life of beverages"
http://www.newyorker.com/critics/books/articles...
(very entertaining!)

Other reviews:
A History of the World in 6 Glasses
Reviewed by Janet Maslin The New York Times Wednesday, June 1, 2005
http://www.iht.com/bin/print_ipub.php?file=/art...

?
http://tomstandage.com/6G.html

Bradford   Link to this

Bedankje, Dirk: now why couldn't I find it when I looked? But nota bene, all: it probably won't remain available permanently, so drink up now.

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

list of wines that be imported in Elizabeth I's reign:
Wine, Alicante, 472; Burgundy, 623; Canary, 801; Coniac, 579; corrupt, 80; Gascony, 61; Nantes, 621; Oléron, 59; Rhenish, 52; Rochelle, 54; of St. Martin, 224; sweet, 53. See also Bastards, Cuit, Malmsey, Muscatel, Sack
[plus vinegar]
From: 'Appendix II: Descriptive list of commodities', The port and trade of early Elizabethan London: documents (1972), pp. 138-51. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?com.... Date accessed: 14 February 2006.

hillary   Link to this

What percentage of wine did they use to cook food with?

TerryF   Link to this

Wine

“Wine is an alcoholic beverage produced by the fermentation of fruit, typically grapes though a number of other fruits are also quite popular - such as plum, elderberry and blackcurrant. Non-grape wines are called fruit wine or country wine….” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wine

TerryF   Link to this

Re Bradford: Link to The New Yorker Steven Shapin review of Tom Standage’s “A History of the World in 6 Glasses.” in which Pepys's experience is cited throughout: http://www.newyorker.com/critics/content/articl...

TerryF   Link to this

Ooops. Dirk already provided The NYorker link. Bradford, et al., it's been my experience that, since 2002, the trend on that site has been to restore links rather than to remove them. Let's hope my experience is a fair sample and. if so, that the trend continues.

Timothy Mason   Link to this

tierce - Is this truly 35 gallons or 156 litres of wine? Well done, Samuel.

CGS   Link to this

pipe: wooden cask for wine and other goods. According to most sources, the pipe held 126 gallons, but testimony from the mid-seventeenth century suggests that the pipe used in the Canary trade was smaller, holding perhaps 112 to 120 gallons. For calculations of freight and taxes, two hogsheads of wine equalled one pipe, and two pipes equalled one ton.

ton (t)[Tun]: as a measure of weight, from 2,000 to 2,240 lbs depending on the commodity. A veteran shipmaster of the Canary trade testified in 1650 that in freight calculations a ton was accounted as equivalent to 42–3 hides, 2 pipes of wine, 13–14 kts of ginger, 3 chests of sugar, 20 kts of logwood, or 8 chests of tobacco.

http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?co...

Paul Chapin   Link to this

Reposting Mary's annotation from the diary for 8 July:

A tierce is a third part of a pipe of wine and equals 35 Imperial gallons
(= 42 US gallons).

Note: this is also the volume of a barrel of oil

CGS   Link to this

for some clarity see Claret: Haut Brion [april 10 '65]
http://www.economist.com/world/britain/PrinterF...

Bill   Link to this

CLARET [Clairet, F. of Clarus, L. clear] a general Name for the red Wines of France.
---An Universal Etymological English Dictionary. N. Bailey, 1675.

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.

References