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wine-msg - 7/20/10

 

Medieval wines. Spiced wine. Dandelion wine.

 

NOTE: See also these files: fruit-wines-msg, mead-msg, fruits-msg, p-bottles-msg, wine-cooking-msg, brewing-msg, beverages-msg, berries-msg, plums-msg, cherries-msg.

 

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NOTICE -

 

This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I  have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.

 

This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org

 

I have done  a limited amount  of  editing. Messages having to do  with separate topics  were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the  message IDs  were removed to save space and remove clutter.

 

The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make  no claims  as  to the accuracy  of  the information  given  by the individual authors.

 

Please respect the time  and  efforts of  those who have written  these messages. The copyright status  of these messages  is  unclear  at this time. If information  is  published  from  these  messages, please give credit to the originator(s).

 

Thank you,

   Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                         Stefan at florilegium.org

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From: haslock at rust.zso.dec.com (Nigel Haslock)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: How sweet were medieval wines?

Date: 29 Jun 1993 18:27:27 GMT

Organization: Digital Equipment Corporation - DECwest Engineering

 

Greetings from Fiacha,

 

Gunwalt said:-

 

> Considering some of the concoctions I've been offered, I suspect

> that anything with alcohol would be consumed.

 

I suspect that you are mistaken.

 

I suspect that most medievals distrusted the hygenic safety of water as a

drink and considered that either the alcohol or the fermentation purified

the water used to make it. I suspect that the alcoholic stuff was not

druck to get drunk but to avoid getting sick.

 

The other aspect is that of sweetness. In early period sugar was rare and

expensive even more so than honey which was also rare and expensive. Thus

sweet things to eat and drink would have been prized.

 

I suspect that Ale and Small Beer were the period equivalents of Soda Pop and

were drunk accordingly. Overly sweet wines could provide a rare blast of

sweetness or could be diluted to purify more suspect water.

 

I suspect that taking a sweet substance and converting it into a non-sweet

liquid would have been viewed as a failure. A dry wine or mead would be

neither sweet nor vinager and so have no saving graces.

 

        Fiacha

        AnTir

        haslock at zso.dec.com

 

 

From: jtn at nutter.cs.vt.edu (Terry Nutter)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: How sweet were medieval wines?

Date: 29 Jun 93 20:09:28 GMT

Organization: The Rialto

 

Greetings, all, from Angharad ver' Rhuawn.  Fiacha recently said,

 

>I suspect that taking a sweet substance and converting it into a non-sweet

>liquid would have been viewed as a failure. A dry wine or mead would be

>neither sweet nor vinager and so have no saving graces.

 

While you are right that sweetness was considered a good thing, this claim

would seem to suggest that it was the only one.  A study of period recipes

does not support that view.  The picture that emerges both from their works

on health and from their recipes is one that values balance and variety.

Herbs and spices are combined deliberately to balance flavors (according to

the theory of the humors); dishes of one nature are deliberately juxtaposed

against dishes of another.

 

Also, as I posted in commenting on Russell's Boke of Nurture, three kinds of

wine were recognized: red, white, and sweet.  The suggestion, surely, is that

red and white wines are _not_ sweet, at least by medieval standards, and yet

are also _not_ failures.

 

The view is also supported by the existence in Digby of recipes for mead

that, when followed, produce a dry beverage.

 

BTW, what's supposed to be so great, from a medieval point of view, about

vinegar? The name is just "vin aigre" -- sharp wine; it's also sometimes

called "broken wine".  Sure, they used it for flavoring (and for salad

dressing), but not as often as they used wine.  There are specific processes

to produce it (and recipes for them); it's not just wine that went bad (at

least not always).  But I see no reason to suppose that the vinegar was more

the _point_ of the exercise than the wine, however dry.

 

But you're certainly right about not necessarily using fermented beverages to

get roaring drunk.

 

Cheers,

 

-- Angharad/Terry

 

 

From: haslock at rust.zso.dec.com (Nigel Haslock)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: How sweet were medieval wines?

Date: 29 Jun 1993 22:00:20 GMT

Organization: Digital Equipment Corporation - DECwest Engineering

 

Greetings from Fiacha,

 

I will admit that I might have gotten a little carried away in denigrating

non-sweet wines.

 

After writing, it occurred to me that wines were perhaps the only way to

preserve fruit juices beyond the end of the fruits season and that high sugar

and high alcohol combined to deter corruption. Again, this is unsupported

imagining.

 

Given this mindset (which may be imaginary) separating wines from preserved

fruit juices would make a certain amount of sense. Wines are to be drunk as is

while the other stuff gets used in a variety of ways. Vinegar also has a

number of uses rather than merely being drunk unadulterated.

 

The real point of all of this is that today we have a wide variety of things

to drink and ample supplies of sweetener that is very cheap. Thus we no

longer value the sweetness of either ale of wine. In fact, we now have little

interest in sweet beer or sweet wine.

 

The same logic could be applied to distillates too. Instead of valueing

drinks for the sugars they contain we value them for their alcohol and

seek for ways to increase the alcohol content.

 

Had sugar prices dropped by Sir Digby's day? Were his dry meads a function of

the ready availabilty of sweeteners?

 

With respect to the other posting about making mead from honeycomb washings,

the are references to using an egg as a hydrometer, judging the gravity by

the amount of shell above the surface. Thus I believe that period brewers

made consistent brews.

 

        Fiacha

        AnTir

        haslock at zso.dec.com

 

 

From: cav at bnr.ca (Rick Cavasin)

Subject: Re: How sweet were mediev

Organization: Bell-Northern Research Ltd.

Date: Tue, 29 Jun 93 13:22:37 GMT

 

Greetings to the good folk of the Rialto from (hick) Balderik.

 

So far, much of what has been posted regarding the behaviour

of yeast has been essentially correct, but there are a few

details missing which can make a difference.  (I'm not a

microbiologist so no flames please - this is just the brewing

wisdom I've absorbed over the years. Some fiddly details may

not be entirely correct).

 

1) Different strains of yeast have different alcohol tolerances.

   Champagne yeasts (and possibly Sherry yeasts - not sure) have

   the highest tolerances to alcohol.  Ale strains tend to have

   much lower tolerances.  Generic wine yeasts are somewhere

   inbetween.  When the alcohol level of the fermenting wine/mead/

   ale exceeds the tolerance of the strain being used, the yeast

   dies. A judicious choice of yeast strain can make it easier

   to hit a target of alcohol level X and sweetness Y, but the

   tolerance of each strain is not a hard limit. It's difficult

   to know what strains were used historically.  Digby mentions

   the use of 'mother of wine (presumably yeast sediment from a

   batch of wine)', ale barm, and in several cases, naturally

   occuring yeast from the air (again presumably).

 

2) Different strains of yeast differ in how 'attenuative' they

   are.  An attenuative yeast will ferment a high percentage of

   the fermentable sugar in the must, while an unattenuative

   strain ferments a lower percentage.  Champagne yeast is

   attenuative, Epernay yeast is less so.  You can enhance

   the residual sweetness of a beverage slightly by choosing

   a less attenuative yeast, without boosting the alcohol

   content to the point where the yeast is poisoned.  This

   requires a certain amount of care since even a slight

   contamination with a more attenuative strain can lead to

   fermentation restarting in the bottle and the 'glass grenade'

   syndrome.

 

3) Yeast is a living organism, and its life cycle is a little

   more complex than 'eat sugar, excrete CO2 and alcohol'.

   Fermentation is not the yeast's prefered mode of feeding.

   Yeast would much rather breath in oxygen, and convert the

   sugar to water and CO2 the way we do, but in a pinch they'll

   switch over to fermentation when oxygen is unavailable.

   It is this ability that the brewer exploits to good advantage.

   Since fermentation is a less efficient mode of operation,

   the yeast is sometimes unable to continue fermenting until

   all the available sugars are consumed.  I've never heard a

   completely satisfying explanation for the phenomenon, but

   a fermentation will sometimes become 'stuck' ie. stop

   prematurely.  It will can just as inexplicably start

   up again, sometimes with disasterous results.

   Two factors which seem to contribute to stuck fermentation

   is a lack of oxygen during the early stages of fermentation

   and a lack of the various trace elements that yeast require

   to live and reproduce.

   The first factor is easy to remedy.  Once the must has cooled

   to pitching temperature, you agitate the must by either

   repeatedly pouring from a height (this is actually mentioned

   in several of Digby's recipes), or by shaking the must

   in a partially empty container.  The oxygen allows the yeast

   to go through a respiration phase which makes for a more

   vigorous fermentation which is less likely to 'stick'.

   The second factor can be somewhat problematic when making

   mead.  Compared to ale wort, honey must is deficient in

   a number of trace elements needed by yeast.  The addition

   of fruit to the must can help alleviate this problem.

   Without these nutrients, fermentation can be slow (compared

   to what you get with ale), and the yeast will sometimes

   produce off flavours that take a great deal of aging to

   'mellow out'.  This is why some people speak of mead making

   as taking several years.  The addition of fruit/spices can

   also help to mask the off flavours making the mead drinkable

   at a younger age.  In the worst case, the fermentation may

   become stuck. Adding nutrient can result in very quick

   fermentation, but some people claim that the nutrients

   contribute their own off flavours that take just as long

   to mellow out.  I like melomels (fruit meads), so I don't

   bother with the nutrients (I also try to avoid the non-

   period cheats whenever possible).

 

Cheers, Balderik (who's trying to find time to hit the strawberry

fields to stock up for a big batch of his strawberry ambrosia

 

 

From: jtn at nutter.cs.vt.edu (Terry Nutter)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Cheese questions

Date: 25 Nov 1993 04:59:30 GMT

Organization: The Rialto

 

Greetings, all, from Angharad ver' Rhuawn.

 

Fiammetta Adalieta writes,

 

>A similar question: what sort of wines are period?  I'm mostly interested

>in those that would be used in cooking; hyppocris, the other period use

>I make of wine, disguises flavors enough that I just follow the advise in

>_Pleyn Delite_ of picking the cheapest red wine without a nasty aftertaste.

>I would guess that period wines would be likely red and possibly on the

>sweet side, but I have no good evidence to back that up at all. Anyone

>have any suggestions?

 

They classified wines as red, white, and sweet.  There is list of wines of

all three sorts in John Russell's _Boke of Nurture_.  There are recipes that

call specifically for red, some that call for white, some that call for

specific sweet sorts (wine greke, vernage, etc.).  I infer from this that

period wines were not all markedly sweet, or they would not make the largest

distinctions in that area.  As to what the ordinary wines were like, I

really don't know.  I normally use a wine whose flavor I like, since the

point is largely to inbue with flavor.

 

Cheers,

 

-- Angharad/Terry

 

 

From: habura at rebecca.its.rpi.edu (Andrea Marie Habura)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Non-alcoholic period brews

Date: 3 Jan 1995 19:42:54 GMT

Organization: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy NY

 

Tangwystl writes about carbonation technology.

If memory serves (I can't fine the reference, drat it!) the first truly

"sparkling" wines--Champagne--were introduced in the 17th c. with the

invention of bottles that could take the pressure. (The inventor was a

monk--Dom Perignon, to be precise.) Earlier wines might have had small

amounts of residual CO2 but were not as fizzy as the beverages we think

of as carbonated.

 

Alison MacDermot

 

 

From: HPGV80D at prodigy.COM (MISS PATRICIA M HEFNER)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Medieval French wines

Date: 26 Feb 1995 00:47:47 -0500

 

-- [ From: Patricia Hefner * EMC.Ver #2.10P ] --

 

Does anybody know where vintages called "salinato" and "repeto" came

from? They were the wines of choice at the College de Sorbonne in the

thirteenth centuries. Where would Parisians have gotten their wines,

from the Champagne area? I don't know a  at %&* thing about medieval

drinks. Would somebody care to enlighten me on the subject? ----Yours

in Service, Isabelle

 

 

From: Ric Sweeting <richardleon at delphi.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Medieval French wines

Date: Tue, 28 Feb 95 22:23:19 -0500

 

The Salinato come from Italy, NW of Parma.  It is still made in a modern

fashion. I can look for a simular vintage.  In 13 C paris wine came from every

except for English areas, namely bordoeux.  Champange as we know and love did

not exist yet.  I believe that most wine came from Burgundy?

 

 

From: derek.broughton at onlinesys.com (DEREK BROUGHTON)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Medieval French wines

Date: Sun, 12 Mar 95 22:00:00 -300

Organization: Online Systems Of Canada

 

LS>For some info on Med. French wines, see Johnson, _Vintage: The Story of

LS>Wine_, New York: Simon & Schuster (1989) and Seward, _Monks and Wine_,

LS>New York: Crown Publishers (1979). Also, Williams, _Bread, Wine & Money_,

LS>Chicago: U.Chicago Press (1993).

LS> -- Esclarmonde de Colloure

 

I second Esclarmonde's recommendation, but that's where I went when the

question about Salinato and ? arose, and he didn't mention them.  Too bad.

 

 

From: david.mcdonald at prostar.com (David Mcdonald)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Medieval French wines

Date: 18 Mar 95 09:50:41 PST

Organization: ProStar Internet Gateway

 

Also try The Medieval Wine Trade.  Sorry bibliographic info in the cold

garage and I am in the warm house.  This is an excellent document about

which wines were imported where and when.

 

Eduardo Lucrezia, AnTir

 

 

From: jtn at newsserver.uconn.edu (Terry Nutter)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Period wine?

Date: 24 Aug 1995 20:57:09 GMT

Organization: University of Connecticut

 

Greetings, all, from Angharad ver' Rhuawn.

 

Gregria de la Croix asks:

 

: I'm trying to come up with the definitive egredouce recipe. (By

: definitive, I mean one that is "authentic" and tasty in equal measures.)

: I'm using the recipe in _Pleyn Delit_ as my starting point, but no matter

: what changes I make it comes out tasting harsh. I think it's either the

: wine or the vinegar I'm using.

 

: Now the recipe calls for red wine. I've tried jug burgundy, and

: lambrusco, with not too much success.

 

Three comments on wine.  First, there are lots of period recipes for

egredouce. You might try looking at several, and playing around.  Second,

much as I revere Hieatt and Butler, the proportions in their version of

the recipe aren't sacred.  They made them up.  The original just says

things on the order of "some".  You might try altering the proportions,

if this balance is not to your taste.  Third, the point of wine in cookery

is to provide taste, not (as a rule) alcohol.  Hence the right move is

to use, not the worst, but the best wine you can get your hands on, within

reason and the constraints of your budget.  Find a soft wine that you like

to drink, and try making it with that.  (They had lots of different wines

in period, and there is no particular reason to suppose that you can

reproduce the particular wines that were used in the recipe, so the most

sensible thing to do is choose something you like.)

 

Also, my usual experience is that people screw up with vinegar at least

as often as they do with wine.  In middle english, "vinegar" (and things

spelled differently but pronounced about the same ;^) refers explicitly

and exclusively to wine vinegars (red or white).  (The word originates

from "vin aigre", i.e. "sharp wine.")  There are separate words for cider

vinegar ("eisel") and malt vinegar (I forget, off the top of my head).

(There is no word for white distilled vinegar, because they didn't use it,

which was wise, because it is nasty, and fit only for cleaning windows

or dying Easter eggs. ;^)

 

If you are not using a decent quality wine vinegar, try changing to one.

 

Good luck!

 

Cheers,

 

-- Angharad/Terry

 

 

From: maunche at aol.com (Maunche)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Period wine?

Date: 25 Aug 1995 21:56:45 -0400

 

Greetings unto you gentle folk, and to Lord Gregria de la Croix in

particular, who inquires about period wine. Good Lord, The recipe for

Egurdouce was from the Forme of Cury, written for Richard II towards the

end of the 14th century. The recipe (as printed in Pleyn Delit) calls for

'rede wine'.  The wine you want to use would be a young Claret/Bordeaux,

or a Beaujolais, light red in color, and almost no oak characteristics. To

quote from _Scum_

 

... By the reign of Edward III (1327-1377) the trade in French wine had

reached amazing proportions. Ships of that time were rated at the number

of tonnes (252 gallon casks of wine) they could carry. To this day, we

speak of ship "tonnage" when we refer to ocean freight transport. The wine

fleet would sail for France in late autumn, returning before Christmas

with "new wine". They would sail again after Easter in the spring, and

return with "rack wine" of the same vintage. In 1372, the wine fleet

consisted of some 200 ships, with average tonnage well over 50 tonnes per

ship, for a total cargo of over 3 million gallons of wine that year.

The English even had their own name for much of this wine. The French used

the term clairet to refer to the light red wine of Bordeaux, before it was

blended with heavier, darker red wine from elsewhere in France. It was

this that the English came to call Claret.

- Lord Corwin of Darkwater, "A Good Familiar Creature", Scum #8

 

... By the mid 13th century, three fourths of England's royal wine came

from Bordeaux, at a freight charge of 8 shillings the ton. The wine fleet

convened twice a year; in October for the "vintage" shipping, and in

February for the "rack" shipping of wine drawn off the lees. We have

Bordeaux's export figures for seven years of the early 14th century,

averaging 83,000 tonneaux of 12 score and 12 gallons each. England took

about half of this, and when the new wine arrived, last year's was halved

in price, or even just thrown away. These wines were the common drink,

lower in status the Mediterranean and Rhenish wines, but they were

plentiful and cheap. Bordeaux made three kinds of wines: white, red , and

clairet. Until about 1600, clairet meant a light colored wine, ranging

from yellow, as distinct from white, to pink. To get the desired pink

color, called "partridge-eye", red and white wines were often mixed. Red

wines then would have been very light. They were only on the skins one

day, and absorbed little color and tannins. After the wine was drawn off,

the remainder, redder and coarser, was used for tinting wine, or sold

cheaply as "vin vermeilh" or "pin pin". This amounted to about 15% .

- Lord Alistair MacMillan, "Wine", Scum #16

 

For those who may wonder about Scum (as I do myself at times), it is

(ahem, blush) the best brewer's newsletter in the Known Worlde. Contact me

(Corwin) at Maunche at AOL.COM or c/o Douglas Brainard, 45 Southwind Way,

Rochester, NY 14624 for more potable details.

 

Corwin

Scriba fermentatoris, Fermentator scribae!

 

 

From: jtn at newsserver.uconn.edu (Terry Nutter)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Period wine?

Date: 26 Aug 1995 03:50:45 GMT

Organization: University of Connecticut

 

Greetings, all, from Angharad ver' Rhuawn.

 

Corwin responded to Gregoria:

 

: particular, who inquires about period wine. Good Lord, The recipe for

: Egurdouce was from the Forme of Cury, written for Richard II towards the

: end of the 14th century. The recipe (as printed in Pleyn Delit) calls for

: 'rede wine'.  The wine you want to use would be a young Claret/Bordeaux,

: or a Beaujolais, light red in color, and almost no oak characteristics. To

: quote from _Scum_

 

and quoted a longish passage describing importing of wine from France.

I only have three suggestions.  First, the passages described importing

both old and young wines; so either might be appropriate here.  Second,

I have seen receipes that call directly for claret.  Were this one,

I would agree that young wines _might_ be preferred; but it isn't.

There were certainly red wines that weren't young.  Third, by the 14th

C, there are _recipes_ for clarrey -- and it isn't (always) young wine

any more.  Sometimes, it's spiced wine.

 

Also: modern claret is a Bordeaux.  (That is, don't confuse modern and

medieval claret.)

 

In any case, a young wine is certainly an option.  Given that you complained

of "harshness", you would want to be careful to pick a good young wine, that

is light and fruity, and not sharp.

 

Cheers,

 

-- Angharad/Terry

 

 

From: maunche at aol.com (Maunche)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Period wine?

Date: 26 Aug 1995 20:43:52 -0400

 

Greetings from Corwin of Darkwater

 

Angharad makes some interesting comments about period wines. Here are some

further points.

 

The most popular wines in the 14th century were (in order of preference)

sweet Mediterranean wines, white Rhenish wines, and Claret. The red wines

of Burgundy were highly prized, and could still be drunk after two years,

but were scarce and more difficult to obtain in England. Claret was

definately a young wine, when a new vintage arrived from Bordeaux, the

price of the previous vintage was usually cut in half (or the old wine was

simply discarded).

 

I would be interested in learning of recipes for 'clarrey', and recipes

that use claret. The earliest recipe that I have for imitation claret

dates from 1621, and uses Clary flowers.

 

Corwin of Darkwater

Scriba fermentatoris, Fermentator scribae!

 

 

From: jtn at newsserver.uconn.edu (Terry Nutter)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Period wine?

Date: 27 Aug 1995 02:20:19 GMT

Organization: University of Connecticut

 

Greetings, all, from Angharad ver' Rhuawn.

 

Corwin of Darkwater writes:

 

: I would be interested in learning of recipes for 'clarrey', and recipes

: that use claret. The earliest recipe that I have for imitation claret

: dates from 1621, and uses Clary flowers.

 

Here are a few references, based on some work I've been doing on tracking

ingredients in recipes from the 13th to 15th C.  I've just begun on the

15th C, so this is very far from complete, even for that time period.

 

Recipes for clarre, clarrey, or similar names (all recipies for spiced wine):

 

        1. In the earlier Anglo-Norman collection edited by Constance

           Hieatt and Robin Jones in _Speculum_, 1986: a recipe called

           claree, from about 1290.

 

        2. In the collection of miscellaneous recipes that they titled

           Goud Kokery (number V) in _Curye on Inglysch_, edited by

           Constance Hieatt and Sharon Butler, two recipes from about

           1380 (GK 4 and 6) titled Potus clarreti pro domino and A pype

           of clarrey.

 

        3. From Forme of Curye, using the Hieatt and Butler edition,

           recipe number 205 fo Clarrey, dated around 1390.

 

None of these call for the herb clary.  

 

Recipes that call for clarrey or claret as an ingredient: mostly, I can tell

you "white, red, or sweet"; but occasionally I noted when particular wines

were called for.  I found the following two, both from Austin's _Two

Fifteenth Century Cookery-Books_.

 

        1. Recipe number 5 in the Leche Vyaundez section of Harleian

           279 (page 35 in Austin), for Leche lumbarde, says "take

           clareye, & caste [th]er-on in maner of a Syruppe" ("[th]"

           represents a thorn).  This suggests that the thing intended

           is not young wine, but sweetened spiced wine.

 

        2. The 94th recipe (but they are not explicitly numbered) in

           Harleian 4016 (page 86-87 in Austin), for Gely, specifies

           "take good white wyn, that woll hold colloure, or elles

           fyne claret wyne".  Note: this recipe reproduces recipe

           number 109 in the Potage Dyvers section of Harleian 279

           (page 25, Austin) for Gelye de chare almost precisely;

           but the version in Harleian 279 specifies only white

           wine.  Notice that this probably is young wine, and not

           spiced wine -- but notice also that it is offered as an

           alternative to _white_, not red, wine.

 

My experience with recipes suggests that there are actually two very

different things pronounced roughly "CLAIRIE".  One, most often

spelled "clarre" or "clarey", is spiced wine.  The other, most often

spelled "claret", means a young red.  I don't think the medievals

confused them, but we certainly tend to.

 

It's my impression, Corwin, that your information is drawn from the

commercial import trade.  Is that correct?  If so, it's worth

noticing that that may not reflect all, or even most, of the story.

 

First, there is some reason to believe that the great households may

have imported much of their wine directly, rather than going through

merchants. If that is the case, then as the primary users of racked

as opposed to young wines, their "invisibility" from the trade record

would greatly skew it.  Second, there are many kinds of wines specified

in recipes quite early, including wyne greke, vernage, and several

others, that Corwin's remarks don't reflect, but that are clearly

assumed to be available.

 

Also, there was substantial domestic wine production in England in

the middle ages, that is not reflected in those records at all.

 

Anyhow: there are a few recipes.

 

Cheers,

 

-- Angharad/Terry

 

 

From: maunche at aol.com (Maunche)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Period wine?

Date: 29 Aug 1995 23:38:56 -0400

 

Salutations from Corwin of Darkwater

 

First of all, thanks to Angharad ver' Rhuawn for the detailed references

to clarrey, claret, etc. They have been most helpful. (In fact, I see a

new article brewing for Scum)

 

Angharad asks:

> It's my impression, Corwin, that your information is drawn from the

> commercial import trade.  Is that correct?  If so, it's worth

> noticing that that may not reflect all, or even most, of the story.

 

Indeed, much of the information that I posted was based on commercial

records, but it was not my intent to imply that that was the whole story.

 

> Also, there was substantial domestic wine production in England in

> the middle ages, that is not reflected in those records at all.

 

Very true. The Domesday Book commissioned by William the Conqueror

mentioned 42 English vineyards. By 1509 there were 139.  Again, thanks to

Angharad for filling out the story.

 

Corwin of Darkwater

Scriba fermentatoris, Fermentator scribae!

 

 

From: PHIRSCHE at email.usps.gov

To: markh at risc.sps.mot.com

Subject: Re[2]: Wine

Date: Thu, 26 Dec 1996 08:19:45 -0500

 

   I happened across an excellent book in Barnes and Noble:

 

   Johnson, Hugh.  Vintage:  The Story of Wine.  Simon and Shuster:  New

   York, 1989.

 

   Richard le Pochier

 

 

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Date: Mon, 12 May 1997 12:19:03 -0400

Subject: Re: SC - Dandelion Wine

 

Dyane McSpadden wrote:

 

> A member of my local group asked me to ask if anyone out here has a recipe

> for dandelion wine they can post and/or send, it seems he has a backyard

> full of the little buggers :)

 

From Jocasta Innes' "The Country Kitchen":

 

DANDELION WINE

 

Another flower classic. Pick the dandelions on a hot day, and use only

the petals, pinching them off and discarding the centres and stalks.

 

2 litres (4 pints) dandelion petals

5 litres (1 gallon) water

1 kg (2 lb) sugar

225 g (8 oz) raisins

3 oranges

1 lemons (or 7 g/ 1/4 oz citric acid)

150 ml (1/4 pint) strong tea or 8 drops tannin concentrate

2 rounded teaspoons all purpose wine yeast

1 level teaspoon yeast nutrient

 

The method is exactly the same as for gorse wine.

 

 

GORSE WINE

 

<ingredients snipped>

 

Put the flowers into the fermenting bin immediately. Boil up half the

water, half the sugar, and the chopped sultanas together for a minute or

two, then pour over the flowers. Thinly peel the rind from the oranges

and the lemons, and add to the bin. Squeeze out the juice and add that

too. Add the cold tea, or the tannin, stir thoroughly. Make up to 5

litres (1 gallon) with cold tap water, or cooled boiled water if you

prefer. This should give you a tepid mixture, about right for adding the

yeast from the starter bottle. Add the yeast and the yeast nutrient,

stir well, cover. Ferment for one week, stirring daily. After two ot

three days, when fermenting well, add the remaining sugar, stirring to

dissolve. Strain through a hair sieve or cloth and siphon into a 5 litre

(1 gallon) jar. Fill up to the neck of the jar with  cool, boiled water,

if necessary ( the less surface area exposed with all wines, the

better), fit an airlock or secure a plastic bag with an elastic band

over the neck of the jar. Rack when clear, bottle and keep for six

months.

*****************************

 

Me again. Just a few comments directed at any beginning

cooks/brewers/vintners:

 

1) I strongly recommend you use the metric measurements or recalculate

the American measurements correctly. They are vague approximations at

best and are significantly off.

 

2) Change any specific recipe references to reflect the fact that the

method is intended for a different recipe. So, for sultanas, read

raisins, etc.

 

3) This is not a period recipe. It calls for non-period ingredients

being used in a non-period way. Substituting the tea for the tannin,

etc., will not change this fact. There may be a dandelion or other

flower wine similar to this in Sir Kenelm Digby, but then he's not a

period source, either. If you have no problem with this, then neither do

I.

 

4) I recommend that any aging instructions given in almost any British

alcoholic beverage recipe be increased by a factor of 50%, but not to

exceed a year, except in the case of things like an especially heavy

stout or very strong mead.

 

All that said, have a good time and enjoy.

 

I, for one, will stick to my kvass!

Adamantius

 

 

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Date: Mon, 12 May 1997 13:32:31 -0400

Subject: Re: SC - Dandelion Wine

 

Peters, Rise J. wrote:

> Just to bring up a kind of gross point, every time I've looked closely at

> dandelions, they've been inhabited by little bugs (I think red ones), I

> assume some kind of mites.  Do they just go in the wine and get filtered out

> at the end, or is there some kind of process for getting them off the

> flowers, or am I the only one who ever got that close to a dandelion to

> worry about it?

 

All of the above (more or less). I wonder if that's why the recipe I

posted says they should be gathered on a hot day...

 

Adamantius

 

 

From: Uduido at aol.com

Date: Mon, 12 May 1997 16:45:35 -0400 (EDT)

Subject: Re: SC - Dandelion Wine

 

In a message dated 97-05-12 13:28:11 EDT, you write:

 

<< Just to bring up a kind of gross point, every time I've looked closely at

dandelions, they've been inhabited by little bugs (I think red ones), I

assume some kind of mites.   >>

 

They are a type of thrip. They are harmless to the wine and to people. Since

you have to remove the green part of the dandelion flower and good kitchen

technique would include a rinsing of the petals after they were picked and

cleaned, the vast majority of these thrips are eliminated. I also throw my

petals into a wire strainer while removing the green parts from them which

allows the thrips and other sources of potentially valuable protein  8-) to

slip through the holes.

 

Lord Ras

 

 

From: "PHYLLIS SPURR" <PSPURR at r03.tdh.state.tx.us>

Date: Mon, 12 May 1997 13:23:32 -0600

Subject: Re: SC - Dandelion Wine

 

> A member of my local group asked me to ask if anyone out here has a recipe

> for dandelion wine they can post and/or send, it seems he has a backyard

> full of the little buggers :)

>

> Brigid O'Brien

       

You can also use Dandelions to make a melomel.

 

Pick your dandelion flower heads - remove as much of the green stem

as possible and clean free of pests.

 

5 lbs honey

1 gal of water

4 pints of dandelion flowers

1 orange

2 sticks of cinnamon

1 oz of fresh ginger, chopped

1 pkg of yeast, I've used Cote des Blanc with good results

 

Place your clean dandelion flowers in a sterilized jar that will hold

at least 1.5 gal of fluid. Heat your water and add honey, stirring

constantly until dissolved.  Do not boil as the honey may burn and it

can drive away the essence of the honey.  It won't ruin the must if

it boils, but the honey will lose some of its flavor.  Skim away any

scum that rises.  When no more scum rises, add the cinnamon, ginger,

and squeeze the juice of the orange into the mixture, slice and add

the orange (peel and all).  Additional scum will rise at this point.  

Skim away scum until no more rises.  At least five minutes.

 

Remove the must from heat and pour over the dandelion flowers.  Allow

to steep until the temperature of the must is about 70 degrees

Fahrenheit. Strain through cheesecloth to remove the solids from the

must.

 

At this point, you may determine the specific gravity using a

hydrometer.

 

Add your yeast to the must and place in a carboy under fermentation

lock. In about 2-3 weeks, you will need to rack the must off the

settled yeast into another carboy.  Allow to continue working, until

the melomel is clear, racking into a clean carboy as the yeast

settles. This may take a couple of months.  Rack off into bottles.  

Cork. Store and allow to age.  This is a still melomel, in that

there is no carbonation.  Just be sure that your must is finished

working before bottling, you don't want your bottles to explode.

 

This is really sweet, almost syrup-like after a year.  By the way,

the above was made by me last June and this past weekend, it won 2nd

place in a brewing competition.

 

Phyllis L. Spurr

aka Eowyn ferch Rhys, Elfsea

 

 

From: Lasairina at aol.com

Date: Mon, 12 May 1997 23:51:20 -0400 (EDT)

Subject: SC - Re: Dandelion Wine

 

From the book, "How To Make Wine In Your Own Kitchen," by Mettja C. Roate...

 

Plain Dandelion Wine

 

1st Week:

4 quarts of dandelion flowers, cleaned of all their green

4 quarts of boiling water

 

2nd Week:

4 oranges cut in 1/4" slices

4 lemons cut in 1/4" slices

1 cup white raisins, finely chopped

6 cups sugar

1 package dry granulated yeast

 

Put the dandelion blossoms in canner kettle and pour the boiling water over

them. Let stand in a warm place for one week.  Stir twice a day if possible.

 

At the end of the week, strain the blossoms through a jelly bag, squeezing

the pulp very dry to extract all of the liquid and flavour.  Return the

liquid to the canner kettle and add the sliced oranges and lemons, and the

raisins. Stir in the sugar; be sure to stir long enough to dissolve every

grain. Sprinkle the dry granulated yeast over the surface.  Set in a warm

place to ferment for two weeks.  Stir every day, inverting the fruit which

rises to the surface.

 

At the end of this two-week period, strain through several thicknesses of

cheesecloth, and return to the canner kettle to settle for two more days.

When the wine has settled, siphon off carefully into clean sterilized

bottles. Put corks in lightly until all fermentation is over ( it has

stopped when small bubbles no longer cling to the sides of the bottles.)

Then tighten the corks securely and dip in hot paraffin.  Let the wine age

at least 6 months; it is best at the end of a year.

- --------------------

 

I have not personally made this one (never could come up with that many

dandelions) and there are several other interesting titles - Dandelion

Pineapple Wine, Dandelion Rhubarb Pineapple Wine, and Dandelion Elderberry

Blossom Wine are some.

 

Hope this helps!

Lasairfhiona

 

 

From: Uduido at aol.com

Date: Fri, 13 Jun 1997 21:16:35 -0400 (EDT)

Subject: SC - Grapes

 

<< There is a HUGE Concord Grape vine(s)  growing in my new backyard. I was

told by neighbors that it yielded gallons of grapes last year.

Does anyone know of anything within period that these could be used for?

All the talk of cordials/liqueurs has me hoping. Same neighbor made 23

bottles of wine from them.

~Lady Irissa

>>

 

Sorry. The Labrusca (concord) grape variety is New World no questions, do

not pass go, do not collect $200.oo. :-) More appropriate varieties would be

Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Grigio, Gewurtzraminer, Zinfandel (questionable),

Sauvignon Blanc, Valipolicella (species unknown to me), Riesling, Chardonnay,

Sangoivese, Chamborcin, Merlot, etc.

 

The Labrusca grapes (e.g. Concord, Catawba, Niagra) are without exception New

World varieties and were not used in Europe until the late 1800's C.E. They

were then only used (as they still are) for root stock on which to graft the

European varities to prevent further dessicration of the vineyards by the

Phyloxera plague. (Which by the way is currently destroying the vineyards in

California at an alarming rate).

 

More to the point the foxy taste of New World labrusca varieties is totally

alien with regards to the flavor of Old World varieties and can not be

satisfactorily substituted under any circunstances.

 

Lord Ras (Uduido at aol.com)

 

 

Date: Mon, 16 Jun 1997 17:01:52 -0500

From: roger boulet <boulet.roger at mcleod.net>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Period grape varieties

 

For those interested in the history of grapes and wine I reccommend this

book "DIONYSIS, A Social History of the Wine Vine" by Edward Hyams,

Sedgwick & Jackson, London 1987 ISBN 0-283-99432-0. The author attempts

to trace the histroy of grape growing from it's beginning to modern

times using archeological evidence and genotype information.

 

It's been some time since I read the book but I do remember that several

varieties still cultivated trace to pre roman times including the Pinot

Noir. He also deals with new world vines.

 

Roger

 

 

From: Mark Schuldenfrei <schuldy at abel.MATH.HARVARD.EDU>

Date: Tue, 1 Jul 1997 09:54:21 -0400 (EDT)

Subject: Re: SC - Foods that I won't eat

 

  I would have said that a majority of the surviving medieval recipes which

call for sweetener call for sugar rather than honey.  In particular, our

favorite mulled wine (hippocras) recipe uses sugar.

 

Agreed so far:

  

I note, however, that your redaction uses boiling wine, when the original

calls for mixing with regular wine.

 

I have had hippocras made both ways (a friend has a source that involves

pouring the wine through a pile of spiced sugar, without boiling). I have

found that, overall, the taste of unboiled hippocris is superior.

 

Your mileage and tastes will vary, of course.

 

"and two quarters of sugar and mix them with a quart of wine" [original]

"sugar to 2 quarts of boiling wine" [redaction]

 

        Tibor

 

 

Date: Sun, 5 Oct 1997 09:33:03 -0400 (EDT)

From: Ladypeyton at aol.com

Subject: SC - Rose Hip Wine Recipe

 

I used dried Rose Hips, but I included all the information for using fresh

that I could find in my books.  Note: the only period recipes I could find

was from either Apicius or Pliny and used only Rose Petals.  The recipe makes

1 gallon.  If you are using a larger carboy then just multiply the

ingredients accordingly.

 

- -1 gallon water

- -6oz dried rose hips soaked overnight (keep the water) or 2 lbs fresh make

sure they are unsprayed

- -1 1/2 lbs white sugar + 1/2 lb brown sugar or 3 lbs light (read table) honey

- -1 tsp acid blend + 1 squeeze lemon juice or juice of 1 lemon

- -1 tsp yeast nutrient

- -5 drops pectic enzyme (liquid) or 1/2 tsp (powder)

- -1 cup white grape juice concentrate (I used Welch's)

- -1 packet Wine Yeast (I used Premier Cuvee)

- -OPTIONAL 1 Campden Tablet (I never use campden tablets because I don't like

sulfites in my wine A LOT of people are allergic to sulfites and don't

realize it therefore assuming they can't tolerate wine when it is an (I

believe)unneeded additive they are reacting to.)

 

*Acid blend, yeast nutrient, pectic enzyme, wine yeast are all available at

your local wine making supply store.  There is probably one in your area if

you really look.  I was surprised to find I have more than 4 within a half

hour drive.  On the other hand I live in Philadelphia.  If you absolutely

cannot find a supplier there are several mail order catalogs available and

several suppliers on the web. *

 

Rinse and pick over your rose hips.  If your rose hips are dried soak

overnight & drain (save liquid) if they are fresh then coarsely chop them in

a blender.  Put the rose hips in a jelly bag or a nylon straining bag.  Place

in the bottom of your primary fermenter.  Mash them with your sanitized

hands. Pour sugar over bag.  Pour hot water (not boiling) over bag and sugar

and stir until the sugar is dissolved .  If you use honey then do boil the

honey & water together for  at  20 minutes (breaks down the honey & helps your

finished product to clear quicker & easier).  Cool slightly before pouring

over rose hips.  When tepid add acid, yeast nutrient, grape juice & if you

use one the campden tablet.  If you do not use the campden tablet then must

cools add pectic enzyme & wine yeast.  If you do use campden tablet then wait

12 hours then add pectic enzyme 12 hours later add yeast.  Cover tightly &

fit with an air lock.  Stir daily squishing the bag for a week.  After 2

weeks siphon into a glass carboy & fit with an air lock.  After 4 more weeks

rack to a clean carboy (I usually siphon into my primary fermenter, clean the

carboy I've been using all along & siphon back into the carboy)  I top off

the carboy with the soaking water I saved at the beginning of the procedure.

You can also top off with white grape juice although the added sugar will

extend your fermenting process.  After 2 more weeks you should be able to

bottle your wine.  1 gallon must makes about 4 bottles wine.    

 

A primary fermenter is a pail with a cover that is made out of food grade

plastic. It is available at your wine making supply store for  at  $10.  A

carboy is a glass container that looks like the top of a water cooler upside

down and is  at  $5 to $15 depending on the size. Air locks are little water

locks that fit into rubber bungs that fit into 1)the hole drilled into the

top of the primary fermenter cover (small bung) & 2) the opening in the

carboy (larger bung).  You will need 2 rubber bungs (1 of each size).  Air

locks & rubber bungs are  at  $1 each.

 

You must always sanitize your equipment before starting.  There are

sterilizing agents sold at supply stores or you can use the same bleach

mixture used to wash dishes at events.  I use a compound called  "One Step"

no rinsing is needed with this compound as it cleans with oxygen.  At any

other time you MUST rinse your equipment after it is sterilized.  Please be

strict with your sterilization.  Don't even so much as use a spoon to stir

the must if you haven't prepared it.  Same with your hands.

 

I just had Adrian, who is wine making illiterate, read over this to see if

I've left anything undefined and he said it was pretty easy to understand.

However, he may have picked up some of the lingo by osmosis so if I've left

anything unclear, undefined or unexplained please let me know.  I'm preparing

to teach an introduction to wine making class and am still trying to work the

lingo out of my presentation.  I'm pretty nervous as this will be my first

expedition into teaching.

 

By the way the Apicius recipe went:  Make rose wine in this manner:  rose

petals, the lower white part removed, sewed into a linen bag and immersed in

wine for seven days.  Thereupon add a sack of new petals which allow to draw

for another seven days.  Again remove the old petals and replace them by

fresh ones for another week;  then strain the wine through the colander.

Before serving add honey sweetening to taste.  Take care that only the best

petals free from dew be used for soaking.  

 

Lady Peyton

Ladypeyton at aol.com    

 

 

Date: Tue, 4 Nov 1997 14:04:46 -0400

From: renfrow at skylands.net (Cindy Renfrow)

Subject: Re: SC - kegs and barrels

 

>According to the catalog these barrels are "lined with parafin for water

>tightness", so it sounds as if they have been designed to hold liquids.  As to

>whether or not brewers pitch is period I am not sure.  I have been looking for

>it to use to seal the interior of leather bottles and mugs.  I do know it is

>made from natural pine tar.

>Noemi

 

"...But it may also be proper to give an account of the method of preparing

wine, as Greek authors have written special treatises on this subject and

have made a scientific system for it -for instance Euphronius,

Aristomachus, Commiades and Hicesius.  The practice in Africa is to soften

any roughness with gypsum, and also in some parts of the country with lime.

In Greece, on the other hand, they enliven the smoothness of their wines

with potter's earth or marble dust or salt or sea-water, while in some

parts of Italy they use resinous pitch for this purpose, and it is the

general practice both there and in the neighbouring provinces to season

must with resin; in some places they use the lees of older wine or else

vinegar for seasoning...  In some places they boil the must down into what

is called sapa, and pour this into their wines to overcome their harshness.

*** Still both in the case of this kind of wine and in all others they

supply the vessels themselves with coatings of pitch... *** The method of

seasoning wine is to sprinkle the must with pitch during its first

fermentation, which is completed in nine days at most, so that the wine may

be given the scent of pitch and some touches of its piquant flavour..."

Pliny , Natural History, c. 77 A.D., Book XIV, section XXIV, pp. 265-269.

(Excerpted from "A Sip Through Time", p. 244.)

 

Cindy Renfrow

renfrow at skylands.net

http://www.alcasoft.com/renfrow/

 

 

Date: Fri, 24 Oct 1997 01:01:58 EDT

From: melc2newton at juno.com (Michael P Newton)

Subject: Re: SC - birch

 

A recipe recently found for birch leaf wine (Actually a leaf wine in

general recipe; since I live in Oak Heart, I am going to do the oak leaf

wine this next spring): Pick 4 qts. of very young oak or birch leaves in

the early spring when the leaves are the size of a mouse's ear. Pour four

pints of boiling water over the leaves, let stand for a day, and then

strain. Warm the liquid to dissolve two lbs. of sugar ( I think I'm going

to use honey instead and make it a oakleaf mead). Add one half cup lemon

juice and when cool, one tablespoon of yeast. Add water to make a volume

of one gallon, and ferment.

 

Lady Beatrix

 

 

Date: Wed, 7 Jan 1998 19:10:15 +1100

From: Meliora & Drake <meliora at macquarie.matra.com.au>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu, sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Rhenish Wine??

 

At 03:07 PM 6/01/98 -0500, Margritte wrote:

>Hope this isn't a stupid question, but I'm far from being a wine maven...

>If a recipe calls for "good Rhenish wine", what should I use?

>>From "A Queen's Delight":

>To make Rasberry Wine.

>Take a Gallon of good Rhenish Wine, put into it as much Rasberries very

>ripe as will make it strong, put it in an earthen pot, and let it stand two

>dayes, then pour your Wine from your Rasberries, and put into every bottle

>two ounces of Sugar, stop it up and keep it by you.

>-Margritte

 

I've done this recipe with a cheap flagon of Rhine Reisling and the results

were fantastic.  I never had one complaint about the brew.  You could

probably use other wines and it would matter that much as the Raspberries

are the dominant flavour.  Some brewing tips though:

 

1) Don't add 2oz of sugar per bottle other wise you will end up with

grenades, a maximum of 1tsp of sugar per 750ml bottle.

 

2) Use Beer bottles or Champagne bottles (with corks and WIRES).  If you

use wine bottles then the pressure will ease the corks out of the bottles.

 

3) Add just 1-2 grains of yeast to each bottle.  Modern wine is so finely

filtered that it is hard to get a fermentation going again to gas the

bottles. The recipe is one that is meant to be 'windy' or carbonated.

 

4) If you reduce the raspberries with a little sugar to a syrup and then

filter the syrup and then add the syrup to the wine then your will get a

finer product.  Don't activate the pectin in the raspberries or you will get

a haze in the wine you can't clear.  If you do get a haze the Pectinase from

the Home-Brew shop will clear it.  Even better,  I can buy (here in

Australia) raspberry syrup which goes great in brewing recipes.

 

5) Good luck, it's a very tasty and easy recipe and I applaud you good

judgement in choosing this recipe.

 

Drake Morgan,

Lochac.

 

 

Date: Wed, 7 Jan 1998 09:07:29 -0600 (CST)

From: "J. Patrick Hughes" <jphughes at raven.cc.ukans.edu>

To: sca-arts at listproc.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Rhenish Wine??

 

Lady Peyton asked "I was under the impression that this [a blight that

caused the vines to be rooted to American stems] was true for most of

Europe's wine regions is this true?"

 

Yes, in the 1870s the insect phylloxera attacked and destroyed most

European vineyards.  Virtually every vine in Europe was then only saved by

being grafted to an American root and stem.

 

Again, the Ladey commented: "As for the question of taste changing.  My

research shows that period wines were fermented for a much shorter period

and hardly aged worth mentioning compared to modern wines which would

result in a sweeter end product.  Which is why I recommended a Reisling as

the best substitute."

 

You are again correct.  My research also shows that most wines in Germany

and France were drunk much younger and were not as alcoholic as modern

wines. (They often watered the wines to make them go further.) There was

also much less scientific processing and control than in modern wines.

The result was that many of the recipes that we have from period on how to

spice or doctor wine.  The original request was regarding one such recipe.

If the person involved does not wish to start from scratch and do the

vintning (the people in period that used the recipe did not) then you were

right to suggest a Reisling as that is the favored grape in the Rhineland

(there is a modern taste for Sylvaner).

 

My caution that the taste would vary from period is best summed up in a

quote from Hugh Johnsons World Atlas of Wine: "German wines of the last

century would be scarcely more familiar to us.  It is doubtful whether

any of todays pale, rather sweet, intensely perfumed wines were made.

Grapes picked earlier gave more acid wine which needed longer to mature in

cask. People like the flavour of oak - or even the flavor of oxidation

from too much contact with the air. Old brown hock was a recommendation,

whereas today it would be as rude a remark as you could write on a tasting

card." Of course the 19th century was very into aging as opposed to the

Middle ages where they tried to get the wine to the drinker before it

turned vinegar.

 

The bottom line is that if one were to attempt to recreate the German

wines of period it would be necessary to do oak barrel fermenting rather

than bottle fermenting (out of period practice) and look for a younger,

deeper colored, less bouquet characterized, Reisling. I have found the

number of people in the society willing to do a period style wine and

people willing to develop a period pallet are vanishing rare.

 

Note that wines fermented from other fruits without the grape base are and

were known in Germany.  They were called "hexen" wines and were looked

down on as the product of "the old witches in the Black Forest that could

not produce true wine." But the recipe indicated that what was intended

was a doctoring of a grape wine not a fruit wine.

 

Charles O'Connor

jphughes at raven.cc.ukans.edu

 

 

Date: Fri, 03 Jul 1998 08:24:01 -0500

From: "Norman White" <gn-white at tamu.edu>

Subject: SC - When did they start aging wine?  -Reply  -Reply

 

Jin Liu Ch'ang here:

 

David/Cariadoc asked in a post on June 29th about the history of aging wine.  It took me awhile to remember to pull out the copy of William Turner's 1568 book, "A Book of Wines" which I have checked out from the library.  Apparently, from what I can gleam from the words of William Turner, aging of wines was well known in England in his time period.  Apparently, however, most people drank wine still in the act of fermenting and freshly fermented

wine which he called (and what I believe is still called) must.  I guess this is much like the many people who go to their liquor store in the present and buy fresh (1-2 year old) wine and, rather than placing it in their wine cellars, drink it right away.  In his capacity as an medicinal herbalist and scientist, he considered this to be wrong and stated reasons against this and quoted earlier writers including Galen and Aloisius Mundella in his

arguments. He quoted Galen as defining wine not five years old as new wine, wine 5-10 years old as middle aged and wine over 10 years old as old aged.  As would probably occur in present times, he found that experts disagree on the times for aging wines as Aloisuis Mundella considered the dividing age between new and middle aged wine to be six years.  He also discussed the varieties of wine available in England from the wine import trade naming

them by where they originated, their color, age, taste, and smell.  As a physician/herbalist, he also delineated wine by their dry/moist and cold/hot character.  All wine was considered hot to some degree.  An old wine was considered hotter than a new wine and yellow and red wines were hotter than white wines.  The dryness was accorded to the degree of heat along with sweetness.  In his opinion, young people being naturally hot should not drink

wine as all wines are hot to some degree.  If they were to drink, as the young are hot and moist they should drink dry white wines while the older people being more cold and dry should drink sweet red wines which are more hot and less dry.

 

From his discussion, it is apparent that aging wines was quite common in 16th Century England and a variety of wines were available for consumption, although like present times most wines were not aged to the degree that the wine makers would have preferred.  His complaints about the drinking of too young wine are very similar to views I have hear from modern commercial vintners who complain about people buying their wines and drinking them right

away instead of aging them properly.

 

Norman White

a.k.a. Jin Liu Ch'ang

gn-white at tamu.edu

 

 

Date: Tue, 7 Jul 1998 13:21:42 -0400

From: "Marilyn Traber" <margali at 99main.com>

Subject: Re: SC - When did they start aging wine?

 

>At 1:31 AM -0600 6/29/98, Stefan li Rous wrote:

>>The young, small ale drunk

>>by the majority of folks in period will likely lose out to the fine,

>>aged wine drunk by an extemely small portion of the populace.

>I was recently reading a biography of Pepys (late 17th century). The author

>said that the use of corks was just coming in at the time, and associated

>that change with the introduction of aged wines. Of course, wines could be

>aged earlier in the cask, but the implication semed to be that it was only

>with the introduction of corked bottles that long aging, concern about

>vintages, etc. appeared.

>Does anyone know what the facts on this are? Is the "extremely small

>portion" actually zero in our period?

>David/Cariadoc

 

My take on the subject is a bit skewed. Could it be interpreted to mean that

the rich who could afford to buy wine in the cask to age and the invention

of corked bottles allowed us common scum to buy just a little bit of wine in

a more affordable form to age? I buy single bottles of promising wines to

age and the 17 litre boxes to use for immediate drinking and cooking. If I

had to buy 17 litres of a more expensive wine, I wouldn't. The cost would be

prohibitive, and I would soon run out of the small amount of room that I

have suitable for aging wines.

 

margali

 

 

Date: Wed, 4 Nov 1998 22:11:24 EST

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: SC - Period wine-French

 

The following French vineyards have produced wine since the Middle Ages with a

few dating from 279 C.E. using the grape varieties still grown in and used

today.

 

Clos de Beze

Corton-Charlemagne

Le Romanee

Clos de Vougeot

Merseult

Montrachet

 

These vineyards were controlled by the Church in the Middle Ages.  The wine of

these vineyards was much sought after by medieval gourmets as they are in the

current middle ages.  The wines of these houses were called 'wines of

Auxerre,' then later 'wines of Baeume' and finally in the 1400s the 'wines of

Burgundy' by which name they are still referred to.

 

French grape varieties grown in the Middle Ages included Granache, Cabernet

Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot along with Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc,

Chardonnay and Gamay.  The last four being some of the most ancient

varieties.

 

For more authenticity, and if you can afford them, you might try wines from

Le Romanee-Conti or Le Mussigny.  These two vineyards are among a handful that

still grow there vines on native stock instead of getting their grapes off

from vines that have been grafted onto phylloxera resistant American root

stock. I would remind you that, contrary to popular opinion, the stock in no

way has any affect whatsoever on the vines that are grafted onto them other

than providing protection from phylloxera.  Taste, flavor or the resulting

wine is the same as those vines growing on native stock.

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Tue, 29 Dec 1998 23:50:47 -0500

From: Marilyn Traber <margali at 99main.com>

Subject: Re: SC - gingerbrede

 

Max was by tonight and was very pleased to get the brewing recipes,

and he concurs that the oak leaf brew was something to fake out oak cask aging

for a wine.

.

margali

 

gwin dail derw - oak leaf wine

for each gallon:

a quantity of clean brown withered oak leaves gathered from the tree on a dry

day, bruised piece of whole giger, 4 lbs white sugar, 1 lb chopped rasins,

1/2 oz yeast

 

place the leaves in a china or earthenware vessel and pour sufficient boiling

water over them to cover. infuse for 4-5 days, then strain off through muslin.

 

Boil this liquid, adding a piece of bruised ginger and 4 lbs of sugar. After 20

minutes boiling, allow to cool to luke warm and return to the earthenware

vessel. Now add the 1 lb of chopped rasins and 1/2 oz yeast.Cover well and

allow to ferment for 16 days, then strain and bottle.

 

The wine will be ready to drink in three months but improves with keeping.

 

 

Date: Wed, 30 Dec 1998 09:20:46 -0500

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: SC - gingerbrede

 

Marilyn Traber wrote:

> Max was by tonight and was very pleased to get the brewing recipes,

> and he concurs that the oak leaf brew was something to fake out oak cask aging

> for a wine.

> margali

 

Oak leaves may also have been added to provide tannin as a yeast

nutrient. You still occasionally find it being added in pure form to

modern mead recipes.

 

Markham's Strong Ale recipe calls for leafy oak branches to be added at

the end, while the wort is still hot, IIRC. It certainly does give the

stuff an oaky flavor, but it's not necessarily the specific effect they

were after, if you know what I mean.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Wed, 30 Dec 1998 15:41:53 EST

From: melc2newton at juno.com

Subject: Oak leaf wine (was Re: SC - gingerbrede)

 

On Tue, 29 Dec 1998 23:50:47 -0500 Marilyn Traber <margali at 99main.com> writes:

>Max was by tonight and was very pleased to get the brewing recipes,

>and he concurs that the oak leaf brew was something to fake out oak cask aging

>for a wine.

>margali

 

>gwin dail derw - oak leaf wine

>for each gallon:

>a quantity of clean brown withered oak leaves gathered from the tree on a dry

>day, bruised piece of whole giger, 4 lbs white sugar, 1 lb chopped rasins, 1/2

>oz yeast

 

Well, this is curious! the Oak leaf recipe I have calls for new oak

leaves, not bigger than a squirrel's ear, and no rasins!?! Mine is from

_Beer and Wines of Old New England_, Where did Max find his?

I used a quart of squirrel's sized oak leaves, and steeped, as for tea,

and then added 2 1/2 lbs of clover honey ( the recipe called for 2 lbs of

sugar, but I thought a oak leaf mead would be more interesting), for a

gallon's worth. I think the yeast I used was a wine yeast; I'd have to go

find my brewing notebook to find out which one, tho'.  Since it was a

mead, rather than a wine, I'm waiting a year, before I try it .

 

Beatrix

Oakheart/Calontir

Springfield, Mo

 

 

Date: Sun, 07 Feb 1999 18:24:26 -0500

From: capriest at cs.vassar.edu (Carolyn Priest-Dorman)

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: liquers/cordials

 

>Does anybody have a source for period liquer/cordial recipes?

>Morgaine of Glastonbury

 

|   AUTHOR: Arnaldus, de Villanova, d. 1311.

|   TITLE: The earliest printed book on wine,

|   PLACE: New York,

|PUBLISHER: Schuman's,

|     YEAR: 1943

| PUB TYPE: Book

|   FORMAT: 44 p., facsim. ([30] p.), incl. front. (port.) 1 col. illus. 26

|           cm.

|   NOTES: Translation and facsimile of Der tractat Arnoldi de Noua villa,

|           von bewarug vn beraitug der wein, 1478, Wilhelm von Hirnkofen's

|           version of the Tractatus de vinis.

|           "Limited to three hundred and fifty copies."

| SUBJECT: Wine and wine making.

|           Wine -- Therapeutic use.

|   OTHER: Hirnkofen, Wilhelm von, called Renwart, fl.1478, tr.

 

The reference, Arnaldus of Villanova's book about wines and

winemaking, also contains several medicinal cordial recipes.  Mainly they

involve steeping herbs in wine for various health reasons.  There are no

SCA-style sweet cordials in the book, but there is one that I'm very fond

of, called something like "wine that's good for the whole body."  It's wine

boiled with sugar, rose water, and some spices, and you're supposed to drink

a few ounces of it at a time.

 

Carolyn Priest-Dorman                 Thora Sharptooth

capriest at cs.vassar.edu                Frostahlid, Austrriki

 

 

Date: Sun, 21 Mar 1999 19:48:20 -0500

From: "Daniel Phelps" <phelpsd at gate.net>

Subject: Re: SC - hypocras question

 

From: Terri Spencer <taracook at yahoo.com>:

>So, does anyone know what kind of wine would have been used for

>hypocras? And the best modern equivalent?

 

While admittedly no wine expert, my readings suggest that the wine used was

what was generally available thus the wines used were probably nothing

special. I suspect that until quite late in period that such wines would be

what we would consider rather rough unaged wines.

 

>From "Vintage the Story of Wine".  "Maturity was not a factor that the

medieval wine critics concerned themselves with, except as it affected the

drinker's comfort.  Drinking wine so new that it is still, in the French

phrase, "trouble" can lead to severe "collywobbles".  If it was older than a

year, the chances were that the wine was spoiled.  The choice was distinctly

limited." page 127.  From the same source in 1302 Petrus de Crescentiis of

Bologna in his "Liber Commodorum Ruralium" said that the right age for wine

was neither new (first year) nor old, which according to the "Vintage's"

author suggests that he preferred one or two year old wine best.  The author

goes on to state that the majority of critics held that it was better simply

to wait until fermentation was over and drink up.  "The more northern (and

weaker) the wine the more important to drink it quickly."  Further reference

suggests Burgundy of high quality was drinkable at two years and according

to the author,  "The only known reference from the Middle Ages to any wine

being especially good at as old as four years was, remarkably enough, the

exceptional Chablis vintage of 1396."

 

The author says that according to the Catalan author Eiximenis "...the

French like white wines, Burgundians red, Germans aromatic, and the English

beer."

 

I suggest that you use what ever table wine, red or white,  you want as it

is probably at least as good as they would have used in period and probably

better. Realizing that your average A/S judge would probably spit out a

"period" tasting wine as offensive to his modern palate, I would just chose

a wine that tasted good to you to as my base to start.

 

As a side note the use of sulfur was permitted in wine in Germany by royal

decree in 1487.  If you want to go to the trouble you can find "organic"

wines in which no sulfides or "additives" are used.

 

Such is, in my humble opinion, what I would suggest.  We will now see what

storms of controversy result.

 

Daniel Raoul le Vascon du Navarre'

Shire of Sea March, Kingdom of Trimaris

 

 

Date: Mon, 22 Mar 1999 01:18:12 EST

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: SC - Wine-a continuation

 

pug at pug.net writes:

<< For an A&S competition, I wouldn't care unless I wanted the recipe for myself.>>

 

This is an interesting statement mainly because the flavor would be very much

wrong, sort of foxy tasting, if Lambrusco based wines are used. These wines

are not at all like anything available in the Middle Ages and their use would

produce a product which would not have tasted like anything  they would have

ever tasted in the MA leading me to express the opinion that a careful

selection of wine type would be very much a criteria for an entry into an A &

S competition. Type of wine (e.g. grape variety) would play a very large part

of the criteria of judging such an entry.

 

BTW, a 'foxy' taste is considered to be a 'bad' trait if it is detected in

wines, which is why varieties like Niagra and other Lambrusco types are

continuously being improved.

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Tue, 22 Jun 1999 11:49:13 -0400

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: SC - rice wine

 

Stefan li Rous wrote:

> A couple of questions:

> 1) Rice was known, and I believe grown, in Europe in period. Is there

> any evidence that it was ever brewed into a beverage?

 

In Europe? I doubt it. Rice was grown in places that had too much

respect for grapes even to make regular ale or beer, let alone rice beer

_or_ wine.

 

> 2) Why is it called rice "wine"? It really sounds more like rice "beer"

> to me. I think I may have asked this before but right now I'm trying to

> figure out whether to place this recipe in my beer-msg file or in my

> wine-msg file. Since everyone seems to call it a wine, I think that

> is where I will place it since that is where folks would probably look

> for it.

 

You probably should just place it with the wines. Yes, it's made from

grain, but there the similarity to beer, modern or otherwise, pretty

much ends. It is often not made by malting the grain, never hopped, and

made with entirely different yeast strains.

 

It's a clear, almost invariably still (not carbonated) beverage,

sometimes, but more often not, flavored with herbs. Sometimes consumed

warm. It has easily as much right to be called wine as, say, dandelion

wine or a number of others, and only the French, in an attempt to

protect their export trade, have had the temerity to claim that such

non-grape products cannot be called wine.

 

Which reminds me, it's time to put up the cherry wine and bottle last

year's batch. Excuse me. ;  )

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Mon, 4 Oct 1999 20:40:30 EDT

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Need help with "Compost"

 

macdairi at hotmail.com writes:

<< So the Greeks mark their resinated wines as such?  I'd hate to

accidentally kill myself trying them out...

 

Cadoc >>

 

Yes, They are labeled 'Retsina' if they have been stored in casks lined with

pine pitch. BTW, they are much like Scotch in that they are an 'acquired'

taste. Once you come to appreciate them they are actually rather good when

served with Greek food. Who woulda' thought? :-)

 

Ras.

 

 

Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 16:03:28 EST

From: ChannonM at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Grapes & Yeast

 

Can this action of the yeast be applied to ancient recipes of wine making?

The recipe in particular is from Columella is found in the Flowers and

Rosenbaum translation of Apicius

 

Here it is, could I have some interpretation of what properties this wine

might have,

Thanks, Hauviette

 

Mago gives the following directions how to make the best passum, and I have

made it myself like this. Gather early grapes when they are fully ripe,

aremoving mluldy or damaged berries. Fix in the ground gorks or stakes 4 feet

apart to support reeds and join them together with poles. Then place the

reeds on top and spread your grapes in the sun, covering tehma night so they

do not get wet from the dew. Then, when the have dried, pick the berries off

the stalks and put them in a cask or wine-jar and poor the best possible must

over them so that the berries are completely covered. When sturated put them

on the sixth day in a wicker basket and presss them in the wine press and

extract the passum. Next tread the grape-skins, having added freshest must

which you have made from other grapes that were lseft to dry in the sun for

three days. Mix together and put the whole mash through the wine-press , and

this passum of the second pressing put immediately in vessels which you seal

so that it does not become too rough. Then, after 20 or 30 days, when it has

ceased fermenting, strain it into other vessels, seal their lids with gypsum

immediately, and cover with skins.

If you wish to make passum from the “bee” grapes gather the whole grapes,

clear away damged berries  , and throw them out. Then hang them up on poles.

See to it that the poles are always in the sun. As soon as the berries are

sufficiently shrivelled pick them off and put themwithout stalks in a vessel

and tread them well with your feet. When you have made none layer of them

sprinkle old wine on and tread another layer of grapes over it and sprinkl

this also with woine. Do the same with a third layer and after having added

wine, leave for five days. Then tread with your feet and press the grapes in

a wicker basket. Some people prepare old rain-water for this boiling it down

to a third of its volume , and then when they have made raisinns in the

manner described above, they take the boiled-down rain-water instead of wine,

doing everything else in a manner where there is plenty of wood, and in use

it is even sweeter than the passum dexcribed above.

 

 

Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 17:37:19 EST

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Grapes

 

ChannonM at aol.com writes:

<< So unless we are getting the addition of a yeast we will have a sweet vs

dry wine?

 

Hauviette >>

 

Not exactly. :-) Some yeasts work better at converting sugars to alcohol than

others. There are also temperature factors and a myriad of other things

considered by the vintner including ripeness of the fruit, whether it was

harvested during a wet, cold or hot spell, what type of soils the vines are

grown in, the age of the vines that produced the grapes, weather during

blossoming and fruit setting stages, etc. Variety of grape and strains of

yeast are only 2 things that effect the final beverage.

 

However, the strains of yeast used for the production of champagne tend to be

vigorous and strong growers and consistently convert more sugars to alcohol

than some other strains might. The more sugar that is converted the dryer the

wine. Sweet wines are usually produced by either adding sugar to the must,

using super ripe or late harvested varieties of grapes or, as in the case

with sauternes, disease organisms that cause an unusually high sugar content.

Also the production of sweet wines sometimes includes stopping the

fermentation process at an early stage before all of the sugars can be

converted to alcohol. A quick glance at the label of different wines will

show that sweet or semidry wines usually have an alcohol content of 8.5 to 9

per cent while dry wines tend to be in the 11-13.5 per cent group. Super

sweet wines such as cream varieties have sugars added after fermentation is

completed or, in the case of vermouth, aperitifs, sherries and ports, their

alcohol content is increased by the addition of brandy or other spirits.

 

The entire study of viniculture and it's attendant beverage production is a

fascinating study that would entail years of research.

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Wed, 29 Dec 1999 09:13:18 -0800

From: "Crystal A. Isaac" <xtal at sigenetics.com>

Subject: RE: SC - Christmas Dinner and Gifts/Fig Brandy

 

Lady Katherine McGuire writes:

> Was Fig Brandy available in our "period"? If so does one use "dried" figs

> or fresh?

 

The short answer is No.

 

Fruit was cheap and distillates very expensive. As near as I can tell, it

simply never occurred to medieval/renaissance people to put the two

together. I've been looking for a primary source for fruit-in-hard alcohol

reference for more than three years and have not found one. The only

fruit-in-wine documentation I have been able to find is in a very late

English book* (written by an elderly Italian remembering his youth)

referring to the Italian practice of soaking peaches in wine to render them

edible, with a humorous comment that nobody throws away the wine afterwards.

 

Source:

*Castelvetro, Giacomo (1546-1616) _Brieve racconto di tutte le radici, di

tutte l'herb et di tutti i frutti, che crudi o cotti in Italia si mangiano_

c. 1614.  Translated by Riley, Gillian. _The Fruit, Herbs & Vegetables of

Italy_. Published by Viking Penguin Inc., New York. 1989 (excellent text of

Italian/English foods eaten in late period, many just post-period pictures,

while written in Italian the intended audience was English, excellent for

late period vegetarians)

 

Crystal of the Westermark

 

 

Date: Sun, 30 Jan 2000 17:51:29 -0500

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: SC - 16th Century recipes a few questions. . .

 

Varju at aol.com wrote:

> 1. In recipe number 89, To make a strawberry tart, the recipe says "Next let

> it bake a short while, pour Malavosia over it and let it bake a while, then

> it is ready. "  What is Malavosia?

 

A sweet wine along the lines of a tawny port or sherry. A.k.a. Malmsey,

as in, "a butt of", reputed final bath and beverage of George, Duke of Clarence.

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2000 08:52:30 -0600

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: RE: SC - 16th Century recipes a few questions. . .

 

> I have been looking through the translation Das Kochbuch der Sabina

> Welserin for recipes and have a couple of questions

>

> 1. In recipe number 89, To make a strawberry tart, the recipe says "Next let

> it bake a short while, pour Malavosia over it and let it bake a while, then

> it is ready. "  What is Malavosia?

Malavosia is malmsey.  You will probably find it in under the name Malvasia

( or possibly Malvoisie, depending on vintner) at your wine dealer.  It is a

sweet, light gold colored wine.  It was difficult to find in Norman, OK,

when I did this recipe.  

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2000 08:58:26 -0600

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: RE: SC - 16th Century recipes a few questions.

 

> > it is ready. "  What is Malavosia?

>

> Adamantius was right, it's a sweet red wine. Not being a much of a

> wine drinker, I had wondered if port or something of that sort would

> do. I think port would be easier to find.

>

> Valoise

 

In my opinion, port is a little too strong for the strawberries.  A sweet

sherry would be closer.  A German May Wine would probably do reasonably

well.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Tue, 1 Feb 2000 11:22:47 -0600

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: RE: SC - 16th Century recipes a few questions

 

> Okay, I'm going to display the depth of my ignorance of wine, but

> since Sabina Welser specifically mentioned a sweet red wine for the

> strawberry tart wouldn't it make sense, if Malmsey or Malavosia was

> hard to find, to substitute another sweet red wine? Would using a

> sweet white wine make a big difference in the outcome?

>

> Valoise

 

In your translation, I see nothing to suggest a sweet red wine.  In each

case, I have found where wine is mentioned, you have left the type or name

of the wine in place.

 

Modernly, Malavosia is a white wine with a nice golden color and a delicate

but full flavor.  This wine has been known by versions of the name Malvasia

for centuries.  Malmsey is a recent name, thanks to the British.  True

Malvasia from Madeira is hard to find, but there are some California

vintages made from Malvasian grapes.

 

If Sabina Welser refers to a sweet red wine as Malavosia, she is probably

using the term as a synonym for Madeira, a generic term for wines produced

in the Madeiras.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Wed, 02 Feb 2000 00:36:20 +0100

From: Thomas Gloning <gloning at Mailer.Uni-Marburg.DE>

Subject: SC - Malvasier

 

I told my computer to search for the occurrences of "Malvasier", to see,

if the texts suggest alternatives. The machine found 35 occurrences,

most of them in cookbooks, some in medical texts, a few in travelogues

and other text types.

 

In addition, "Malvasier" is mentioned in the "Wein-B¸chlein" of Samuel

Dilbaum (1584) with the subtitle "Beschreibung der Wein/ welche inn

Teutschen Landen bekant sein" ('Description of the wines that are known

in Germany'). He mentions Malvasier in the first place:

 

"EJN Maluasier der Edlest wein/

Kˆndt stercker nicht noch besser sein/

Der gibt mit seiner eygenschafft/

Den Gsunden frewd/ den Krancken krafft"

'A Malvasier the most noble wine,

could not be stronger or better,

This wine with his properties gives

joy to the healthy people and power to the sick'.

 

The occurrences in the cookbooks mention "Rainfal" most often among the

alternatives to Malvasier, e.g. in the cookbook of Philippina Welser:

"so geus ain halb achtlin malfasyer oder ranfel dar ein" ('pour some

malvasier or Rainfal into it'). Now, Dilbaum in his winebook writes

about "Rainfal":

 

"Der Reinfall ist allweg der best/

Vnder den s¸ssen Weinen gewest".

'Rainfal has always been the best

among the sweet wines.'

 

Using these occurences, it seems to me, that three aspects are prominent

in the use of Malvasier: (1) it is a good, a 'noble' wine; (2) it is a

sweet wine; (3) it is a strong wine (see one of the Seitz-quotations).

 

Thus, if you look for alternatives, look for a noble, a sweet and a

strong wine.

 

Best,

Thomas

 

 

Date: Tue, 1 Feb 2000 19:01:31 -0800 (PST)

From: Huette von Ahrens <ahrenshav at yahoo.com>

Subject: RE: SC - 16th Century recipes a few questions

 

> Could someone sort through the rest and tell me what they are in

> particular. I thought icewein was made from frozen grapes, is it

> either red or white or both?

>

> Valoise

 

If I am not mistaken, most German wines are white.  I

am sure that there are a few exceptions that I am not

aware of, but mostly they are white.  Kabinet is made

from a grapes picked at the regular harvest time.

Auslese was picked later, allowing more natural grape

sugars to form.  Berenauslese means very late harvest,

meaning that it is even sweeter. Trockenberenauslese

means very very late harvest, meaning that it is still

more sweet.  It tastes very raisiny.  Eiswein is made

from grapes that are still one the vine and have just

gone thru a cold freeze.  This can happen at any time

in Germany.  The grapes are picked while the frost is

still on the grapes and pressed right there in the

field to get that special taste frost brings to

grapes. The grapes are not allowed to defrost before

they are pressed, nor are the grapes frozen after

picking. It is rare to find an eiswein and fairly

expensive. But I do own several bottles and only

drink one at special occasions.  This is according to

Pieroth, the German winemaker I deal with the most.

 

Maywine is a special occasion wine made only in May in

Germany. It is a sweet dessert wine that has been

infused with the flavor of woodruff during the

fermentation period.  Woodruff is a sweet-scented

herb, if I am not mistaken, and it creates a different

flavored wine.  Not everyone likes Maywine.  

 

Huette

 

 

Date: Tue, 1 Feb 2000 19:46:55 -0800 (PST)

From: Huette von Ahrens <ahrenshav at yahoo.com>

Subject: SC - German wines

 

- --- LrdRas at aol.com wrote:

> ahrenshav at yahoo.com writes:

> << Kabinet is not a dessert wine IMHO.  It is light but

> semidry.  You may be thinking of an auslese, which is

> definitely sweet.

>

> Huette >>

>

> This is correct. Kabinet type wines vary considerably from dry to semidry but

> cannot be defined accurately as 'sweet' as sweet. Auslese is considerably

> sweeter. And, as you pinned out, the berentrachens are sweeter still.

> Unfortunately, Americans have for the most part been 'educated' into thinking

> bitter and dry are the ideals in wine flavors so most of the excellent sweet

> wines are hard to find in the US unless you live in a wine making region.

>

> Ras

 

There is a German wine maker/dealer who sells wine in

a very old-fashioned way [and may even be a period

fashion]. Pieroth sells its wines by winetasting

parties, either at a hotel conference room rented for

the purpose or by a specially arranged showing in your

own home.  I have had several of these.  They expect

you to invite at least 4 or more people and they will

bring sampler bottles of their latest offerings.  If I

remember correctly, they charge $50 for the sampler

set, but it is worth it IMHO when you get to know

exactly what you are buying.  Pieroth makes a

Meister's Cuvee sparkling wine [i.e. champagne.

France will not allow any European winemaker to call

their sparkling wines "champagne".  The US and other

non-European winemakers haven't agreed to such and are

free to call their sparkling wines "champagne".] that

is to die for.

It is the best "champagne" that I have ever had. I

took some to a New Years party, where the host

provided some very expensive French champagne [Dom

Perignon]. I also brought a bottle of Meister's Cuvee

as a gift for the host.  He opened it up right away

and shared it with the rest of the guests. It was a

very smooth, with just a hint of sweetness.  Every

liked it much better than the Dom Perignon that he

served at midnight.

 

Also, Pieroth teaches how to read a German wine label.

'Taflwein' is ordinary "table" wine.  'Qualit‰tswein'

means quality wine.  'Qualit‰tswein, mit predikat'

means the absolutely best quality wine, with

distinction. Also all German wines that are good

wines must have an appellation number, meaning that it

passed the government German wine inspectors.  

 

Quite a few years ago, I went to a fine restaurant

here in Los Angeles, which offered haut cuisine.  I

ordered pheasant and decided that I wanted a German

wine with it.  I asked the somalier for his German

wine list.  Everything on the list was listed as being

"Qualit‰tswein". I asked him if this was all that he

had, because I wished to have better wines then this.

He said that these were the finest German wines.  I

informed him that these couldn't be, because they were

not "Qualit‰tswein, mit predikat" and that his wine

broker was not selling him the finest.  He went away

to verify what I had said.  When he came back, he

thanked me for the information and told me that the

wine was on the house, because it wasn't "up to his

standards". I went back some time later and he had

made the appropriate changes to the list.

 

Huette

 

 

Date: Sun, 2 Apr 2000 19:25:00 EDT

From: ChannonM at aol.com

Subject: SC - Re: was Duke's powder now wine in Northern Europe

 

<< I don't know that the Norse, at least in their home countries, drank

wine or hippocras (spiced wine), though. I would think that beers and

meads would be much more likely. The wine would have to be imported

and hippocras often seems to have been made from the lower quality

wines. Why import low quality wines? >>

 

I'm not sure about Denmark, but Ireland was importing wine in great

quantities in the 12th C according to several sources;

 

From the written account by Giraldas Cambrensis or Gerald of  Wales, comes a

description of the riches of Ireland in 1187,

The island is rich in pastures and meadows, honey and milk, and also in wine,

although not in vineyards. Bede, indeed, among his other commendations of

Ireland, says, "that it does not lack vineyards"; while Solinus and Isidore

affirm, "that there are no bees." But with all respect for them, they might

have written just the contrary, that vineyards do not exist in the island,

but that bees are found there. Vines it never possessed, nor any cultivators

of them. Still, foreign commerce supplies it with wine in such plenty that

the want of the growth of vines, and their natural production, is scarcely

felt. Poitou, out of its superabundance, exports vast quantities of wine to

Ireland, which willingly gives in return its ox-hides and the skins of cattle

and wild beasts.

 

And;

 

Tolls charged in Dublin in 1233 by Henry the III, Lord of Ireland, for goods

describes a limited variety of items  although it is suspected that the list

is incomplete. The list includes; wheat, oats, horse or mare, ox or cow, hogs,

sheep, wine, grain, salt, fat, cheese, honey, butter, herrings, and salmon

amoung other merchandise.

 

Hauviette

 

 

Date: Wed, 05 Apr 2000 11:34:44 +1000

From: "Craig Jones." <craig.jones at airservices.gov.au>

Subject: SC - Retsina

 

>I read somewhere that Greek wine was a sweet white wine made in a

>resin lined barrel, (pitch I believe) giving it a pine taste to some

>degree. Anyone have any input to this?

>Hauviette

 

What you are describing is Retsina, a white wine preserved with pine

resin. I found it not to my tastes, resembling disinfectant in aroma

and taste.  The resin can be found at a good Home Brew shop if you

want to make your own.

 

Funny thing,  there are lots of goodies I use in my cooking that I

find at the home brew shop such as:

Concentrated Grape Must, Hop Root Cuttings (for Hop Shoots), Dried

Elderberries, Malt, Isinglass, Gelatin in Bulk, Food Acids in Bulk,

Pectinase, Non-sulpher sterilizers (for cordial bottles).

 

Drake.

 

 

Date: Wed, 5 Apr 2000 19:12:29 EDT

From: CBlackwill at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Re: Compost variations

 

ekoogler at chesapeake.net writes:

> However, in doing this recipe, I gathered from the notes

> in the book that this may not have been what was being referenced, but, as I

> indicated, a sweet Italian wine.  I felt I did not know enough to go against

> the author's notes in the glossary, so followed what they said.  I knew that,

> given the very distinctive taste of Retsina, that it would definitely modify

> the taste of the finished product.

 

How about Vin Santo, an Italian sweet wine (from Tuscany) made from dried

grapes? It is a very sweet dessert wine, and may be more along the lines of

what you are looking for.  Marsala is actually a fortified wine, and didn't

arrive until the late 1700's (1770, if I am not mistaken).  I am not sure

when Vin Santo was created (though sweet dried grape wines have been around

for a loooong time).  Anyone?

 

Balthazar of Blackmoor

 

 

Date: Wed, 5 Apr 2000 21:21:13 EDT

From: ChannonM at aol.com

Subject: SC - Re: Re: Compost variations, early wine of dried grapes

 

CBlackwill at aol.com writes:

<< I am not sure

when Vin Santo was created (though sweet dried grape wines have been around

for a loooong time).  Anyone?

Balthazar of Blackmoor >>

 

I can speak for a Roman wine that is made from sweet dried grapes mentioned

as passum:  Flower & Rosenbaum suggest using a sweet Spanish wine and

describe passum as a specially prepared cooking wine used to sweeten

sauces.They confer with Pliny who adds that it is not only sweeter than

defrutum, but has a different flavour*. Palladius even says that one can use

it like honey. Columella gives two elaborate recipes for the preparation of

passum:

 

Mago gives the following directions how to make the best passum, and I have

made it myself like this. Gather early grapes when they are fully ripe,

aremoving mluldy or damaged berries. Fix in the ground forks or stakes 4 feet

apart to support reeds and join them together with poles. Then place the

reeds on top and spread your grapes in the sun, covering tehma night so they

do not get wet from the dew. Then, when the have dried, pick the berries off

the stalks and put them in a cask or wine-jar and poor the best possible must

over them so that the berries are completely covered. When sturated put them

on the sixth day in a wicker basket and presss them in the wine press and

extract the passum. Next tread the grape-skins, having added freshest must

which you have made from other grapes that were lseft to dry in the sun for

three days. Mix together and put the whole mash through the wine-press , and

this passum of the second pressing put immediately in vessels which you seal

so that it does not become too rough. Then, after 20 or 30 days, when it has

ceased fermenting, strain it into other vessels, seal their lids with gypsum

immediately, and cover with skins.

 

If you wish to make passum from the "bee" grapes gather the whole grapes,

clear away damged berries  , and throw them out. Then hang them up on poles.

See to it that the poles are always in the sun. As soon as the berries are

sufficiently shrivelled pick them off and put themwithout stalks in a vessel

and tread them well with your feet. When you have made none layer of them

sprinkle old wine on and tread another layer of grapes over it and sprinkl

this also with woine. Do the same with a third layer and after having added

wine, leave for five days. Then tread with your feet and press the grapes in

a wicker basket. Some people prepare old rain-water for this boiling it down

to a third of its volume , and then when they have made raisinns in the

manner described above, they take the boiled-down rain-water instead of wine,

doing everything else in a manner where there is plenty of wood, and in use

it is even sweeter than the passum dexcribed above.

 

I have contacted the Liquor Control Board of Ontario and began to search for

a wine that made from raisins. What I found was a plethora of knowledge and

information and a wine that matches. It is called a

Amarone valpolicella DOC  Classico $20-$30 per 350 ml

or as a substitution

Malivalpolicella -Ripaso which can be found at $13.85 (Villa Girardi

Valpolicella 1995)

 

Hauviette

 

 

Date: Thu, 6 Apr 2000 08:06:06 -0500

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: RE: SC - Re: Compost variations

 

> How about Vin Santo, an Italian sweet wine (from Tuscany)

> made from dried grapes?

>

> Balthazar of Blackmoor

 

Try Malvasia (Malmsey).  It is specificly mentioned in Sabina Welserin

(1553).

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Tue, 23 May 2000 08:05:20 -0500

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: RE: SC - fortified wines

 

A fortified wine is one which distilled alcohol, usually brandy has been added. Since distilled alcohol is approximately 14th Century in origin, fortified wines are late in SCA period. It is worth noting that wine from both Malvasian grapes and Marsala grapes were known in Antiquity and were apparently not fortified at that time.  

 

So it is worth asking, when did these wines become fortified?

 

Bear

> Ras declared:

> > Malmsey is also fortified as are the sherries, both of

> > which are period. Fortification does not in itself automatically mean it is > > not period.

>

> So, what exactly is a fortified wine? I know it is one in which the

> alcohol content has been enhanced, but it is done by adding a distilled

> alcohol to it? If so, what is generally used? Or is it done by partially

> distilling the wine itself?

> --

> Lord Stefan li Rous    Barony of Bryn Gwlad    Kingdom of Ansteorra

 

 

Date: Sat, 17 Jun 2000 04:49:43 EDT

From: CBlackwill at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Poppa's mustard

 

KallipygosRed at aol.com writes:

> A sommiliar (is that right, Wine afficionado?) friend of mine is fond of

> saying, "the taste is in the roots" meaning that the wine takes attributes

> from the ground, so perhaps. I know that he likes a particular vintage of

> wine from France because of where it is grown and the "spicy" smell the

> grapes give off they pick up from the soil.

 

There is some truth to this, and I am sure that Ras will want to comment as

well. The elements which make up the earth the vine is planted in are taken

up by the root system, and the flavor components are transmitted, in some

degree, to the grape.  Vines planted in or near almond orchards or orange

groves do pick up a faint aroma/flavor of those fruits.  Likewise, vines

planted alongside (or in plots previously occupied by) various other berries

also take on some of those flavors.  

 

Balthazar of Blackmoor

 

 

Date: Sat, 17 Jun 2000 11:30:55 EDT

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Poppa's mustard

 

CBlackwill at aol.com writes:

<< I am sure that Ras will want to comment as well.  >>

 

Not really. But I will. :-)

 

I have met people in the trade that claimed to be able to pinpoint the

vineyard that a particular grape came from by 'tasting the earth' in the

grape. Outstanding sommeliers also appear to have this ability. The soil

makes the grape. The same variety grown in different soils will display

different flavors, flinty, steely, earthy, barnyard, etc. White grapes

exhibit herbaceous flavors differently on different types of soil parsley,

celery, grassy come to mind. chardonnay grapes may taste of apricots, apples,

citrus depending on the soil they are grown on. These are the characteristics

that make vintning, wine tasting and service an art form. These

characteristics are what make wines produced from the same grape variety

grown a hundred yards apart taste like 2 different wines.

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Sat, 17 Jun 2000 23:51:43 -0500

From: "RANDALL DIAMOND" <ringofkings at mindspring.com>

Subject: SC - Re: Poppa's mustard- mighty morphin cookers(daa da da, da da)  LONG

 

To the statement >  "New wine" likely would be wine

that had not yet fermented long, ergo closer to

grape juice than to modern wine.  It would be sweet

and very lightly alcoholic with a touch of yeast bite to it. <

 

Balthazar repied:

>>>I think the term "New Wine" implies just that;  wine

which has only recently been completed (i.e. fully

fermented), but has not yet had time to age and

mellow. Some wines are meant to be drunk "new",

as their maturing qualities are not good.  As a modern

reference (though I would not suggest that it is

appropriate for the recipe), *white zinfandel* is a wine

which is best imbibed *new*, because it will not keep

and mature nearly so well as some of the finer reds and

whites.<<<

 

I'm afraid I will have to disagree with both interpretations

(at least in part).  Firstly, I think period references to "new"

wines refers to a fully fermented wine, a completed wine.

I think it would definitely not be necessarily sweeter, "closer

to grape juice", nor lightly alchoholic.  I think this would refer

to casks (they didn't bottle then) which were broached very

soon after fermentation.  I'll agree with the "slight yeast

bite" as there was probably some residual (and active)

yeast still present.  

 

I am in complete accord therefore with Balthazar's initial

conclusion about the age of "new wine".  However, period

wines almost never had a chance to "age and mellow" as

an appreciation of vintage wine is almost exclusively a

post-period phenomena made possible by glass bottles

and the use of cork stoppers.  Sparkling wines like

Champagne were yet undreamed of. Fairly all wines in

period would qualify as of a "not good maturing" type.  By

Michaelmas, most period wines were beginning to deteriorate

and by early summer, were likely unpalatable, being astringant

and even vinegary.  In response to another post very recently about

which grape are period varietals: yes, absolutely period grapes

are still in common production and are clones from grafted

copies of the originals.  However,  the tastes of modern wine made

from these grapes probably are very different from the original

wines as the methods of maturation are substantially different

as well as the modern practice of blending wines.  Of course,

if you vint yourself or have access to wines at the estate at

the time of bottling, you will be somehat closer to period taste.

Also you must admit the use of various settling agents and

sulfide levels will affect the taste as well.  I recall recently

the recall of Italian and French wines because some

idiot thought that antifreeze added a sweet taste to the

vintage and made it taste like a better quality vintage . And

what about the effects of industrial pollution?  If one can tell

the location of a wine from taste imparted by soil differences,

does our atmospheric contamination affect the taste as well?  

Pollution is fairly universal now and I don't think the grapes

escape its deterious effects.  It is probably impossible now to

duplicate the exact flavours of period wines, I would think.  

 

My take is that wines in period were "new" and best soonest

after encasking and became just "wine" in late Fall and

"old wine" in late Spring when the new grape crop was

in obvious new growth and the flavour of the previous

wine harvest deteriorated somewhat badly.

 

Akim Yaroslavich

 

 

Date: Mon, 19 Jun 2000 07:19:35 EDT

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: SC - Wine

 

CBlackwill at aol.com writes:

<< Thank you for the information.  I had not considered this before, and will

now have to hit the books again.

Balthazar of Blackmoor >>

 

I would suggest that when 'hitting' the books to keep in mind that current

practices of vintners in California are very much different from traditional

practices. While California wines can be said to little resemble traditional

European wines because of the bulk tank methods used in their production,

there are wines available that are made in the traditional ways still.

 

Calloway Chardonnay, for instance is produced on the 'lees'. And a few small

vintners still use or are experimenting with naturally occurring wild yeast.

A good rule of thumb is that if a vineyard produces consistently small

batches of wines then it's production methods are usually closer to the

original methods.

 

So far as 'blending' is concerned, that really was the traditional way to

make wines. The recent rise of California varietals is a modern phenomenon

and is the major reason that I do not purchase California wines very often.

European wines are almost exclusively blended. They always have been.

 

I also disagree that wines 'taste' any different now than they did in the

middle ages. As I pointed out in my earlier posts Several of the Trebbiano's

are still produced in the same way as they always were. Many of the Rhones

also are still produced using the same stone pits and tanks that have always

been used. According to the producer of Est! Est! Est!, it produced from the

same varieties, using the same techniques that have been used since the 13th

century.

 

According to the same producer burning sulfur to sterilize casks, is not a

modern invention. However, the addition of sulfur to the juice by some major

commercial wineries is. Also storing wines in casks does not greatly lend to

their going bad any quicker than storing them in bottles.

 

While it can be said that there are few California varietals that taste much

like a period wine would have, it can also be said that many of the wines

available from France and Italy most likely taste little different from their

medieval counterparts. The exception would be mass produced commercial wines

which are most likely better tasting now than in the middle ages. The art of

vintning is truly ancient and almost all of 'innovations' that have occurred,

with the exception of corking, have occurred in this century and almost all

of those innovations are entirely restricted to commercial mass production.

Basically if you avoid Ernest and Julio, Almaden, Paul Masson and Inglenook,

avoid varietals and buy your wine from small European wineries, your product

will be very much the same as that which was used by our ancestors for

hundreds of years.

 

Ras

 

 

From: "Daniel Phelps" <phelpsd at gate.net>

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Date: Tue, 4 Sep 2001 17:00:53 -0400

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Wine

 

There's a nice exhibition about the history of wine on now at the ROM go to

http://www.rom.on.ca and follow the links.

 

Daniel Raoul

 

 

Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2002 01:25:16 -0600

From: Stefan li Rous <stefan at texas.net>

To: SCA-Cooks maillist <SCA-Cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] raisin wines

 

Olwen said:

> >Hey, I found a new (to me) non-alcoholic drink in one of my books the

> >other day.  The book is Epulario, a 1598 English translation of an

> >earlier Italian text, and the recipe is "to turn water into wine".

> >Basically it tells you to get raisins of the sun, grind them up into a

> >powder (paste?), then put them in water.  Raisin juice!

> >

> >Katherine

> And we think Mountain Dew is special.  These folks must have had some really

> good drugs and/or WWAAAAYYYYY to much time on their hands.  On the other

> hand, this probably isn't all that good cuz it didn't survive the test of

> time.

 

Hmmm. You think it didn't survive? Do a quick web search on "raisin wine".

Like mead, while they seem to have fallen in favor vs. wine from fresh

grapes, apparently they were in use a long time.

 

The following comes from:

http://www.neosoft.com/~scholars/raisin.htm

 

Too bad the only raisins I think I can get around here are those

from Concord grapes. This might be a fun project.

--

THLord Stefan li Rous    Barony of Bryn Gwlad    Kingdom of Ansteorra

 

Having learned how to create wine from dried grapes from inhabitants of AsiaMinor, the ancientGreeks went on to perfect these vinification techniques in the 8th century BC.The stems of grape clusters were twisted to prevent sap from reaching the grapes, causing them to shrivel. Another technique was to pick grapes and dry them out in the sun on racks.   Depending on the varietal, the grapes would lose between 40-60% of their water.   Wines produced from these grapes were rich, larger-than-life, benefiting from years of maturation, and were prized by ancient writers such as Homer, Cato, Pliny and Virgil.   The early robustness of raisin wines =96 the need to =93loose their teeth=94 -- is indicative of their longevity, critical in an era before the invention of stoppered bottles.

 

Like the Greeks, Roman explorers planted vineyards wherever they went.   As a result, dried grape winemaking techniques became embedded into the complex fabric of vinification traditions in France, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Romania, and England.   These wines flourished from the 13th to 17thcenturies, especially in Italy and France, but today the practice survives only in isolated European enclaves.   Italy alone appears to have an unbroken tradition of raisin wine, often produced at only the best estates around Tuscany, Trentino and Umbria.

 

 

Date: Thu, 28 Mar 2002 10:17:58 -0500

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Malavosia-What is it?

 

Also sprach Catherine Hartley:

>I noticed quite a few references to Malaosia in the online translation of

>Sabrina welserin's Cookbook. Is this a kind of wine?

 

A.K.A. Malmsey, the stuff George, Duke of Clarence (brother of Edward

V, I think, and Richard III) is alleged to have drunk/starved himself

to death with, or if you follow Shakespeare, drowned in.

 

A sweetish, strong wine along the lines of sherry or tawny port. I

forget whether it is fortified... it's available at most decent wine

shops.

 

Adamantius

 

 

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net>

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Malavosia-What is it?

Date: Thu, 28 Mar 2002 20:18:46 -0600

 

>I noticed quite a few refernces to Malaosia in the online translation of

>Sabrina welserin's Cookbook. Is this a kind of wine?

>Caitlin of Enniskillen

 

In Antiquity it was wine made from Malvasian grapes.  These days it is

Malmsey or Madeira, fortified dessert wines.  I was able to get an

unfortified Malvasian wine from California when I made Welser strawberry

tart, but I haven't seen any since.

 

Since distillation was a growing business when the cookbook was written, it is

possible that the wine was fortified.

 

Bear

 

 

From: "Jeanne Papanastasiou" <jeanne at atasteofcreole.com>

To: "Ansteorra Cooks" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Date: Thu, 22 May 2003 01:52:18 -0400

Subject: [Sca-cooks] The Origins of Wine - Part 1

 

http://www.thewineletter.com/history/index.html

 

Soffya Appollonia Tudja

 

 

Date: Sat, 31 Jan 2004 23:38:41 -0800

From: "Laura C. Minnick" <lcm at efn.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] period apple commerce

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

At 11:06 PM 1/31/2004, you wrote:

>> Perhaps for the same reasons the English imported French wine even  

>> though they grew grapes and made wine in England?

> Because English wines were known for being *really bad*. IIRC it was Peter

> of Blois who remarked on the terrible wine. Can't cite it though- guess

> where the books are? :-/

 

Replying to myself, I know...

 

I found this on the Godecookery website:

> Wine, in thirteenth century England mostly imported from English-ruled

> Bourdeaux, was drunk young in the absence of an effective technique for

> stoppering containers. Wine kept a year became undrinkable. No attention

> was paid to vintage, and often what was served even at rich tables was of

> poor quality. Peter of Blois decribed in a letter wine served at Henry

> II's court:

> "The wine is turned sour or mouldy - thick, greasy, stale, flat and

> smacking of pitch. I have sometimes seen even great lords served with  

> wine so muddy that a man must needs close his eyes and clench his teeth,

> wry-mouthed and shuddering, and filtering the stuff rather than  

> drinking."

 

I looked for the source of the Blois quote but haven't found it- everyone

quotes it, but no one says exactly where it's from. I glanced through the

Blois documents in the InternetSourcebook, and found a rather harsh letter

from Peter to Eleanor of Aquitaine, amongst others, but the wines of

England were not mentioned in the letters on that site

.

>> So, was English (or French) cider exported out of the area it was made

>> in, in the Middle Ages?

> I'm pretty sure that French wines were imported fairly early. How far,  

> I don't know.

 

There's quite a few mentions in various places that French wines from

Bordeaux began importing to England in a big way when Henry and Eleanor

took the throne- it all being under management, so to speak. And apparently

continued so until Gascony slipped from English control.

 

'Lainie

 

 

Date: Sat, 31 Jan 2004 23:38:41 -0800

From: "Laura C. Minnick" <lcm at efn.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] period apple commerce

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

At 11:06 PM 1/31/2004, you wrote:

>> Perhaps for the same reasons the English imported French wine even  

>> though they grew grapes and made wine in England?

> Because English wines were known for being *really bad*. IIRC it was Peter

> of Blois who remarked on the terrible wine. Can't cite it though- guess

> where the books are? :-/

 

Replying to myself, I know...

 

I found this on the Godecookery website:

> Wine, in thirteenth century England mostly imported from English-ruled

> Bourdeaux, was drunk young in the absence of an effective technique for

> stoppering containers. Wine kept a year became undrinkable. No attention

> was paid to vintage, and often what was served even at rich tables was of

> poor quality. Peter of Blois decribed in a letter wine served at Henry

> II's court:

> "The wine is turned sour or mouldy - thick, greasy, stale, flat and

> smacking of pitch. I have sometimes seen even great lords served with  

> wine so muddy that a man must needs close his eyes and clench his teeth,

> wry-mouthed and shuddering, and filtering the stuff rather than  

> drinking."

 

I looked for the source of the Blois quote but haven't found it- everyone

quotes it, but no one says exactly where it's from. I glanced through the

Blois documents in the InternetSourcebook, and found a rather harsh letter

from Peter to Eleanor of Aquitaine, amongst others, but the wines of

England were not mentioned in the letters on that site

.

>> So, was English (or French) cider exported out of the area it was made

>> in, in the Middle Ages?

> I'm pretty sure that French wines were imported fairly early. How far,  

> I don't know.

 

There's quite a few mentions in various places that French wines from

Bordeaux began importing to England in a big way when Henry and Eleanor

took the throne- it all being under management, so to speak. And apparently

continued so until Gascony slipped from English control.

 

'Lainie

 

 

Date: Mon, 27 Sep 2004 19:29:50 -0400

From: Cynthia Virtue <cvirtue at thibault.org>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Periodoid vs. Period Re: Interesting posts

 

Bronwynmgn wrote:

> We have at least one surviving French book (Le Menagier de Paris, 1390, usally

> listed in English as The Goodman of Paris), [...]

 

> to cook when having guests over right down to explaining that carrots are the

> red roots one buys in the market.

 

It's fun to just read, too.  I'm particularly fond of the recipe to take

white wine and turn it into red wine by coloring it.

 

I like to show it to my oenologist friends.  They twitch well.

 

cv

 

 

From: David Friedman <ddfr at daviddfriedman.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Periodoid vs. Period Re: Interesting posts

Date: Tue, 28 Sep 2004 18:07:43 -0700

 

Cynthia Virtue <cvirtue at thibault.org> wrote:

> Robert Uhl wrote:

> > So, how _does_ one colour white wine red?

>

> I *think* it was crushed rose petals, but the book is in the garage and

> it's pouring outside.  I'll try to find it tomorrow.

 

Janet Hinson's translation, which I think is the only complete

translation of the cooking section of Le Menagier, is webbed at:

 

http://www.daviddfriedman.com/Medieval/Cookbooks/Menagier/Menagier_Conten

ts.html

 

---

TO MAKE WHITE WINE RED AT THE TABLE, take in summer the red flowers

which grow in the wheat, called rose-mallow and other names, and let

them dry until they crumble into powder, and secretly drop them in the

glass with the wine, and it will turn red.

--

David/Cariadoc

www.daviddfriedman.com

 

 

Date: Tue, 8 Feb 2005 19:48:47 -0800 (PST)

From: she not <atamagajobu at yahoo.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: wine and vinegar

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

> This is not, note, the same as saying it works.  but, keeping in mind  

> that wine in period might well be indistinguishable from vinegar,

William de Grandfort wrote:

>>> 

Why do you make this assumption?  If anything, I am inclined to say that wine 'in period' (which spans a very long time) was likely more concentrated than it is today.  I am basing this assumption on the ancient Greek custom of diluting wine with water (certainly something we would balk at today).

<<< 

 

(maybe you, but not me and not the French! it's still a custom, especially for children)

 

>>> 

  Perhaps this custom was a way to stretch the wine, but I think it was  

likely more to make it less intense.

<<< 

(Probably both.)

 

>>> 

Vinegar is a sour liquid, which cannot really be tolerated in the same quantity as wine.  To assume that wine and vinegar were 'indistinguishable' is, I think, an error.  If wine did not have a pleasing flavor to our ancestors, why would they continue to make it?

<<< 

 

Sorry I've been away for so long, some of those questions have been answered already, but you raised several points and I guess I should explain my comment further

 

People in period were well acquainted with wine, vinegar and all the stages in between. (ref multitudinous comments and complaints in  primary documents about new wine, sour wine, old wine, also ref  numerous recipes which make the nastier stuff more palatable)

 

I hadn't meant to imply people didn't know the difference, only that often there wasn't much difference. Wine has a short shelf life, even now- try drinking what you uncorked several weeks ago, or check the   current sales on last fall's Beaujolais Nouveau, (price falls in direct  ratio to the quality) I don't know what the alcohol content is at this stage-and never managed to choke down enough of it to guess. Shelf life was shorter in period, despite attempts to preserve it (at one point, the French? used an arsenic compound called orpiment as a preservative in tuns shipped by sea) It was generally shipped by the (big) cask or (huge)tun, and would turn quickly after it was tapped,  becoming less  and less "pleasing", hence the custom of adding water, spices, honey,  etc. to correct the problem.

 

Not that that was the only reason-water made a precious commodity like  wine go further, as well as making the water safe to drink, watered  wine is quite tasty, drinking unwatered wine marked a drunkard, and  spiced wine is delicious, especially "mulled" with hot water. Also, I  believe the Greek and roman amphorae tended to lose moisture, so old  wine might be a thick syrup that needed dilution- I've run across several references to wine like honey that seemed to refer to texture  rather than taste.

 

As to why they would drink it if it wasn't tasty- several reasons there, too. Food value (they drank beer, too, that needed a piece of burnt bread to give it color and taste, hence drinking a "toast"). Any extracted liquid (such as verjuice) or fermented beverage was generally safer than water, given the variety of contaminants that might affect  the source.  Both were important reasons to use it in cooking too, as was tenderization and flavor. Medicinal properties-pretty well documented what those were thought to be. It's psychoactive and addictive properties-prisoners in Siberia used to drink cologne for its alcohol content, and really, fermented mare's milk? euuw!  

Fashion/status-it might be preferable to offer poor wine than good beer. And, since the quality dropped sharply before the next harvest, (note the preference in period for sweet wines), everybody that drank  wine regularly would be used to souring wine, yet not wish to continue  drinking it once the new wine came in, If and when it was replaced with new, The kitchen got to use up any old wine which hadn't been distilled or sold off, which, as I said, might well be indistinguishable from vinegar.

 

It's hard, in a commercial society, to remember that very few people at any time in period had the option of running out to buy what they  wanted to eat or drink- and almost none had the luxury to waste what  they had, which was anyway considered both a social and a moral sin.  

(I think it was a prince of orange who got whapped upside the head for putting both butter AND cheese on his bread, which waste was NOT the  thrift that made his country strong)  But any realistic approach to period cookery has to consider that food came pretty exclusively from hunts, harvests and storerooms, with occasional minor additions from markets, shipments and such. Weather, politics, plague, you name it,  could disrupt any of these but the storeroom, therefore stored foods-especially imports- were a vital resource at any time-one would certainly not pour out old wine just because the flavor had gone off.

 

gisele

 

 

Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2005 14:05:41 -0700

From: "Laura C. Minnick" <lcm at jeffnet.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Danelaw feast - Take Two

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

> Am Sonntag, 17. Juli 2005 21:46 schrieb Carole Smith:

>Wasn't there a wine trade in England on the earlier side?  It is my >understanding that when the weather got colder (more or less >corresponding to Elizabethan times) that they could no longer grow wine >grapes and became dependant on wine from other countries.

 

>I don't know about Anglo-Saxon times, but wine was grown in England >later in the Middle Ages. If nothing else, it would have been necessary >for Eucharist. Nonetheless, wine was imported from France in quantity, >so it can't have been all that much, or all that good.

 

I think it was Geoffery of Wales who noted that the English wines were so ghastly that one drank them with a shudder, straining it through the teeth...

 

England in the 12th-13th c was somewhat warmer, the Little Ice Age was in the early 14th c (1315 was especially bad), and effectively ruined the rootstock...

 

So yes, there was a wine trade for awhile, but the good stuff came from the continent- especially when England held the Aquitaine, Gascony, etc.

 

'Lainie

 

 

Date: Sat, 30 Jul 2005 17:30:53 -0400

From: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius"

        <adamantius.magister at verizon.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks]Wine Lees was: Mainz Ham

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

On Jul 30, 2005, at 3:05 PM, Radei Drchevich wrote:

> Please.  What is wine lees??

> radei

 

The dregs or sediment. Basically, when you ferment the wine, you convert sugar, which is dense, to alcohol, CO2, and various other goodies, but since much of the CO2 escapes, you're left with a less dense and viscous liquid. It's thinner. So, all sorts of suspended proteins and impurities fall out of it like rain, and land on the bottom of the container. To clarify it, the best and least intrusive way is to let gravity do that work, then rack the wine off of the dregs, leaving them, and a little of the liquid part, behind. That sludge evidently has some valuable "industrial" uses, like for pickling hams, for example.

 

I vaguely remember some reference to the Romans pickling stuff in wine lees.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Sun, 14 May 2006 11:05:31 +0200

From: Volker Bach <carlton_bach at yahoo.de>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] grape stomping

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

Am Sonntag, 14. Mai 2006 09:21 schrieb Stefan li Rous:

 

> I know today that machinery is probably used almost everywhere to get

> the juice from grapes for making wine. Was the juice actually

> extracted from the grapes, in period or "traditionally" actually done

> by filling vats with the grapes and then by people climbing into the

> vats and stomping on the grapes?

 

AFAIK the extraction was a two-step process: First, the grapes were put into the vat and stomped. In the process, they would be turned into a gooey pulp rather than discrete units. The juice flowing out at this stage would not be a large quantity, but made the choicest wine. In stage two, the pulp was placed in a wine press and squeezed. That created much more juice, but of a somewhat lower quality. Finally, the squeezed pulp would be watered, creating the base for the lowest quality wine.

 

There is a winery in South Germany where they still do the stomping. It is part of an annual harvest festival, Roman-style, and the wine thus made is sold mostly to local enthusiasts. I'll have to check if I can find the address, it was on TV a few years ago.

 

Giano

 

 

Date: Tue, 14 Nov 2006 22:21:58 -0600

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Random food-related questions....

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

On 11/14/06, Sue Clemenger <mooncat at in-tch.com> wrote:

> Would a sherry do if I can't find sack?

> --Maire

 

Most of the sack I've been able to find these days is sherry.  The  term as

used in the 16th and 17th Centuries however covers almost any light, dry,

fortified wine produced in Spain or the Canary Islands.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Mon, 1 Jan 2007 23:57:39 -0500

From: "Nick Sasso" <grizly at mindspring.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Thank you and 2 more questions....

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

>>>>> Thank you for all the suggestions for red wine substitution. I ended

up using veggie broth and all came out well. (I thought)  Next time I

am in Wilkes Barre PA or Philadelphia I will get a few bottles of

kosher to keep on hand.... which leads me to another question: How

long does open wine keep?  (And don't say, like DH, that wine is

already spoiled, so what could happen?)  Doesn't open wine get

stale? (I don't drink)...and I wonder if kosher wine comes in those

vacuum pack boxes??  ...must investigate......  (OK that was 2

questions)

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!

Phillipa < < < < < < <

 

Two common enemies of opened wine: oxidation and infection.  Oxidation makes

it taste "off" and eventually like wet cardboard.  Infections happen that

will cause it to turn sour, into vinegar very often.  My experience is that

You can keep stoppered wine in the fridge for a week or two.  You can use

for cooking for a couple of weeks more, maybe.  Less air exposure means

longer life.

 

If you put it gently into a sanitized smaller bottle with less surface area

exposed to air, then you get longer shelf life, in terms of adding

days, not weeks.

 

niccolo

 

 

Date: Sun, 17 Feb 2008 03:57:25 +0000 (GMT)

From: emilio szabo <emilio_szabo at yahoo.it>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] wines -- De diuersorum vini generum natura liber,

        1559 (books.google)

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

Book about the nature of the different kinds of wine

(liber - de natura - diversorum generum - vini )

 

natura/nature = humoral, medical properties, temperament

 

http://books.google.com/books?

id=6O7VubsbM_QC&printsec=frontcover&dq=intitle:vini&lr=&num=100&as_brr=1

&hl=de#PPT1,M1

 

E.

 

 

Date: Tue, 12 Feb 2008 16:54:19 -0600

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Wine Question

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

> Anybody out ther have a good resource for cheing on wine types etc... and

> their "periodness"... I'm looking specifically for info on Rhine and

> Burgundy.

> -Ardenia

 

Rheinwein and Burgundy have a fairly long history, but the real question is

are those wines in period the same as they are today.  The fact is, there is

no way to be sure.  There is however, probably a continuous process of

improvement from the Roman period through today.

 

We know from Tacitus's Germania that in the 1st Century wine was imported

into France and Germany and that this is supported by the numbers of wine

amphorae that have shown up in various archeologcal digs.  Viticulture in

the region probably began in the last half of the 1st Century and was well

established by the 4th Century.

 

The city of Augustodunum was established in the Burgundy region in the 1st

Century. The first known reference to wine being produced in Burgundy is

from an account of a visit by Constantine to Augustodunum in 312 CE.

 

While there is no direct evidence (that I've found) for Rhine viticulture in

the Roman period, Mosel (a tributary to the Rhine) viticulture is mentioned

in Ausonius's Mosella (370 CE).  Rhenish Rieslings can be dated to the 15th

Century and are likely to have been cultivated much earlier.  You might

check out this paper on the Rhenish wine trade in the 14th to 16th

Centuries: http://www.helsinki.fi/iehc2006/papers3/Weststrate.pdf

 

Interesting stuff.  Thanks for asking the question.  I haven't located the

account of Constatine's visit or Mosella yet, but I have no reason to think

the references aren't valid.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2008 11:26:39 -0400

From: Sandra Kisner <sjk3 at cornell.edu>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] brewing

To: ladypeyton at yahoo.com, Cooks within the SCA

        <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

>I thought such books only covered beer....

 

<<< There are many books available for making wine.  I highly recommend The

Joy of Home Wine Making by Terry A. Garey (a former SCAdian and we're even

mentioned in the book) and  Winemaking: Recipes, Equipment, and Techniques

for Making Wine at Home by Stanley F. Anderson and Dorothy Anderson who

are the Papazians of home wine making. >>>

 

Another book you might find interesting is "Folk wines, cordials &

brandies: ways to make them, together with some lore, reminiscences, and

wise advice for enjoying them," by M.A. Jagendorf (NY: Vanguard Press,

1963). I picked up my copy because they name caught my eye (it turned out

one of the professors I worked for was the author's son), and thought the

topic interesting.  I'll admit I haven't tried anything yet, so I have no

idea if any of the recipes are good (or the instructions appropriate for

beginners) but it's got info on wines from just about everything.

 

Sandra

 

 

Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2008 05:07:08 -0700 (PDT)

From: Beth Ann Bretter <ladypeyton at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] brewing

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

 

<<< Not to mention "A Sip in Time" by Cindy

Renfrew...covers all sorts of potent potables! >>>

 

"A Sip Through Time" by Cindy Renfrow is certainly a decent source if you are interested in period brewing recipes, but if you looking for a good period source strictly for winemaking and period cordials I'd recommend finding a copy of Arnald de Villanova's "Book of Wine" first.  Mostly because the wine making section in Sip is small and rather post period heavy while Arnald's entire book was printed in period (and reprinted, since the 1948 translation readily available was actually a poorly researched, documented and attributed German translation published in the 15th century).

 

The two books I recommended earlier are not historical but are great for getting a good foundation of wine making knowledge before you delve into the historical aspect.  

 

Another excellent book, which is strictly historical background and includes no recipes, is "Monks and Wine" by Desmond Seward.

 

Peyton

 

 

Date: Mon, 7 Jul 2008 14:25:04 -0500

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Lemons? Limes? Confusion?

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

<<< Let me see thee, froth and lime.  Host, The Merry Wives of Windsor, 1,3

 

While the title is "Butter in the Bard",  after the pervious discussion I

cannot speak for the author's ability to tell lime quick or otherwise from

the cirtus fruit.

 

Daniel >>>

 

This particular quote refers to treating wine with calcium oxide or similar

compound to make it taste drier.  In Henry IV, Falstaff is complaining about

the treatment being applied to sack to make it seem higher proof thus

cheating a poor honest Englishman as himself while giving them kidney

stones.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Tue, 21 Oct 2008 14:51:11 -0400

From: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius" <adamantius1 at verizon.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Clary Sage Flowers - Source

To: kat_weye at yahoo.com, Cooks within the SCA

        <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

On Oct 21, 2008, at 2:40 PM, Katheline van Weye wrote:

<<< One of the people in my cooking group wants to make clary wine (as a  

lot of our recipes call for it).  For clary wine we need the flowers  

from clary sage plants.  Unfortunately, if planted from seed, it  

takes a year before the plants bloom.  We only have six months.

 

Does anyone have a source for the clary sage flowers, or perhaps the  

plants? >>>

 

I can't be certain, but it was my understanding that many of the clary  

references in medieval recipes are to claret wine, which is, as I  

recall, a light Bordeaux. I wasn't aware of the need for clary sage to  

make it...

 

Is there something that documents this connection, or could this just  

be some supposition on your friend's part?

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Tue, 21 Oct 2008 14:06:43 -0500

From: Michael Gunter <countgunthar at hotmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Clary Sage Flowers - Source

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

<<< I can't be certain, but it was my understanding that many of the clary

references in medieval recipes are to claret wine, which is, as I

recall, a light Bordeaux. I wasn't aware of the need for clary sage to

make it...

 

Adamantius >>>

 

I agree with Master A on this. I hadn't even thought

of a wine made from clary sage. Every mention I've

seen of this appears to indicate a Claret (pronounced

"Clary").

 

Gunthar

 

 

Date: Tue, 21 Oct 2008 15:27:43 -0400

From: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius" <adamantius1 at verizon.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Clary Sage Flowers - Source

 

It occurred to me afterward to look for instances of clary sage being  

added to wine, and I didn't find them. Ale, yes, and other types of  

sage as well as clary sage used in beers and ales, but nothing about  

wine in what I saw...

 

Maybe there's something in Villanova...

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Tue, 21 Oct 2008 15:43:55 -0400

From: "Amy Cooper" <amy.s.cooper at gmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Clary Sage Flowers - Source

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

While I don't have the books with me at work, I do know where I had

heard of Clary Wine first myself was in either To Take A Thousand

Eggs, or in A Sip Through Time. I wanted to make it, too, but never

was able to find a source for just the flower heads, and I knew better

than to try to grow them myself!

 

Ilsebet

 

 

Date: Tue, 21 Oct 2008 16:41:29 -0700 (PDT)

From: Huette von Ahrens <ahrenshav at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Clary Sage Flowers - Source

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

Here are two "clary" definitions from Cindy Renfrow's website:

 

Clarry, clarre = a beverage made of mixed wines with honey and spices

 

Clary =Salvia sclarea L., Labiatae, also called Clear Eyes.  Clary is a relative of sage, and was once much used as a seasoning in foods and beverages.  Culpeper notes (p. 88) "the seeds or leaves taken in wine, provoketh to venery... the juice of the herb in ale or beer, and drank, promotes the courses." (TTEM)

 

If you could tell us which recipe that "clary wine" is needed for, it would help us to figure out which clary is being called for.

 

I would be careful about making a wine from clary sage.  I found this on an online herbal website:

 

http://www.susunweed.com/Article_ClarySage.htm

 

"History: The Romans called it sclarea, from claurus, or "clear", because they used it as an eyewash. The practice of German merchants of adding clary and elder flowers to Rhine wine to make it imitate a good Muscatel was so common that Germans still call the herb Muskateller Salbei and the English know it as Muscatel Sage. Clary sometimes replaced hops in beer to produce an enhanced state of intoxication and exhilaration, although this reportedly was often followed by a severe headache. It was considered a 12 th-century aphrodisiac."

 

and:

 

"Toxicity: non-toxic, non-irritant, non-sensitizing. Avoid during pregnancy. Do not use clary sage oil while drinking alcohol, it can induce a narcotic effect and exaggerate drunkenness."

 

This website does have this recipe:

 

Clary Wine

10 gallons water

35 lb loaf sugar

12 eggs

2 pecks of clary blossoms

1 pint good new yeast

Mix sugar, water and well-beaten egg whites. Let boil gently for 1/2 hour, skimming until the mixture is quite clear. Let stand until cold. Pour into a cask, add 2 pecks of clary blossoms stripped from the stalk and 1 pint of yeast. Stir the wine three times a day for five days. Stop it up, and let stand for twelve months. It may be bottled at the end of six months if perfectly clear.

 

So, even if you started making clary wine today, it wouldn't be ready for a year, according to this recipe.

 

From the Prospect Books glossary:

 

http://www.kal69.dial.pipex.com/shop/pages/glossc.htm

 

CLARRETT, clarret, claret, wine: claret. Although the usage that invariably linked claret to the wines of Bordeaux was current from about the year 1600 (OED), the earlier meaning, which distinguished wines of a claret colour (orange or light red, i.e. the French clairet) from white or fully red wines, was still found. See, for instance, the use in Receipt 129 where the maker of cherry wine is to add ?white or clarrett wine into each bottle?. Hess has a useful discussion of this point. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

 

CLARY, 6, 172. Clary, Salvia sclarea, was used as a remedy for eye complaints (claws being the Latin word for clear), but also had culinary uses. It is slightly bitter and was used to add flavour to wine. Clary fritters, i e clary leaves fried in batter, were featured regularly in 17th century cookery books. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

 

CLARY, clarie: clary, Salvia sclarea. Clary leaf fritters are specified in Receipt 311. Clary was otherwise used medicinally. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

 

CLARY: Salvia Sclarea. The herb in flower was used to make a sweet wine with a muscatel flavour. Oil of clary is a perfume fixative. (John Nott, 1726)

 

CLARY LEAVES: the crinkled leaves of Salvia sciarea, or other plants such as celandine and species of fennel. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

 

CLARY; CLARYE FRITTERS, 82; CLARYE LEAVES. Clary, the herb Salvia sclarea. Apothecaries interpreted the name as a form of ?clear-eye? and applied it to other plants which were thought to be beneficial to the eyes. It was more common in the 18th century to find recipes for clary wine than for clary fritters. Rabisha (1682) gave a longer recipe, To Fry Clary, which would also have produced fritters of a kind, but with an egg batter.(Glasse, 1747)

 

From The Frugal Housewife, or Complete Woman Cook

by Sussannah Carter - 1803

 

http://www.kbapps.com/cookbooks/TheFrugalHousewife/199.html

 

To make Clary Wine.

Take twenty-four pounds of Malaga raisins, pick them and chop them very small, put them in a tub, and to each pound a quart of water; let them steep ten or eleven days, stirring it twice every day; you must keep it covered close all the while; then strain it off and put it into a vessel, and about half a peck of the tops of clary when it is in blossom; stop it close for six weeks, and then bottle it off; in two or three months it is fit to drink. It is apt to have a great settlement at bottom; therefore it is best to draw it off by plugs, or tap it pretty high.

 

Huette

 

 

Date: Tue, 21 Oct 2008 23:08:14 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks]  Clary Sage Flowers - Source

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

Earlier today before Huette posted her summary, I asked Cindy what she

had on Clary and she sent this to me.

In case we need more or if Stefan wants it for his files, here's what

she had to say. She does mention a number of recipe sources.

 

Johnnae

----------

In addition to Claret, which is a red wine from Bordeaux, there are also:

Clarrey, a spiced wine/ale mixture (see Forme of Cury #205);

Potus clarreti pro domino (Royal MS 17A iii), a spiced & fortified

hydromel drink;

Clarrey (ibid) a spiced & sweetened wine;

And Clary Wine itself. There are recipes for Clary Wine (and yes they

*do* call for clary flowers. John Murrell, Charles Carter, Hannah Glasse

and A New System of Domestic Cookery all have recipes for Clary Wine.

Clary sage flowers or clary water also appear in several wine recipes

where clary is not the predominate flavoring.

All the above recipes can be found in A Sip Through Time.

 

For the herb itself, try www.pennherb.com That's where I got some many

years ago, though I wasn't happy with the quality of the product. I

wanted the dried flowers, but they arrived chopped up and mixed with the

cut herb.

 

Cindy Renfrow

 

 

Date: Tue, 21 Oct 2008 23:29:14 -0400

From: "Robin Carroll-Mann" <rcarrollmann at gmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Clary Sage Flowers - Source

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

On Tue, Oct 21, 2008 at 11:08 PM, Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

quoted Cindy Renfrow, as follows:

 

<<< In addition to Claret, which is a red wine from Bordeaux, there are also:

Clarrey, a spiced wine/ale mixture (see Forme of Cury #205);

Potus clarreti pro domino (Royal MS 17A iii), a spiced & fortified hydromel

drink; Clarrey (ibid) a spiced & sweetened wine; >>>

 

De Nola has a recipe for "clarea" a spiced white wine sweetened with

honey. (Followed by the recipe for "Clarea de Aqua", a non-alcoholic

version.

 

[snip]

<<< Clary sage flowers or clary water also appear in several wine recipes where clary is not the predominate flavoring. >>>

 

The horseradish-honey sauce from de Nola can also be made with the

leaves of clary sage.  I've never tried it.

--

Brighid ni Chiarain

 

 

Date: Fri, 08 May 2009 10:01:25 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] May wine

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

We used to make it with a German white wine, maybe a Dry Riesling???

This was back when if you were under 21 but over 18, you could legally

buy and drink wine and beer.

We used to do lots of things with wines then. Remember wine coolers and

jug wines.

Wicca101.com http://www.unc.edu/~reddeer/recipe/rec_beltain.html has

this recipe

MAY WINE  1 bottle of German White Wine; 1/2 cup Fresh Strawberries,

sliced; 12 sprigs of fresh woodruff

Pour wine into carafe or wide mouth bottle. Add strawberries and

woodruff and allow to blend for at least an hour. Strain and serve well

chilled. Garnish with thin orange slice. The strawberries add a

wonderful flavour and the woodruff adds sweetness.

 

Another source says 1 bottle of fairly good white table wine, not

Chardonnay, chilled.

 

Johnnae

 

devra at aol.com wrote:

<<< I only tasted May wine once, many years ago. It was pretty nice. Now I've just planted a sweet woodruff in one of my herb pots, so I wondered... what kind of wine? approximately how much herb? how long to soak together?

 

Devra >>>

 

 

Date: Sat, 9 May 2009 20:11:04 +0200

From: "Susanne Mayer" <susanne.mayer5 at chello.at>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] May wine

To: <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

The toxic substance in woodruff  is Coumarin (btw the same as in Cinnamon

(Chinese more than Ceylon) and we always made it with a dry white wine

(Riesling, Veltliner, Pinot blanc,..).

 

Woodruff is best before the flowers open and for the typical taste to

develop you have to pick it and let them wilt for a few hours or overnight

(a small bouquet, here the 12 sprigs can give you an idea, is enough for 1

bottle of wine). Hang the bunch in the wine put in the fridge for about 2-3

hours (the longer you soak the woodruff in the wine, the more coumarin you

will have, albeit you do get the typical taste only from the coumarin). If

you want: add sugar, fill up either with mineral water or and dry sparkling

wine (prosecco/champagne/cava/sekt,...) and make a may bowl out of it.

 

A word of caution: may wine is delicious, but if you overindulge you WILL

get a real beast of a headache (I know this from experience).

 

Here the info on coumarin:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coumarin

 

BTW you can freeze the woodruff for later (no wilting needed).

 

I love may wine and may try the strawberry variant Joanne posted.

 

regards Katharina

 

 

Date: Wed, 20 May 2009 23:01:04 +0200

From: "Susanne Mayer" <susanne.mayer5 at chello.at>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] may wine

To: <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

Just some more info:

 

I got a new magazine a few days ago (with a lot of nice recipes) and  4

whole pages devoted to woodruff.

 

There is a quote but unfortunately without source:

"sch?tte den perlenden wein ?ber das Waldmeisterlein" (pour the bubbling

wine over the woodruff) attributed to the benedictine monk Wandalbert in the

year 854. I did not yet try to find anything about this in the net.

 

Maybe some one on the list has more information on the periode-nes of use of

woodruff?

 

The article mentions also 10 to 12 sprigs as safe amount.

 

the magazine is in german the new kraut&r?ben special Kr?uter (2.nd edition)

1/09

 

Regards Katharina

 

 

Date: Wed, 20 May 2009 20:23:00 -0500

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] may wine

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

Wandalbert of Pru:m, Deacon of Treves in 854 if I'm not mistaken.  He's best

known for his Martyrology.  I don't know the source of the quote, but the

attribution is probably accurate.  The use of woodruff in wine is mostly a

German custom of long standing.  It also is used to flavor some sausages and

in puddings and jellies, but I have no knowledge of any period recipes that

use it.

 

Bear

 

----- Original Message -----

 

Just some more info:

 

I got a new magazine a few days ago (with a lot of nice recipes) and  4

whole pages devoted to woodruff.

 

There is a quote but unfortunately without source:

"sch?tte den perlenden wein ?ber das Waldmeisterlein" (pour the bubbling

wine over the woodruff) atributed to the benedictine monk Wandalbert in the

year 854. I didn not yet try to find anything about this in the net.

 

Maybe some one on the list has more information on the periode-nes of use of

woodruff?

 

The article mentiones also 10 to 12 sprigs as safe amount.

 

the magazin is in german the new kraut&r?ben special Kr?uter (2.nd edition)

1/09

 

Regards Katharina

 

 

Date: Mon, 6 Jul 2009 19:04:20 +0000 (GMT)

From: emilio szabo <emilio_szabo at yahoo.it>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Rasch: Weinbuch / wine book, 1580

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

 

Did I or anybody else mention the wine book of Johann Rasch 1580 before? (I am not sure.)

 

Rasch,

Johann: Weinbuch. Das ist: Vom baw und pflege des Weins, Wie derselbig

n?tzlich sol gebawet, Was ein jeder Weinziher oder Weinhawer zuthun

schuldig, Auch was f?r nutz und schaden durch sie kan au?gerichtwerden,

Allen Weingart Herren sehr nothwendig zu wissen. Daneben auch wie man

allerley Kreuter und Brantwein, Essig, Meth, und Bier, machen,

erhalten, und welche abgestanden, wie denselbigen wider zuhelffen sey,

M?nchen, [1580][VD16 R 324]

 

urn:nbn:de:bvb:12-bsb00027343-2

 

It is online here:

http://daten.digitale-sammlungen.de/~db/0002/bsb00027343/images/

 

On top on the right side there is a download option (PDF).

 

E.

 

 

Date: Fri, 2 Jul 2010 15:12:21 -0400

From: Sam Wallace <guillaumedep at gmail.com>

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Malvasia (Malmsey) and Rheinfal

 

One very good resource is the Sean Thackrey Library

(http://www.wine-maker.net/LibraryIntroPage.html). Also, if you look

into de Casteau's Ovverture de Cuisine you should find a poem

describing methods of combining wines to imitate others. In some

cases, these sorts of descriptions are all we have to indicate how

historic vintages tasted.

 

Guillaume

 

 

Date: Fri, 02 Jul 2010 21:25:19 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] An old wine book 1584

 

It appears to be up on Google Books in a plain text version.

Search under "Wein B?chlein" By Samuel Dilbaum

But actually I don't think it's transcribed there.

 

On Jul 2, 2010, at 8:47 PM, emilio szabo wrote:

<<< Here is sort of an old wine guide from 1584.

http://opacplus.bsb-muenchen.de/search?oclcno=166006417

 

I vaguely remember that there is also a transcription available  

somewhere on the net. But I do not remember where it was.

 

E. >>>

 

Thomas Gloning has it at his site--

http://www.uni-giessen.de/gloning/tx/1584dilw.htm

 

He offers several texts on wine:

Old wine texts

 

Burgundio Pisano, Liber de vindemiis (Cod. Ashburnh. 1011)

The wine book ("Hie vahet an alle artzenie von dem wine") of the Codex  

Donaueschingen 787, ed. Ankenbrand

Samuel Dilbaum: Weinb?chlein 1584

Old wine texts from the Sean Thackrey Library

Confalonerius, De vini natura (1535): siehe Alte Texte in digitalen  

Arbeitskopien.

 

Johnnae

 

 

Date: Fri, 2 Jul 2010 21:12:44 -0600

From: James Prescott <prescotj at telusplanet.net>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Malvasia (Malmsey) and Rheinfal

 

Three adjustments.

 

1) Malmsey is most commonly thought to derive ultimately from

Monemvasia, a town in Greece in the same general area as Sparta.

 

2) The poem in Ouverture de Cuisine merely lists wines (including

two kinds of malmsey), and does not describe how to use them to

imitate each other.  Malmsey is used as an ingredient in a number

of recipes in Ouverture.

 

3) There *is* a recipe in Ouverture which tells us in great detail

how to make counterfeit malmsey!

 

The malmsey recipe calls for rain water, Spanish honey, coriander,

juniper berries, and cinnamon.  It is not clear whether the result

is alcoholic or not, but probably not since it has to be extremely

sweet. "better after three years than the first year"

 

Thorvald

 

At 3:12 PM -0400 7/2/10, Sam Wallace wrote:

<<< One very good resource is the Sean Thackrey Library

(http://www.wine-maker.net/LibraryIntroPage.html). Also, if you look

into de Casteau's Ovverture de Cuisine you should find a poem

describing methods of combining wines to imitate others. In some

cases, these sorts of descriptions are all we have to indicate how

historic vintages tasted.

 

Guillaume >>>

 

 

Date: Fri, 2 Jul 2010 22:24:58 -0500

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at att.net>

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Malvasia (Malmsey) and Rheinfal

 

Malmsey is a wine made from Malvasia grapes and comes from a Latinized form

of Monemvasia (Malvasia), a village in Southern Greece where the use of

these grapes appears to originate.  Variants of the name appear in most

languages in period and refer to wines made from Malvasia grapes.  Malvasia

grapes were transplanted to Madeira where they became the basis for some of

the fine Madeira wines.  These days, IIRC, Malmsey is usually fortified with

brandy, while Malvasia may or may not be fortified.

 

<<< I'm guessing that Rheinfal is a type of wine that comes from the

Rheinland-Pfalz region of Germany.  Google-fu revealed many types of wine

originate there, and that there is surprisingly a near Mediterranean micro

climate as well in the area.  But, I still don't know what that might have

meant in the 16th century.

 

Katherine >>>

 

The Rheinland-Pfalz (AKA Rheinland Palatinate or formerly the Palatinate

Eloctorate) winemaking region was referred to as Rheinpfalz when I was

there, but I understand that reference has been largely discarded.  Rather

than the Palatinate, I think Rheinfal may actually refer to Rheinfalls in

Switzerland (Canton of Schaffhausen), a significant district for Reislings.

Unfortunately, my references are buried

 

Bear

 

<the end>



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