Wines and Spirits Dictionary: Letter E
This is a term now seldom used, but it was formerly applied to a certain type of brown sherry given additional ageing by being used as freight in vessels sailing to and from the East Indies.
Co-operative in Lodi, California.
Literally water of life. This French term signifies brandy, either grape brandy or some other kind, such as a fruit brandy.
German fruit brandy made from rowanberries (the fruit of the mountain ash), red in colour with a very fresh, almost bitter fruit flavour.
(Pronounced ‘Eh-dell’) German term used to describe spirits which are made solely from the fruit named on the label. Edel-branntwein is a collective term for arrack, brandy, fruit brandies, gentian, gin, rum, and whisky, no aromatics or sweetening being allowed in the mash used. Edel-obstbranntweins are fruit brandies (alcool blanc) in the true sense – white distillates of whatever fruit is named on the label – kirsch, mirabelle and so on. Large quantities are made in Baden.
(Pronounced ‘Eh-deli-foyle’) See Botrytis cinerea.
Term used to describe an Alsace wine made from a mixture of grapes defined as ‘noble’.
Recently established winery in Mendreino, California.
Process whereby the grapes are removed from their stalks before being put into the vat. There are various ways in which this is done: by rubbingthe bunches of grapes by hand through a wooden sieve, by passing them through a mechanical stripper, and so on. Much depends on the type of wine that it is wished to make. The presence of the stalks in the ‘must1 could make the wine tough, woody and literally stalky. Obviously a fine, delicate wine deserves detailed, often costly attention; whereas an everyday robust wine does not need it to the same extent. The matter is primarily one to concern the winemaker rather than the drinker; but any visitor to a wine region will note the different methods employed when watching the grapes brought to the presshouse or winery, and processed on arrival. Seefouloire’grappage.
Red Hungarian wine. The term means ‘Bull’s Blood of Eger – the Eger district being traditionally well known for wines. Bull’s Blood is made from a blend of Kadarka, Pinot Noir and Merlot grapes. Its name dates from the siege of the fortress of Eger by the Turks in 1552, when the Hungarian women, fighting alongside their countrymen, are said to have served copious quantities to the defending garrison to strengthen them. Anyway the fortress did not yield and the Turks withdrew. Both vintage and non-vintage wines are produced today; the former are capable of marked improvement and refinement in bottle with ageing.
Wine has been made in Egypt since ancient times, but the modern wine industry was only started in this century. The wines have been praised by travellers, but as yet production does not enable them to be featured on export lists.
German egg-flip.‘Eiweinbrand’ is the brand name of the best-known type, in which the only alcohol is brandy.
A single vineyard in German terminology.
(Pronounced ‘Eye-tels-bark’) Ruwer vineyard, the Karthauser Hof wines being possibly the best known, but the Marienholz and Sonnenberg sites also produce fine, very definite wines.
The most famous of wines made on this island is Aleatico di Portoferraio, a rather luscious and sweetish wine, from a type of Moscato grape. There are red and white wines made on Elba, but as yet they are not featured on many export lists. The Sangiovese grape is used for some of the better reds.
The origin of this word is the Arabic ‘El ikser’, which is the expression for the philosopher’s stone, possession of which enabled the owner to turn base metals into gold. It became associated with drinks of medicinal and revivifying character.
Yellowish-green and bitter-sweet liqueur, made by De Beukelaer of Antwerp in Belgium.
Herb liqueur made in Normandy.
Elixir de Moridorf
A sweetish tonic liqueur, made in Luxembourg.
Elixir de Spa
A sweetish tonic liqueur, made at Spa in Belgium since the 17th century, when the original formula was evolved by the Capuchin Friars.
Australian wine family, whose founder settled in the Hunter Valley region in the 1890s. He named his property Oakvale, and the family’s red wine is now given this name. The Elliotts also make white wines and have acquired the Belford and Tallawanta vineyards.
Town in the centre of some of the most famous of the Rheingau vineyards (see Rhine), which is also the headquarters of the State Domain. This was, at one time, the residence of the Archbishops of Mainz, the Prince Electors. The wines are both delicate and slightly austere, very distinguished. Graf zu Eltz owns Schloss Eltz and the Burg Eltz, and Freiherr Langwerth von Simmern a huge 17th century mansion, both of which are associated with fine wine production.
Grape of the U.S., not much grown, but reported to be useful for making wines with Botrytis cinerea.
A white grape, evolved in California from a cross of white Riesling and Muscadelle. Wines made from it seem to me to have a pleasant freshness but little of the nobility of the Riesling Europeans know. They usually seem rather soft and sweetish.
Wine region of Italy, which is especially famous for its food and cooking. Both red and white wines are made; the most famous are probably the sparkling red Lambrusco and the white Albano.
This well-known name was registered in 1883 by the manager of The Australian Wine Company. By 1925 the Emu Company was by far the most important supplier of Australian wines to the U.K. And also to Canada. The Company now owns vineyards and also put out wines and brandy they have bought in. They appear to concentrate on bulk wines for the mass market. Before controls on labelling and advertising became strict, their wines were sold in the U.K. Before 1939 with claims for ’tonic’properties. In the sense that all wine is in one form a tonic, they almost certainly were.
Red wine from the Aosta Valley in Piedmont, Italy, made from the Petit Rouge grape and reported as scented and full. Appears to improve greatly with maturation in bottle.
The region in the Bordeaux wine area ‘between the two seas’ – that is, between the rivers Garonne and Dordogne. It is chiefly known for its light, dryish white wines, although red wines are also made there. These whites can achieve good everyday quality and sometimes more, although they have suffered from the inferior and anaemic wines formerly sold under the name.
Term used to signify gentian liqueurs in certain countries.
A chemical substance excreted by yeast, responsible for fermentation.
Because of the colours involved, this mixture takes its name from the church. Usually it is a half and half mixture of yellow and green Izarra, poured over crushed ice and served in a goblet with straws, either as a digestive or a drink between meals.
Parish in the Rheingau, on the Rhine in Germany, especially famous for the Marcobrunn vineyard.
Italian vine making white wines, cultivated north of Turin in Piedmont.
A parish on the middle Mosel in Germany of which one of the best-known wines comes from the Treppchen site.
Expression which, according to the new German Wine Law, replaces other terms denoting estate-bottling for wines in the Qualitatswein bestimmer Anbaugebiete (QbA), or Qualitatswein mit Pradikat (QmP) categories.
Brand name for a German yellow or green liqueur, slightly similar to Chartreuse. Seeklosterlikoer.
Correct descriptive term for Spanish sparkling wine. By a 1973 agreement between France and Spain, the term Champana was banned.
Est! Est!! Est!!!
A white wine, which can be dry, or slightly sweet, and sometimes very slightly sparkling, from Montefiascone in Lazio in Italy. The wine gets its name because, in the 12th century, Bishop Johann Fugger, travelling from Augsburg to Rome for the Coronation of Emperor Henry V, sent his steward ahead of him to sample the quality of the wines at the various inns. If he approved of the wine, he was to chalk ‘Est!’ on the door. At Montefiascone he chalked the word three times. Both the steward and the Bishop stayed on at Montefiascone and the Bishop actually died there, stipulating that a cask of wine should be poured over his grave on the anniversary of his death. This bequest was countermanded by the local Bishop some years after, who ruled that it should go to the seminary of Montefiascone to be drunk by the inmates.
The reaction of the acids and alcohol in a wine, resulting in the smell or bouquet.
(Pronounced ‘Esh-schtou-fa’) The place where Madeira wines are heated to achieve their unique flavour and curious character.
The French term for ‘stamped’ or ‘branded’, used generally in association with corks – e .g. a branded cork marked with the name and date of the wine.
This French word means ‘bottle label’, that is, the main body label.
Both red and white wines are produced in the Sicilian vineyards around Etna. Because of the volcanic nature of the soil, they have a distinctive flavour; some people describe it as ‘minerally’.
One of the good white wines from the Jura region of France.
So called because the region in Grosseto in Tuscany now making them was a known Etruscan settlement. The La Parrina establishment makes good reds and whites, deserving wider appreciation.
German herb liqueurs, made at Kloster Ettal near Oberammergau, in green and yellow.
Estate in Pomerol in the Bordeaux vineyard, usually making refined wines.
Australian vineyard near Adelaide, founded in 1841.
Vineyard in the Goulburn Valley of Victoria, Australia. It was originally planted by an Austrian. Trojano Darveniza, who had bought it in 1871 and was cultivating wheat, until fear of a surplus caused him to turn over part of it to wine. The family still run the firm and make a variety of table and fortified wines.
The establishment responsible for the tax and also the tax levied on produce of the home country – I.e. Britain – as compared with Customs duty, which is levied on imported produce.
The ordinary wine drinker may not hear this term much, but it signifies something so important that it is included here. Extract is the whole of the elements that get into the grapes from the subsoil through the vine’s roots. These go deep (the taproot of a mature vine is at least 12 ft (3.65m) in length) and can spread out into a variety of different subsoils as well as drawing on different supplies of moisture. As R. E. H. Gunyon explains: ‘Depending on how the vine is pruned, these elements are distributed to a greater or lesser degree among the fruit that the vine has been pruned to bear.’ Generally, the higher the extract, the longer the wine will take to come to maturity. Extract is assessed in the laboratory and should not be confused in any way with tannin. Acidity or any of the things that can be noticed in tasting.
Although in certain years – such as 1961 in Bordeaux – extract is high, the wines are not necessarily a boon to the producers because, as they have to wait for a long time until the wine is mature or sometimes even vaguely drinkable, capital is tied up. Even if they sell such wines to their own satisfaction, merchants and shippers are also faced with the problem of keeping stocks for many years: each case of wine costs them money for every day that it occupies space in their cellars. This is why great wines are not money-spinners, however high their prices when they come up for sale: they simply cost too much to produce and keep until their prime. In many instances, therefore, a vine will be pruned to bear rather more fruit so that the extract can be distributed among the grapes, and a wine lower in extract but coming to its peak fairly soon will result. This pleases those engaged in the business. Including the taxman.
Wine region in south-west Spain, making a variety of table wines and, apparently, both a white and a red wine produced by the action of flor. Although these wines can, according to Jan Read, be found sometimes in Madrid, they are rare outside their region, even in Spain.
Hungarian vine now considered native to that country, but possibly originally coming from India. It makes a white wine which is possibly at its best when dry, but a sweet version is also made. It is cultivated in the Mor district.