Wines and Spirits Dictionary: Letter M

Macallan

Sometimes called Macallan-Glenlivet, from Craigallachie, this malt is one of the great Speyside whiskies, noble and much respected. Its licence was taken out in 1824 and it was bought by the Robert Kemp family in 1892 – they still run the establishment.

MacArthur,John

Arrived in Australia in 1790. He is famous for being the first person to import merino sheep as well as one of the pioneer winemakers. With his sons, he toured various French and Swiss wine districts at the beginning of the 19th century and made the first plantations of vines in 1820 – the very first commercial vineyard and winemaking installation in that continent. The MacArthur sons continued their father’s remarkable work, and MacArthur wines won awards in London in the early 1840s. William MacArthur’s book on vine culture was of enormous influence; he also founded the New South Wales Vineyard Association in the 1850s.

Maceration

This process means the softening of something by steeping it in a liquid, as with the various things that contribute to the making of vermouth.

Mackenzie

Firm well known for its ports and sherries.

Macvin

Regional speciality of the Jura region of France, which is sweetish and pungent, spiced with cinnamon, coriander and other ingredients. The name derives from marc-vin, because the local red wine has its fermentation checked by the addition of eau-de-vie-de-marc.

Maderisation

A term sometimes applied to white wines which, either because of age or bad keeping, have developed a brown hue, due to exposure -however slight – to the air. The taste need not necessarily be unpleasant, so as to prevent the wine beingdrunk – but it will change what should have been the essential flavour. A wine that should be crisp, fresh and rather delicate will lose by being maderised: a wine that is fuller, softer and, in certain instances, aged for unusual periods in cask, may actually gain from this maderisation. Maderisation, unless excessive, should not be sufficient reason for rejecting a bottle in a restaurant: although it should be commented on if it occurs in a fine white Burgundy, or similar wine, where it can affect the enjoyment of the wine.

Madiran

Red wine from the Pyrenees region of France, very pronounced in character, partly and sometimes substantially made from the Tannat grape. A little white Madiran is also made. Neither are often seen outside the region.

Magdelaine

Chateau Magdelaine is a classed 1st growth of St Emilion.

Magnifico The slightly bulbous-shaped bottle used for Chianti Ruffino of a quality capable of improving by maturing. The name appears to have originated in the U.S.. where this Chianti is the best-selling variety.

Mailly

One of the wine villages in the Champagne region.

Majorca

Both Majorca and Minorca make wines, interesting to visitors but not much exported. The chief regions are those of Benisalem. Palma. Felanitx and Manacor. Making mostly red wines and some’pink ones, a little white being made at Bunols. There are also several distilleries: gin has been made on Minorca since the beginning of the 19th century, when Lord Nelson used the place as a harbour, because the local people realised that the fleet would be a good market for a spirit.

Malaga

Wine from Andalucia in the south of Spain. It is not actually made from the Malaga grape, but its production is strictly controlled. The most famous is probably Lagrima, which is white and rather sweet; another is Negro. Traditionally Malaga is sweetish or very sweet and was enormously popular in the days when the scarceness and cost of sugar caused people to consume vast amounts of all sweet wines when they could be got. Today some dry Malaga is also made, but the popularity of the wine in general has declined. It is not fortified with brandy but, at its best, is made in a type of solera system. Old wine labels bearing the name ‘Mountain’ refer to Malaga. It may be served by itself between meals, or with dessert fruit.

Malan

One of the great names in South African wine history. Malans have made wine at a numberof estates and have influenced the technical progressof many wines. Today, the best-known estate owned by a Malan is Allesverloren.

Malartic-Lagraviere

Estate in the Graves region of Bordeaux, making red and white wines, both of some quality.

Malbec

Black grape cultivated on the Gironde and the Loire, which imparts a type of softness to the wines in which it is used. Sometimes it plays an important part in pink wines. Another name is the Cot and, occasionally, the Cahors.

Malescot-St-Exupery

Classed 3rd growth of Margaux, which gets its name from the same family as that of the famous airman and writer. It now belongs to Paul Zuger, who is doing much to revive its quality, which had declined.

Malmesbury

Wine region of South Africa, of which the best-known estate is probably Allesverloren.

Malta

A little red and white wine is made on Malta and Gozo, but the quantity, as well as the quality, make it virtually solely for local consumption.

Maltwine

Nothing to do with wine as such, this is a spirit, made by three pot still distillations of a mixture of rye, barley and maize. In its original form, Hollands or Dutch gin was made by distilling maltwine with juniper and other herbs but, due to the expense of maltwine, grain spirit was subsequently used. In contemporary Dutch gin, there will probably only be a very small proportion of maltwine; although ‘old’ Geneva may contain up to 30% maltwine.

La Mancha

Adjacent to Valdepenas and almost in mid-Spain, this area, associated with Don Quixote, makes a vast quantity of red, white and pink table wine. The Valdepenas wines appear to have attracted more attention but visitors to Spain should certainly try the La Mancha local wines, for which the curious tinajas are used.

Mandarin

Orange flavour red and coloured aperitif.

Mandement

Wine region on the west side of Lake Geneva, in Switzerland, producing both red and white wines. The latter are supposed to have a taste associated with hazelnuts.

Mandrolisai

Red wine from the mountainous regions of Sardinia, which Philip Dallas considers is a type of Cannonau.

Mantonico

Wine from Calabria. Italy, which Philip Dallas reports as being about 16° of alcohol by volume and virtually a dessert wine; although apparently it becomes progressively dry after spending as long as 4 years in wood.

Mantua Hills

The Italian name for these wines is Colli Morenici Mantovani del Garda, in the Lombardy region of Italy. A variety of wines are made but as yet little seems to be known about them.

Maraschino

This is a liqueur made from the distillate of fermented Maraschino cherries. It was originally made in Dalmatia, now part of Yugoslavia. It is white in colour and its flavour is especially useful in making many sweet dishes, although it is served as a liqueur as well. A famous brand is that of Drioli. Evolved first over two centuries ago in Venice, and still sold in the four-sided straw-cased bottle. Another is Luxardo.

Marc

(Pronounced ‘Mar’) This is the spirit distilled from the mass of compressed grapes left after the final pressing for wine. It can be a quality product, with distinct regional characteristics. One of the most famous is Marc de Bourgogne, made in Burgundy. Marc is always high in strength and, unless properly matured, it can be rather raw and fiery. In other words, it is a drink to treat with caution and, possibly, respect.

Marche

Wine region of Italy, of which the most famous wine is the dry white Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi.

Marchese Santeramo

Red wine made in Puglia, south of Bari in Italy, which Philip Dallas considers ‘exceptional’ by any standards. Obviously tourists in the area should make an attempt to try it. Simply that it has not got the D.O.C. – something that appears to worry some who have reported on this wine – need not concern wine lovers who care about wine more than about pieces of paper and sets of regulations.

Marcobrunn, Markobrunn

Vineyard at Erbach in the Rheingau (see Rhine), which gets its name from the landmark marking the border of the two parishes, Hattenheim and Erbach. Which is a fountain (German being brunnen). The wines of Marcobrunn are world-famous. Graf von Schonborn and Freiherr Langwerth von Simmern own important sites within the vineyard, the other owners of significance are the State Domain and Schloss Reinhartshausen.

Marie Jeanne

A bottle sometimes used in the Coteaux du Layon region of the Loire. It looks in shape like a magnum of Champagne, but in fact holds only about 1-Vi bottles, instead of a full 2 bottles. The shape is the same as a Burgundy bottle. It may also be used for Bordeaux.

Marillenbrand

German apricot brandy, made in the south of the country.

Marino

Nothing to do with San Marino, this is one of the wines of the Castelli Romani. From Lazio in Italy. The white wine is considered the most definite in style, but a pink and a red wine are also made.

Mark

A shipper’s ‘mark’ is the particular style of a wine that must be followed or copied from year to year, so as ensure continuity of the wine’s quality and character. For example, a sherry or port will be made up to follow an established mark.

Marquis d’Alesme-Becker

Classed 3rd growth of Margaux, and run by the owner of Malescot-St-Exupery.

Marquis deTerme

Classed 4th growth of Margaux, of which the wines are not often seen in the U.K., though they should be of interest because they are made somewhat unusually, being left in the vat for a year and then for 2 more years in wood.

Marsannay-la-Cote

One of the villages in the Cote de Nuits in Burgundy, notable for a very fine rose’ wine.

Martell

One of the greatest of Cognac establishments, whose brandy dominates the U.K. Market. It was founded in 1715 by Jean Martell of Jersey and is still a family business.

Martin

One of the big names in Australian winemaking. Henry Martin came from England in 1851 and eventually married one of the Clarks, the family who owned Stonyfell until adverse economic conditions obliged the sale of the property. Henry Martin worked for the then owner, who was not interested in wine, and achieved great success, the Stonyfell wines winning prizes abroad. The estate is now associated with Saltram, but Stonyfell wines continue to enjoy a considerable reputation.

Martina Franca

Wines from a region in Puglia, Italy, where quantities are made – including a sparkling wine. Few seem to be exported and many will be used for blending and selling to the big vermouth concerns.

Martini, Louis

A family-owned winery in the Napa Valley, California. Louis Martini came to the U.S. From Italy and, after studying in several wineries, founded his own in 1906. The range of wines concentrates on quality lines; the reds in particular are popular for their straightforward ample style. The original Louis Martini did much to pioneer the sale of California wines under American, rather than European style, names. (Nothing to do with Martini & Rossi).

Martini & Rossi

One of the mighty firms primarily making vermouth. It was founded in 1840, in succession toa very old-established house. Martini & Sola. The firm is still a family concern, with world-wide interests in wines as well as vermouth. The headquarters, at Pessione near Turin, produces quantities of sparkling wine. Pessione is also the site of the Martini Museum, which is one of the most important wine museums of the world.

Marzemino

Red wine from the Trentino region of Italy, made from the grape of that name, and referred to in Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni as ‘excellent’.

Masson, Paul

(Americans stress second syllable, Britons the first). This huge concern belongs to the Seagram organisation and has several large installations in Pinnacles, Monterey, Saratoga, Soledad and the Santa Clara Valley. The wines today are widely known and have even made some impact on the U.K. Market. A wide range is produced, including fully sparkling wines and a port style, which is well reputed. One of their best-known wines is the white Emerald Dry, made from the Emerald Riesling grape.

The original Paul Masson, a Burgundian, married a daughter of Charles LeFranc. The latter was already established in the Monterey region, as well as owning Almaden. Masson formed his own company in 1892: he survived Prohibition because of his permit to make ‘medicinal Champagne’. Eventually he sold out to Martin Ray; Seagrams took over in 1942.

Master of Wine

The Wine and Spirit Association of Great Britain and the Vintners’ Company instituted the study sessions and examinations which qualify successful candidates for membership of the Institute of Masters of Wine and to use the initials M.W. after their names. The Institute has now detached itself from the Vintners. There are over a hundred members at present, as the written papers and tastingexaminationsare extremely difficult. They deal with the theory and technicalities of the wines and spirits of the world, plus trade history and practice.

Mastika

Derived from a resinous shrub, this sweetish Greek drink is sometimes also used to flavour ouzo.

Mavrodaphne

Rather a luscious dark brown wine of Greece. The name means ‘dark Daphne’ and is picturesquely supposed to refer to a black-haired girl called Daphne.

De Mayerne, Sir Theodore (1573-1655)

He was one of the two founders of The Worshipful Company of Distillers. He was a remarkable man, born in Switzerland and studying and working in Germany and France. He then became Royal Physician to James I, Charles I and Charles II, and was much loved as a doctor, experimenting with numerous things that are taken for granted today, such as calomel. He also investigated enamelwork, devised cosmetics for Queen Henrietta Maria and wrote up his cases with authority and sense. His association with the Distillers was obviously based on his interest in improving the quality of ‘strong waters’, and ‘the making of beeregar and alegar in the Cities of London and Westminster’. A cookery book written by him appeared after his death as well.

Mazer

A drinking vessel, usually of wood bound and mounted with silver or metal, dating from about the 13th to 16th centuries, and found throughout Europe. The Scottish type is usually mounted on a stem as well.

McLaren Vale

Region near Adelaide, in Australia, an old-established area making fine wines.

McWilliam

Important name in Australian and New Zealand wine history. The firm was founded in 1877, at Corowa in the Murray River region; but in the early 20th century the McWilliam organisation increased enormously in size, building new wineries and establishing vineyards. They have installations in several parts of New South Wales, at Robinvale in Victoria and in New Zealand. In 1932, they became associated with the owner of the Mount Pleasant vineyard in the Hunter Valley, and later acquired the whole property. The area under vines at all their properties, which include those of Lovedale and Rosehill in the Hunter, is being extended and their installations are apparently very up-to-date. A variety of table wines is made, those from the specific estates achieving considerable quality.

Mead

A very ancient drink, made by fermenting honey. It was made in pre-Roman times in Britain, when – as for many years – honey was the only means of sweetening. It survived as a drink until fairly recently, being made in country houses, but at the present time it is rather a curiosity and not much of a commercial drink, although it is commercially made. The traditional vessel in which it was drunk was called a mazer. Metheglin was a type of mead, flavoured and enriched with herbs and spices, which was a speciality of the west of England and particularly of Wales.

Mechanical harvesting

Among the numerous changes in vineyard routines today, the use of the mechanical harvester must be considered as one of the most important, after the tractor. The machines – which naturally vary in type and detailed operation – straddle the rows of vines and, as they pass over them, paddle-like arms agitate the vegetation so that the bunches of grapes are detached and drop into a container. Peas are picked in a similar way in many countries.

From reports of results, it would seem that the grapes thus ‘vintaged’ can be in prime condition and the vines do not appear to suffer from the buffeting they receive. It is true that the mechanical harvesters so far appear to have been used for vineyards on fairly flat surfaces, and they need careful direction by skilled drivers, but it is certain that the use of such machines must increase – if only because of the difficulty of obtaining labour at economic rates in many vineyards. If it can be established that the use of these harvesters does not in any way affect the vines, then the potential of the harvester would appear considerable. It is considered likely that a mechanical pruning device may soon be evolved.

Medoc

Region within the Bordeaux area, extending from just north of the city of Bordeaux, up the west side of the Garonne estuary. Some of the finest of all clarets are produced within it. In the subsection Haut-Medoc, the parishes of St Estephe, Pauillac, St Julien, Moulis, Margaux, Cantenac and Macau all make great and very good wines.

Meerendal

Durbanville wine estate in South Africa – the only one of the region. Not under vines until this century, known for red and port style wines.

Meerlust

Estate on the edge of the Stellenbosch region. South Africa, granted to its first owner in 1693 and the property of the Myburgh family since 1756. Although some white wine is made, the stress is on reds. The present owner is making interesting experiments with grape varieties, as well as having achieved great quality with the different blends of red wines he produces.

Meier

This is the name of a large winery in Ohio, U.S., making a range of wines from native grapes.

Mentuccia

This Italian liqueur’s name means ‘little bit of mint’. It is sometimes known as Centerbe, because it is said to contain 100 herbs from the Abruzzi Mountains. It is also sometimes known by the name of its inventor, (Fr) San Silvestro.

Mercurey

A region in the Cote Chalonnaisein southern Burgundy, producing mostly red wines of charm and distinction.

Merlot

The full name of this black grape is Merlot Noir. It is grown in many parts of the world, in some areas in southern France; but its greatest importance is possibly in the Bordeaux region, where it is one of the claret grapes, being known in the St Emilion area as the Bouschet. The Merlot contributes a gracious softness and fragrance to many clarets. Lafite is one of the great estates where the charm of wines of a typical year owe much to the plantings of Merlot – the velvety charm can be pronounced. The grape is, however, susceptible to many wine diseases and therefore vulnerable in years that are less than ideal. The Merlot is a grape that is often eaten by vintagers, because it is sweetish and thirst-quenching – whereas most wine grapes are sour and unattractive when raw.

Merrydown

This winery and estate of Horam Manor in Sussex is of importance as the headquarters of the English Vineyards Association. Its directors started by producing cider, but extended operations to include country wines, made from fruits other than grapes. They acted as a winery for members of the E.V. A. who did not possess suitable equipment for processing their own grapes. They have an experimental vineyard of considerable importance, sell wines made by E.V.A. members. And issue news about English vineyards. Their own wines are invariably pleasant and well made.

Mersin

A type ofcuracao made in Turkey, called after the port of that name.

Mertesdorf

Village in the Ruwer valley.

Mesclou

A local speciality of the Dordogne Valley in France, this is a combination of eau-de-vie-de-prune the ‘prune’ in this instance being a type of greengage, and eau-de-noix, which is made from walnuts. It is an odd drink but well worth trying by the traveller.

Mesimarja

Finnish liqueur made from Arctic brambleberries.

Metala

Vineyard established in 1890, near the Bremer River, Australia. Its wines are now made at Stonyfell and they enjoy considerable repute.

Methuen Treaty

This treaty, which is frequently referred to in any discussion of Portuguese wines, was made between Britain and Portugal in 1703 and, because it provided preferential treatment for Portuguese wines, was a heavy blow to the French wine trade in what had been a traditional market. The long-term significance of the treaty, however, was the stimulus it provided for the port trade. In 1866, Gladstone terminated the treaty. This is why French wines once again dominated the British winedrin king scene in the latter part of the 19th century.

Meunier

Black grape belonging to the Pinot family, hence its fuller name: Pinot Meunier. It is used in Champagne and is apparently sturdy in regions where frost is a menace. It gets its name from the leaf being dusty-white like the coat of a miller, the French word for which is meunier.

Meursault

Centre of the white wine region in the Cote de Beaune in Burgundy. A very little red wine is made also. The fine Meursaults are a beautiful golden colour, with marked fragrance and charm and, in certain years, they can last a surprising time as far as white wines are concerned, retaining their qualities. The best-known site names are Les Perrieres, Les Charmes, Les Caillerets, Les Genevrieres, Les Poruzots and La Goutte d’Or. Admirers of these wines have some justification for considering them the finest white wines in the world.

Mezcal

Sometimes confused both with pulque and tequila, this is a spirit (aguardiente) made in Mexico by distilling the liquid produced from the cooked ‘pines’ of the Agave or Maguey plant. It is always drunk straight.

Middel vlei

Estate near Stellenbosch. South Africa, making both red and white wines, of which the reds have achieved considerable repute.

Midi

Loosely-used term, because the region is not defined. It implies the area to the west of the mouth of the River Rhone in France, extending through the Herault and Languedoc, where a vast quantity of wines which are of generally ordinary quality are produced. Many of these are used in blends or vermouth.

Milawa

Vineyard near Wangaratta, in north-west Victoria, Australia. It was established as a farm in 1857 and made its first wine in 1889. The Brown family run it. A wide range of table wines and sweet wines of high quality are made. The eldest son is always called John.

Mildara

Winery established near Mildura, in Australia’s Murray River Valley by the Chaffey brothers. Today the establishment has built up a great reputation for its sherries and brandies, but they now make other red and white table wines the grapes for which are drawn from the huge number of small-scale local growers.

Mildura

Town on the Murray River, Australia, which became very important in winemaking in the latter part of the 19th century, especially as the result of the achievements of the Canadian-born Chaffey brothers. It was W. B. Chaffey who founded the company here which is rather confusing named Mildara.

Minho (Pronounced ‘Meen-yoh’) Region in north Portugal, where vinho verde is made.

Mirassou

California winery in San Jose’ which owns a number of vineyards in different regions. The first wines were made as long ago as 1858 by a Frenchman, Pierre Pellier, and the original Pierre Mirassou married one of Pellier’s daughters. The wines were bulk products until recently, but now the firm is selling under its own labels.

Mission

Grape so called because it appears to have been the first vine brought to California for winemaking by the Franciscan, Junipero Serra. It is still much grown but does not appear to have produced any wines of special quality.

La Mission Haut Brion

Great estate in Pessac (actually some of it is in Pessac and some in Talence) in the Graves, just outside Bordeaux. The red wine it produces is always fine, with the balance admirably preserved between definiteness of character and discreet nobility. Many people rate the fine wines of La Mission as equal to and often superior to those of Haut Brion. The estate, which now belongs to Haut Brion nearby, got its name because the vineyard was founded by the priests of the Mission of St Vincent de Paul in the 17th century: they also built the chapel. A former owner, Henri Woltner, evolved a system of vinification that was much suspected by his colleagues and competitors, but which pioneered the controlled system of vinification now seen on many other estates. The wine is not actually bottled at the property, but at the firm’s Bordeaux cellars, a special authorisation allowing the chateau label to be used. The red wine property of La Tour Haut Brion, and the white wine estate Laville Haut Brion are in the same group.

Mistelle

Grape juice and spirit, used a great deal in the making of certain types of aperitifs and liqueurs, and sometimes for vermouth.

Mittelheim

This Rheingau vineyard gets its name because the village and vineyards are halfway between Ostrich and Winkel. The best-known site is probably Edelmann.

Mittelmosel

As its name implies, the middle section of the Mosel, within which the most important vineyards are situated, extending from Trier down to Alf-Bullay.

Mittelrhein

Region along the Rhine from where the River Nahe flows into it, to Bonn. The vineyards, on both sides of the river, are not among the most distinguished of the Rhine, but they are certainly extremely picturesque, and the wines they produce can be of better than ordinary quality. Boppard, Oberwesel, Bacharach, Steeg and Oberdiebach are names of villages at the centre of vineyards.

Modena

Italian region in Emilia-Romagna, making various Lambrusco wines.

Moelleux

French word meaning ‘like bone marrow’ – that is, soft, concentrated . The word is sometimes seen on the labels of French wines and denotes a sweet wine.

Moffat

Inverhouse Distillers, a U.S. Firm, took over this firm in 1964 and it now makes a malt whisky, Glen Flagler, at its Airdrie distillery.

Mogen David Wine Corporation This winery, in Chicago, is possibly the largest in the midwest region of the U.S. Known, as its name implies, for kosher wines.

Monbazillac

Wine from the Bergerac region in the south-west of France. It is white and sweet, produced by the action of Botrytis cinerea like Sauternes. At one time it was widely known and highly esteemed, but nowadays is seldom seen outside the region.

Mondavi

One of the great names in contemporary California winemaking. The Mondavi family bought the winery that bears their name in 1966. They also own and run Charles Krug, and some vineyards as well. Robert Mondavi has had a great effect on winemaking and is influential in the Napa Valley for his work on the control of quality and his educational efforts among wine appreciation groups. Mondavi wines are restricted in range, but the stress of the production is on quality and in demonstrating the character of single grape varieties as grown in the Napa Valley.

Mondavi, Robert

Winery founded in 1966 in California’s Napa Valley by the widely respected winemaker of that name. He previously worked at Charles Krug which the Mondavi family bought in 1943.

Monica

A vine that makes several of the Sardinian red wines. That of Cagliari is reputed as being of special quality.

Monimpex

The state agency for exporting wines and spirits from Hungary.

Monopole

Used as a name alone, this imples ‘an exclusivity’. More specifically the term is used for the brand wines of some owners, who thus maintain continuity of quality and who can use their monopoles for wines they do not wish to sell as estate wines. Examples of this are Barton & Guestier’s Prince Noir, or Calvet’s Tauzia Monopole.

Montagne

Estate near Stellenbosch, South Africa, one part of a larger property cultivated since the beginning of the 18th century. It has only been specifically a wine estate since recent times. There are considerable innovations and improvements being carried out; and the wines, both white and red, achieve progressive quality.

Montagny

A commune in the Cote Chalonnaise in south Burgundy, producing good white wines. Some of these, thanks to modern methods of vinification, deserve to be better known. There are a number of specific vineyard site names which may sometimes be given on labels.

Montalcino

This region in the Siena Hills in Tuscany, Italy, makes the Brunello de Montalcino from a type of Sangiovese grape. As produced by the family of Biondi Santi, it is a remarkable red wine, capable of very long maturation in bottle and a life of 50 years or more in a good vintage. It is not, however, a wine to order casually in a restaurant, because it needs a considerable amount of airing before it is served. People are agreed that it should be opened (it is up to the individual whether or not to decant) at the latest early in the morning for serving at dinner and, preferably, 24 hours in advance of drinking: only in this way can the wine show its quality. Drinkers should also be warned that it tends to be in the higher reaches of strength as far as table wines are concerned.

Montana

Important winery in New Zealand, established in 1944.

Montinchez

Wine village in the Extremadura region of Spain, which is reputed for its hams and also for a red wine that grows a flor. Jan Read relates that it and a white wine that also grows a flor are made in the most simple way here, often in the earthenware tinajas. Obviously, both should be sampled by anyone in the vicinity or in such eating-places in Madrid where the wines are on sale.

Monte Aguila

Spicy digestive Jamaican liqueur.

Montecarlo

Nothing to do with the town in the south of France, this is in Tuscany, Italy, near Lucca. Red and white wines are made, the red being apparently similar to Chianti, and made from the same grapes; the white is mostly Trebbiano.

Montepulciano

The full name of this is Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. It comes from Tuscany in Italy, and is similar to Chianti. It is a red wine that benefits by ageing in bottle. Its name is supposed to derive from the fact that it used to be the drink of the nobility of the region: it is referred to in the 14th century.

Monterey

Important vineyard region in California. Many of today’s vineyards were established in the mid-19th century. The Salinas Valley is noted as likely to produce first-rate wines in the near future and some of the plantations are of ungrafted classic vines.

Monterrey

Region in Galicia, Spain, making red wines. Jan Read says that they make the strongest wines of Galicia.

Monthelie

(Pronounced ‘Mon-tay-ly’) Village in the Cote de Beaune producing red wines and a little white.

Montilla

Until the definition of the sherry region in 1933, the Montilla wines were regarded as a type of sherry. But in fact they are different, being produced further inland and, although mostly the vineyards are on albariza soil, the principal grape here is the Pedro Ximenez. The wines are fermented in tinajas before passing into the solera system. They tend in general to be naturally higher in alcohol than the wines of Jerez, so that they may not be fortified at all, or only slightly. Some are bottled in tapering bottles, rather like those used for hock.

Montlouis

White wine from the Loire, which can be still ,p4tillantor sparkling. It has sometimes been likened to Vouvray, which is on the north bank of the river, whereas the Montlouis vineyards are on the south. It can be pleasant but is not usually very distinguished. Up to now, it has seldom been seen outside its region, but improved methods of making have permitted some exports.

Montpellier

Estate at Tulbagh in South Africa, dating from the early 18th century and carefully restored after the 1969 earthquake, which damaged this house and that of Twee Jongezellen. The first owner, Jean Joubert, named the property after his French home town. It now belongs to Mr and Mrs De Wet Theron, a name especially famous in the Tulbagh area; Mr De Wet Theron is also an authority on brandy. Montpellier’s white wines are well known, their Gewurztraminer making a great initial success.

Montrachet

(Pronounced ‘Mon-rash-ey’) The name derives either from the Latin Mons rachicensis or French Mont arrache’ meaning ‘the hill from which the trees have been pulled up’. Small vineyard in the Cote de Beaune producing very fine dry white wines, and lying partly in both the Puligny-Montrachet and Chassagne-Montrachet communes, which also produce fine white wines. Other vineyards are Bstard-Montrachet, Chevalier-Montrachet, Bienvenue-Batard-Montrachet and Criots-Batard-Montrachet. There are certain internal site names (see Burgundy) attached to some of these which may be given on the labels of the finest wines, but Le Montrachet is the supreme vineyard.

Montrose

(The’t’ is not sounded in French, but in English it is optional) The chateau wines of a classified 2nd growth in the commune of St Estephe in the Medoc. The name may come from the pinky heather which covers the site, hence ‘the pink hill’.

Mooiplas

Stellenbosch wine estate in South Africa, farmed since the early 18th century but concentrating on vines since the early 1960s. White and red wines are made.

Moonshine

Term used in the 18th century and sometimes since to imply a smuggled spirit, or one home made but escaping paying duty. It has tended to be applied to the various types of whisky and whiskey.

Moorilla

Estate in Tasmania near Hobart. First planted in 1964 in a variety of vines.

Mor

A region to the north-east of Lake Balaten in Hungary, producing dry white wines.

Morey-St-Denis

Commune in the Cote de Nuits in Burgundy, famous for outstanding red wines, including those with the A.O.C. Clos de la Roche, Bonnes-Mares, Clos-St-Denis and, possibly most famous, Clos de Tart. The wines usually combine a charm and easy appeal with a certain elegance and firmness. .

Moriles

Part of the Montilla vineyard region.

Morio-Muskat

A hybrid of the Sylvaner and Pinot Blanc grapes.

Morocco

Wines were made in Morocco in classical times, but it was only when the French took control of the country in 1912 that grapes for winemaking were cultivated on a large scale. Most types of table wine are made, including a vin gris particular to Morocco, but in general it is the reds that are the most successful and popular in export markets. Unfortunately with the tightening of French legislation about wine, it has now been made impossible for Moroccan wines even to pass through France for re-export, something that has seriously affected the wine business. It may well be that the vineyards will have to be abandoned in favour of some other fruit crop. At their best, Moroccan reds can be full-bodied, well balanced and pleasing in the middle ranges of wines, especially when they have had a little bottle age.

Morris, George Francis

Planted the Mia Mia estate, near Rutherglen in Australia, in 1859 after his arrival from Bristol. His family still continue at the property, which is now owned by Reckitt & Colman. A variety of vines are grown, but possibly the best known is a dessert Muscat.

Moscatel de Setiibal

Defined region near Lisbon in Portugal for a particular sweet white wine which is made from Moscatel vines, both black and white grapes being used. The fermentation is checked by the addition of alcohol. There is also a red wine of this type, of which little appears to be known. The firm of J. M. da Fonseca at Azeitao have a virtual monopoly of production. The wines have very long lives and are all very sweet with a definite smell and flavour of Muscat, according to authority Jan Read.

Moscato d’Asti

A wine similar in general style to Asti Spumante but lower in alcoholic strength. Very seldom seen in the U.K.

Moser, Dr Lenz

The late Dr Moser, an Austrian winemaker, evolved a system generally referred to as that of ‘high cultivation’, whereby vines were allowed to grow high, to escape ground frosts, and mechanical means were worked out so that machines could do much of the hard vineyard work.

Moulin a Vent

One of the finer growths of Beaujolais, capable of achieving elegance and, in certain years, of maturing for a longish period.

Moulin des Carruades

Wine made in certain good years of the second pressings from the Lafite vineyards, and entitled to the A.O.C. Pauillac if it reaches the requirements of that appellation. It is always chateau-bottled and is the monopoly of the huge firm of Nicolas (the largest wine-buying concern in the world) on the condition that it is not sold outside France.

Moulis

Vineyard region in the Medoc area of Bordeaux, making wines capable of achieving subtlety and finesse. They are undeservedly little known.

Mount Eden

Winery and vineyards in the Santa Clara Valley, California, which became worthy of notice when Martin Ray, having sold his previous holdings in Santa Cruz, moved to the next slopes. His reputation for making firm, assertive wines had made him famous.

Mount Pleasant (1)

Well-known wine estate in the Hunter Valley, Australia, first put under vines in 1880. It was given its name in 1925 by the then owner, Maurice O’Shea, who had studied vines and wines in Europe and who henceforth made wines of great quality and exerted tremendous influence on Australian winemaking in general. The property became associated with the McWilliam family and business in 1932 and the McWilliams eventually bought it, retaining Maurice O’Shea as manager and director for the rest of his life. He continued to make remarkable wines.

Mount Pleasant (2)

Winery and vineyards in Augusta, Missouri, U.S.; an old-established enterprise still producing wines from both classic vinestocks and hybrids.

Mourisco

One of the black grapes used for port.

Mourvedre

Black grape, of Spanish origin but grown in France since the 16th century. It is not a prolific yielder and tends to make hard wines that require a longish period of maturation. It is being planted in certain regions of Bandol and the Cotes de Provence. Another name used for this grape is the Mataro.

Mousseux

(Pronounced ‘moos-ser’ stressing ‘ser’) Term used in France and, generally, elsewhere to signify a fully sparkling wine. Champagne is a vin mousseux – but all mousseux wines are not Champagne.

Mouton Baron Philippe

This property, previously joined with Mouton (Rothschild) in the 18th century, was owned by the d’Armailhacq family subsequently, until it was sold back to Baron Philippe de Rothschild in 1933. The Baron gave it his own name in 1956, quite in accordance with the tradition that the estate takes the name of its owner, and also because it was thought that d’Armailhacq was a difficult name to use in commerce. The wine is typical of Pauillac and although it is not as grand as Mouton Rothschild, it can be very fine. In 1977 Baron Philippe changed the name to Mouton Baronne Philippe, in memory of his wife Pauline, who had died in 1976. The wine, of course, has not been altered.

Mouton Baronne Philippe

The renamed Mouton Baron Philippe, in memory of Baron Philippe’s second wife, the former Pauline Potter. She was an American whose interest and enthusiasm inspired the remarkable wine museum at Mouton Rothschild.

Mouton Cadet

This wine, possibly the biggest selling claret in the world, was evolved in the slump of 1933. At this time, and with some of the older vintages, some of the wine from the great vineyard of Mouton Rothschild itself went into the blend, but nowadays, although it is claimed that there is always some Mouton and some Mouton Baronne Philippe in Mouton Cadet, it is essentially a branded wine, bearing only the A.O.C. ‘Bordeaux’.

It is made at Mouton, but can come from anywhere in the Bordeaux region; it always bears a vintage and, for the British market, has had 2 years in bottle before being sold. The confusion that sometimes arises about Mouton Cadet is that people often believe it to be the second growth of Mouton itself, like the Carruades de Chateau Lafite, but it is nothing of the kind.

Mudgee

Region in New South Wales, Australia, where vineyards were first planted in the middle of the 19th century. The most important single estates appear to be Craigmoor (established in 1858) and the Augustine vineyards, a 20th century planting, but there are many other properties.

Muffa nobile

Italian term, associated with wines that are abbocato or amabile. It implies that the grapes are allowed to developBotrytis cinerea, but only after they have been picked, not while they are on the vine. Not often used.

Mulheim

Mosel vineyard.

Mull

Both a noun and verb, this word first appears in the 17th century. It implies a hot drink, normally of wine or beer, with spices and similar flavourings, usually including lemon, and sometimes a beaten egg. By tradition a mull is heated by putting a red-hot poker into it, but it is quite acceptable if simply warmed up, though it must never be allowed to boil.

Muller-Thurgau

(Pronounced ‘Moo-ler Ter-gow’) This is an important white grape, a cross of the Riesling and Sylvaner, or possibly Riesling and Riesling. Evolved in the 1880s, by a Herr Mtiller from the Canton of Thurgau in Switzerland. It was not, however, until the 1920s that German winegrowers began to try the grape in their vineyards. It is now well established, as the variety can make acceptable wine in an otherwise very bad year.

Miiller-Thurgau wines have a fruity style, with a bouquet that is obvious, reminding some people of Muscatel or Muscat. It is now the grape most grown in Germany. Its presence can easily be noted because the vines, when seen from a distance, have a tufty, fluffy appearance, quite unlike the trimmer Riesling.

Muratie

Estate at Stellenbosch, South Africa that has been farmed since the earliest settlements. The original homestead appears to have been destroyed by fire and the present name comes from murasie, meaning ruin. It is run by the present owner, the daughter of Paul Canitz, who bought it in 1925. Current production stresses red wines, particularly the Pinot Noir, cultivated here when few other growers even thought of planting it. Miss Canitz has a great reputation for making quality wines.

Murray River

This river valley in Australia is of great importance because enormous quantities of wine are made there, also distilleries produce brandy. But the area is irrigated and, until comparatively recently, it was generally considered that this made it possible only to produce table grapes (and other fruit) and make wines intended for distillation. However modern knowledge of vine culture and the skilled management of irrigation – which is not a mere matter of pouring water over a vineyard so as to increase the size of the grapes, with consequent deterioration of ultimate wine quality – has resulted in great changes.

The knowledgeable Len Evans thinks that the table wines made in vineyards subject to controlled irrigation today can provide pleasant drinks at a low price. The main centre is Renmark (the name means red mud): Berri, Loxton and Waikerie are all names that may be found on wine labels.

Murrumbidgee

Huge irrigated area in Australia, and a region where other vineyards of great importance are sited. Many large concerns have properties there.

Muscadelie

This white grape is grown extensively in parts of the Bordeaux region, where it contributes a marked perfume and some fatness to the white wines, especially the sweet ones. It is a different grape from the various Muscats, but in fact it is not certain if it is related in any way. There are plantations of this grape in California and other regions.

Muscadet

A white wine from around Nantes, along the southern banks of the Loire. Named after the grape from which it is made (originally the Melon de Bourgogne), it is very dry, excellent with shellfish, and at its best when drunk young and fresh. The Muscadet region is subdivided: that called Muscadet de Sevre et Maine is possibly the best, the other areas are Muscadet du Coteaux de la Loire, and Muscadet. Some estates now bottle their wines in the Muscadet region and sometimes Muscadet is bottled suriie.

Muscadine

Type of vine native to the U.S., of which the Scuppernong variety is possibly the best known.

Muscat

One of the great white wine grapes of the world. It may have come originally from Greece and have been brought to France by the ancient Romans. The name for the type most grown in France is Muscat Blanc a Petits Grains, or Muscat de Frontignan. The ‘Muscat d’Alexandrie’ is a variety that makes many wines and can also sometimes be a good table grape. The Muscat is grown fairly extensively to make a single grape wine in Alsace; and in some of the New World vineyards it makes pleasant white wines.

The Muscat is one of the very few wine grapes that makes wines that smell definitely ‘grapey’ – people either like the bouquet and flavour very much or cannot enjoy it: ‘Muscat – Musk-rat’ say many in the latter category! But Muscat wines are very varied: some that smell very opulent and indicate sweetness can actually be dry or even very dry in flavour.

Muscat de Beaumes de Venise

A sweetish wine, made from the Muscat grape at Beaumes de Venise in the Rhone Valley. It is slightly fortified to arrest the fermentation, pinkish-gold in colour and not cloying.

Must

Grape juice before fermentation turns it into wine.

Mycoderma vini

The Latin name for the fungus which forms on the surface of certain wines and which is known in the Jerez region as ‘flor’ and in the Jura as 7e voile’. Its formation and action produces a particular taste and style of wine; the best-known example of which is a true fino sherry.

16. December 2011 by admin
Categories: Spirits, Uncategorized, Wine, Wine Dictionary | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Wines and Spirits Dictionary: Letter M

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: