Wines and Spirits Dictionary: Letter P


Headquarters of the K.W.V., the South African Wine Growers’ Association, on the Berg River, and an important centre of production.

Pacherenc du Vic Bilh

Region in the Pyrenees from which Madiran and Portet, a white wine made only after the grapes have shrivelled on the vine, come.


White wine from Aragon, in Spain.


Vineyard area in Provence, near Aix-en-Provence, producing white, pink and red wines from a number of grape varieties.


Red wine made in the Setubal area of Portugal, near the town of the same name.


Classed 3rd growth of Cantenac-Margaux which is well known and much respected, often ranking with the finest Medocs. Part of the property is owned by the firm of Sichel (Bordeaux), hence the Palmer wines are widely known in the U.K. And the U.S. The other owners are Mahler-Besse (Dutch) and Mialhe (French).

They possess considerable fruit plus finesse, and all the owners are strict about never allowing the property labels to be put on a wine that they consider has failed to reach the highest standards. The ‘off years of Palmer, as well as the great ones, have notable charm.

The estate gets its name from Sir Charles Palmer, who bought it after the Napoleonic wars. He was never able to make a commercial success of it unfortunately, and the estate passed into the hands of the Pereire banking family who built the house. The chateau itself, badly damaged inside during World War II, has served as a place where many students of the wine trade have learned the practicalities of vintaging and vineyard work. The produce of the classed vineyard Desmirail was once incorporated in Palmer.


One of the world’s great wine grapes, it is the white grape that gives especial quality to fino sherry.


(Pronounced ‘Pal-oose’) This term, meaning ‘marshy’, refers to the river bank vineyards in the Bordeaux region, and these, in former times, produced the wines considered to be the best. Today they make only fairly ordinary wines although, thanks to improved knowledge and technology, palus wines can be pleasant drinks. With the one exception of the lie Margaux, which can be A.O.C. Margaux, wines made on the islands in the Gironde are also all categorised with the palus wines.


Bulgarian red wine.


Small island off the west coast of Sicily, especially known for its Moscato wines.

Pape Clement

Estate in the parish of Pessac, in the Graves region south of Bordeaux. It got its name because it was presented to the estate of the Archbishops of Bordeaux in 1305 by Bertrand de Goth, Archbishop of Bordeaux before he became Pope Clement V. It has always been reputed for the fine, delicate quality of its wines. For various reasons the estate was in a poor condition after the last war and consequently the wines were not classified when the Graves classification was carried out in 1953; but today they enjoy a great reputation and possess unusual charm. It was subsequently classified at the confirmation of this classification in 1959.

Parducci Wine Cellars

These are a family concern in Mendocino County, Sonoma, California, producing a range of table wines.

Parfait Amour

This is a liqueur based on citrus oils, scented and spiced, and usually made in varying hues of lilac or violet. Many European liqueur establishments still make it, but it seems to have had its main vogue at the turn of the century.

La Parrina

Tuscan region in Italy, making what are described as Etruscan wines, because the area was known to be an Etruscan settlement. The red is a full, supple, agreeable wine; the white, fairly full and somewhat aromatic, is equally so.


Sicilian white wine of aperitif strength, made near Palermo.


Red Burgundy which is made from a mixture of Pinot Noir and Gamay grapes, 33% must be Pinot Noir. The fruity freshness of the wine can be delightful when it is well made. It does not usually have a very long life.

Passion Fruit

Sweetish Australian liqueur, based on citrus fruits.


Term applied to Italian grapes that have been lightly dried in the sun after being picked and before being pressed. This gives them a certain type of sweetness and concentration. The odd name means ‘process all the grapes’, and dates from the time when small growers were unable to vinify the different grape varieties separarely.


The generic south of France name for the local aniseed liqueurs. Probably the best known is Ricard, with Berger another. The drink is virtually the same as Pernod.


Commune of the Meiloc in which, among others, the great properties of Lafite, Latour and Mouton Rothschild are situated. Pauillac wines are usually of definite, some would say ‘masculine’ character, capable of achieving great magnificence if allowed to develop. They are not wines to choose casually for the beginner in claret, unless they are really matured or come from a fairly light year. They can be so big, profound and even hard that they can be difficult to understand. Because of their quality (and price) they deserve skilled handling. However at their peak they are possibly the greatest clarets of all.


St Emilion classed vineyard, usually making very good wines.

Pavilion Blanc, Pavilion Rouge de Chateau Margaux

Made in the Chateau Margaux vineyard in the parish of Margaux, in the Medoc in France. There is a section of chalk where white wines are planted. A red wine is made from the young vines in recent years. The white wine is pleasant rather than fine, and sold only with the A.O.C. Bordeaux Blanc as, according to the laws of appellation, it cannot have the A.O.C. Margaux.


Spanish word meaning ‘a seignorial residence’ according to Jan Read, and used in Galicia, Spain, where it signifies quality wines, red, white and pink. Mr Read reports the red is very dry and definitely pitillant.

Peach bitters

The most famous of these is the recipe evolved about a century ago in Britain by a Mr Law, and these bitters still bear his name. They are prepared from an extract of peach kernel and other flavouring and used atone time to be much used in gin-based drinks.

Pearl wines

Australian sparkling wines, made by the cuve close method, usually rather low in alcohol and inclined to be sweet. They are popular with young people and have been the introductory wine of many – the stoppers are supposed to be ‘popped’ or opened with an explosion, to signify gaiety, unlike the correct method of opening fine sparkling wine.


(Pronounced ‘Petch’) Town in Transdanubia in Hungary at the centre of important vineyards, dating from pre-Roman times.


Classed 5th growth of Pauillac, which is sold chiefly to the U.S., Switzerland and Belgium.

Pedioncelli, J.

Winery in the Alexander Valley, California, making well-reputed table wines.

Pedro Ximenez

(Pronounced ‘Him-may-neth’ stressing ‘may’) One of the world’s great wine grapes and important in the making of sherry. Often abbreviated to P.X.


In former times many drinking vessels, especially tankards, would have small pegs, like studs, on the inside marking the measures. Hence the expression ‘to drink a peg’.


The term means ‘onion skin’ and is sometimes used for certain pinkish-orange rose1 wines, though it can refer to the tinge taken on by some very old wines as a description.


Region in the hinterland of Barcelona, in the Catalan part of north-eastern Spain. Its wines are of high quality and well-known outside Spain these days. Huge quantities of sparkling wines, made by the Champagne method, are produced, also red, white and pink table wines. Those made by the TORRES establishment enjoy world-wide respect. The area vies with that of Rioja for generally producing the finest wines of Spain.


One of the great names in the Australian wine scene, the founder having arrived in the country in 1844. He was a doctor, trained at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London, and brought out vine cuttings with him. Later he dosed anaemic patients with the wine he made. His wife and servant worked in the vineyard with him, and his son-in-law eventually came into the business. From the first holding at Magill, the Penfolds – the descendants of the first Dr Penfold added his name to theirs – extended their holdings to other regions, including New South Wales, the Barossa Valley, Griffith, the Hunter River, Murrumbidgee and, most recently New Zealand. The Auldana, Modbury and Kalimna vineyards are the source of highly respected wines and The Grange, the original cottage of Dr Penfold, is the name put on the most sought-after Penfold wines. Sparkling, fortified and a huge range of table wines are marketed under the Penfold name.


Winery in Erie County, Pennsylvania, U.S., making a range of wines, of which the sparkling wine seems to have been successful and the table wines of interest. Hybrids, as well as Vitis vinifera, are apparently used.

Perda Rubia

Sardinian wine, made from the Cannonau grape, in red and pink versions. The red is very dark in tone and tends to be slightly above the alcoholic strength of table wine. The rose is apparently of good quality.


Sparkling wine made by the Champagne method in north-east Spain. Enormous quantities are produced and the quality is generally good. The name of this brand, made by the Costa Brava Wine Co., is included here, contrary to my usual practice, because it was the subject of the ‘Spanish Champagne’ case, heard in London in 1960. Twelve Champagne houses took legal action against Costa Brava at’ what the French newspapers excitedly called ‘the second Battle of the Marne’. The decision established that the Spaniards could not label or sell their wine making any use of the word ‘Champagne’ and, in 1973, an agreement between France and Spain laid down that no use of the term ‘Champagne’ or Champana can be made except for wines produced in the Champagne region of France. For all that, travellers in Spain will certainly be offered Champana instead of the correct Espumoso (This entry is also included because an otherwise good reference book is, in my opinion, quite wrongly biased about Perelada: the wines are not in any way ‘infamous’, as the author states in an excess of snobbism.)


Red wine made in the SetubaJ region of Portugal. It is also the name of a grape and it is perhaps of interest to know that the popularity of the brand name, Periquita, caused the main grape making it to receive the same name.


Romanian white wine made in Transylvania from a blend of the Muscat, Walschriesling and Feteasca grapes.


German term meaning petillant.


Vergelesses Region in the Cote de Beaune of Burgundy, where both red and white wines are made. They lack fame – for which those who wish still to be able to afford fine Burgundy may be thankful – but they are of great delicacy and finesse and, in general, tend to possess a greater subtlety than many Cote de Beaune wines. I cannot begin to agree with one writer who describes the white wines as ‘soft and heavy, without the breed of the great wines of Aloxe’. This is the sort of judgment pronounced by those who ‘drink the label’. Pernand Vergelesses wines are certainly not like those of Aloxe: their close-knit, light, elegant style (when they come from reputable firms) makes them a pleasure to those who appreciate fine Burgundy.


This drink, based on wormwood with herbs, was evolved in the 18th century by Dr Ordinaire, a Swiss. He sold the formula to a Monsieur Pernod, whose establishment at Pontarlier has produced it ever since. As the original formula containd absinthe (subsequently banned by law), the recipe was later changed and Pernod is now flavoured with aniseed. It is yellow and is served with iced water, which turns it cloudy. If dripped through a lump of sugar on a special perforated spoon, the drink is made sweeter.


Alcoholic beverage made from pears, which can be either still or sparkling and is usually slightly sweet. It slightly resembles cider. Its best-known U.K. Commercial version is Babycham.

Personal taste

As every experience of tasting is ultimately subjective, it is obvious that uniformity of preferences for drink can never be established -thank goodness! But what many people fail to realise is that, in appraising a wine or spirit, the experienced should be able to stand apart from their personal likes and dislikes and establish some idea of the well-made, good and adequate. No wise wine lover will judge a wine (orspirit) as the result of a single tasting experience: they, as well as the beverage, may have been in a better or less good condition than is ideal on the one occasion. Those who consult writings about drinks, should attempt to see whether an author tends to say ‘This is good’ when what is really meant is ‘I li ke it’. The same applies when one listens to anyone selling wine: do they find good qualities in it that they truly believe are there; or are they inclined to praise it simply because it is made or bought by them, and they have to sell it? The problem is never to be resolved, but its existence should be borne in mind.


Wine has been made in Peru since the 17th century, when the country was first discovered, but production is limited and exports virtually nil. Peruvian wines are something for the traveller to try on the spot.


Commune just outside the city of Bordeaux, within the Graves region. The great estates are Haut Brion and Pape Clement.


French for slightly fizzy. Petillant wines have a little more vivacity than those that are merely spritzig, but the amount of bubble in the wine is not legally defined. It is assumed in France, however, that a petillant wine will have less than 4 atmospheres behind its cork. Many excellent wines, such as the vinhos verdes of Portugal, have a slight effervescent character but, in a wine of quality, this should never be so pronounced that it takes away from the character of the basic wine.

Petit Meslier

One of the Champagne permitted grapes, not much cultivated today.

Petit Verdot

One of the grapes used in the making of fine red Bordeaux, which gives a certain freshness and beneficial astringency. Not much used nowadays.

Petit Village

Pomerol estate making good red wines that, in fine vintages, have nothing petit about them.

Petite Sirah

Black grape which is cultivated in California. It does not seem, according to recent studies, to be related to the Syrah proper, but to be a type of Durif grape. It is cultivated in other vineyards throughout the world and should be appraised in its own right. However the wines I have myself been able to sample do not seem to have attained more than agreeable drinkability.


The best-known and, in the opinion of many, the finest of all the wines of Pomerol in the Gironde region of France. It was developed and established as remarkable throughout the world by a woman, Madame Loubat, who had married into the Libourne restaurant family who owned part of the property. The great years of Pdtrus are remarkable for finesse and grandeur; the gravel of the Pomerol soil lightens the character of the wine so that it can compare with many of the fine wines of the Medoc. It possesses great charm and is easy to like, even by beginners.

Pewsey Vale

Vineyard in South Australia established in 1847. It was later allowed to decay, but has recently been rehabilitated by Yalumba for wine production.

Pez, Chateau de

Pez is a bourgeois growth from St Estephe, in the Medoc region of Bordeaux, and is owned by a particularly dedicated man, M. Robert Doussans. Not only does he make very good wine as such, but his interest in viticulture and viniculture has resulted in his making a small amount of wine each year from separate vine varieties of the area, which students and enthusiasts are allowed to sample. The experience invariably establishes that, although the various grapes involved in the making of claret each make a distinct and important contribution, the result that the blend produces is far more satisfactory as far as the ultimate wine is concerned. This demonstrates how claret is, and must be, made from a mixture of grapes, each of which contributes to the final reputation and quality. .

Phylloxera vastatrix

An aphid which, when brought from America to Europe in the later part of the 19th century, attacked roots of all vines and devastated the world’s vineyards. As American vinestocks are resistant to it, most vines today are grafted on to American stocks, although some nacional ungrafted vines do exist. ‘Pre-Phylloxera wines’ (those from ungrafted stock) tended to be bigger, softer and longer-lived than from today’s grafted vines. Experiments with ungrafted stock still continue.


Red wine from the Marche region of Italy, reported as light and agreeable.


French word for a little jug which may be of wood, earthenware or china, used for wine and, sometimes, cider. It seems to have no standard size, but is usually of the capacity of a smallish carafe.


Classed 2nd growth of Pauillac. There are in fact two properties now, although originally all were one. That labelled without additions, with the suffix ‘Baron’, or more correctly ‘Baron de Pichon’, is the elegantly towered chdteau on the left of the road as one drives north up the Medoc. That labelled ‘Comtesse de Lalande’ comes from the flat-topped chateau opposite. The Pichon wines are invariably fine; but although the Baron formerly seemed usually to be superior, it is possible that the Comtesse is proving more of a challenge nowadays.


White wine which is considered among the greatest made in Italy – when it is well made by a dedicated winemaker and not just a commercial production. It comes from Friull-Venezia Giulia and, because the vines were affected by a disease, it became a great and costly rarity, although some is now produced again. It is never cheap. Light to medium gold, it is essentially a dessert wine, but has great delicacy and finesse. Anyone given the chance of tasting it at any time should not miss the opportunity.


Italian wine region, around Turin in north Italy. It is here that the great Italian reds, including Barolo, are produced; also the white sparkling wines of Asti and the majority of the famous Italian vermouths.


Mosel vineyard of which the Goldtropchen (little drop of gold), Gunterslay and Falkenberg are the best-known sites. The Piesport wines, by virtue of a certain softness, have great popular appeal.


James Pimm evolved his ‘original gin sling’ in an oyster bar, in Poultry in the City of London, in 1841. It was marketed commercially by his successors in the 1870s. Employees of Pimm’s sign an undertaking not to divulge what they may learn of the still secret formula for the recipe; the exact details are known only by the ‘Secret Six’ of the top men in the company.

The bases of Pimm’s Cups were, according to numbers: 1-gin; 2-whisky; 3-brandy; 4-rum: 5-rye; 6-vodka. At the time of writing, only Number 1 is being made. The bottle is marked according to portions, but the drink may be served as a ‘short’, ‘medium’ or ‘long’ according to the desired dilution with fizzy lemonade. Ginger ale is an agreeable variation, and for the opulent; the ‘King Pimm’s’ means dilution with Champagne or a quality sparkling wine. The trimmings – slices of cucumber, orange, plus a sprig of borage or mint – enhance but are essentially optional. Pimm’s must be diluted, both because it is definitely ‘strong drink’ and because the flavour is not shown off unless minimum dilution is made.


French army slang for the wine ration. Not to be confused with Pinot or Pineau des Charentes.

Pineau des Charentes

An aperitif of the Charente region of France which is grape juice and Cognac. It has its own A.O.C. And has a fruity flavour.


The name, or part of a name, given to one of the great families of wine grapes of the world. The Pinot Noir is the grape that makes the finest red Burgundies, and is also used to give fruit and body in the blends of Champagne. The Pinot Blanc is extensively cultivated in Alsace. The Pinot Meunier is a black grape of Champagne, so called because the whiteness of the powdery surface of its leaves is reminiscent of a miller’s (meunier) coat. The Pinot Gris is used in Alsace, where it is sometimes referred to as the Tokay d’Alsace, and also elsewhere as Auxerrois, and, in Germany, as Rulander.

Other names for the various Pinots include: Klevner and Weissburgunder for the Pinot Blanc in Germany; Malvoisie for Pinot Gris in France; Cortaillod for the Pinot Noir in Switzerland, Spatburgunder in Germany, Savagnin in France. Different varieties of Pinot are grown throughout the world, some of which may have local or national names. The Chardonnay has now been proved to be unrelated to the Pinots.


Black grape evolved in the 1920s at the Cape, South Africa, from a cross of the Pinot Noir and Cinsaut (known there as Hermitage). It is a most useful variety and its wines, made also in Australia, New Zealand, are sturdy, full-bodied and capable of attaining considerable quality among Cape reds.


Type of cask.


Neither a card game nor a military term, this is a word that in French means the apology for wine that results from adding water to the final pressings of the debris of grapeskins, stems and stalks left in the press. It is the sort of drink that ekes out the wine drunk by the poor and the word, when used in a wine context, means something very feeble and dreary.


A type of brandy distilled from Muscat wine in several South American countries, but most notably in Peru. The ‘Pisco Sour’ is based on Pisco, plus angostura and eggwhite.


Southern Tuscan region of Italy making a light white wine, described as ‘smooth but rather bitter’.


Dufftown whisky distillery bought by Arthur Bell, who have built a modern distillery there.


The Mali Plavac is apparently a black grape used for red wines in central Europe; the white Plavac is used for whites.

Pleasant Valley (1)

Installations in Henderson, New Zealand, started in 1902.

Pleasant Valley (2)

An important winery in the U.S. For historic reasons as well as its wines. It was founded in 1860 and was the first U.S. Bonded winery. In 1865 it made the first ‘Champagne’ produced in New York State. This became so popular that, when an enthusiast called it ‘the great Champagne of the west’, the firm decided to market this wine as ‘Great Western’. This sparkling wine, which cannot use the name Champagne in the EEC, was produced even during Prohibition, because the company had a monopoly of supplying its wine to the clergy! A wide range of table wines is also made today. In 1962 the company became a subsidiary of Taylor’s of Hammondsport.


A wine of ordinary, everyday quality. Probably originated either in Australia or as the Australian version of vin blanc, in World War I.


Serbian red or light red wine, made apparently solely for local drinking.


This is a type of German ceremonial glass or large goblet, elaborately decorated and often engraved and coloured, on a stem and frequently having a cover or lid. Pokals are large and require two hands to lift them, certainly when full. They were used for the official drink with which important personages were welcomed, rather like a loving cup. The glassworks of Bohemia and Silesia made a number of pokals and most museums will have one.


Hunter Valley region in Australia. Pokolbin Winemakers, established in 1970, are the successors to Drayton’s ‘Happy Valley’.


Wine is not made in Poland, but the country is famous for vodka. Many different kinds and flavours are made.


The crushed fruit – not necessarily grapes – after pressing. Term often used in connection with cider or country wines.


This Bordeaux wine region is situated slightly north-west of St Emilion. It produces red wines which generally possess a certain delicacy, due to a vein of gravel in the soil. Those who like the Pomerols find in them a finesse reminiscent of the great Mldocs, distinct from the slightly more earthy roundness of the St Emilions. The greatest Pomerol is Chateau P6trus: other fine estates are Gazin, Petit Village, Nenin, Lapointe, L’Evangile, La Conseillante, Lafleur, Lafleur-Petrus, Trotanoy and Vieux-Chateau Certan. A good Pomerol would be an excellent choice to offer someone who wanted a wine with the immediate appeal of the St Emilions, plus the length, depth and finesse of some of the Medoc classed growths.


Well-known parish in the Cote de Beaune in Burgundy, making good red wines of firm character. Some of the better-known site names are: Les Rugiens, LesEpenots, Closde laCommeraine, Les Argillieres.


The type of glass associated with the Ordre des Coteaux, the Champagne wine fraternity. It is an elongated isosceles triangle, with a knob instead of a foot, so that it cannot be set down but must be drunk off, like a stirrup cup. The traditional adjuration to do this is ‘Haiti le pomponne’ or ‘Empty the pomponne’ It is supposed to have got its name because, when Madame de Pompadour passed through Champagne, it was in a glass of this type that she was offered refreshment as she leaned from the window of her carriage, without alighting.

Ponche Soto

Dark brown Spanish liqueur, put up in a silver bottle.

Pontac (1)

Pontac’s Coffee House was established in London in the 17th century by Monsieur de Pontac, son of the Mayor of Bordeaux, in an attempt to popularise the wines of Blanquefort. Diarist John Evelyn records meeting Pontac there.

Pontac (2)

A rather outdated white wine grape, a little of which is still grown at the Allesverloren estate at the Cape, South Africa.


Classed 5th growth of Pauillac, a very large property once belonging to the Cruse family, unusual in that it is one of the Medoc chateaux to have actual personal cellars below ground. (Lafite, Mouton Rothschild, Ducru-Beaucaillou and Beychevelle are others.) The wines are never chateau-bottled; unless of course one is invited to a meal at the property, when the personal reserves will have been bottled on the estate.


A measure of spirit of 1 fl. oz (28 g). A pony glass is usually rather like a small tumbler, and may be used for brandy, whisky and other spirits.


A curiously-shaped container for wine, used in Spain. It is rather like a triangular flask, with a spout sticking out from the side. It evolved from the wineskin or bag in which wine was carried, from which drinkers would pour wine into their mouths without touching any part of the bag with their lips. Users of the porron do the same, by holding the vessel above their heads, tilting it so that the wine pours in a thin stream from the pointed spout, and catching this I n their mouths. It enables several drinkers to share wine from the same vessel without actually touching it – an early example of hygiene.

The use of the porron has become elaborated so that an expert will hold the container a long way away, elongating the stream of wine: some will direct it to flow from their forehead down thei r noses into their mouth; others will toss the vessel about, varying the stream of wine, swallowing meanwhile. Practice is necessary to be able to do it without getting wine all over oneself!

Posip (1)

A white grape, which R.E.H. Gunyon supposes to be the Furmint.

Posip (2)

A white wine made in Yugoslavia and enjoying some reputation for quality.


This is a very old word, possibly of Middle English origin, implying a drink of hot milk curdled with ale or wine, flavoured with spices, sugar or honey, and taken as a remedy for a cold or fever. Drinks of this kind, with supposedly restorative properties, are often associated with the loving cups served to bride and groom on the wedding night (or restorative refreshments in houses of ill fame) from very early times.


Yugoslav red wine of a quality that has made it worth protecting by controls on production.


(Pronounced ‘po’) This measure of wine, formerly used in several parts of France, is now associated only with the Beaujolais (though it is by no means widely used even there). The bottle resembles an Indian club in shape, and holds about 17-5 fl.oz (50cl). A type of pot was recently adopted by the establishment of Piat for their Beaujolais wines, and is therefore referred to by them and their agents as a ‘Piat de Beaujolais’. They also produce larger bottles of this type.

Poteen, potheen

(Pronounced ‘Pot-cheen’) This word, which signifies ‘little pot’, was first used at the beginning of the 19th century and comes from the term pot still. In a portable or small form, it could be used to make Irish whiskey illegally, without paying the duty to the revenue officers. Some good spirit might be made, some very raw spirit also. Sometimes those distilling poteen would take their still out to sea on a boat, so as to ensure that the sea breeze would dissipate the odour of distilling, which might otherwise betray what was going on to the authorities. There are recurrent bursts of interest in poteen but it seems that its chief attraction is that it is illegal – the juvenile thrill of the midnight feast! No one able to drink a decent Irish whiskey could seriously prefer this haphazardly concocted, usually immature spirit.


One of the Australian wine families. Frank Potts, born in England, established the property Bleasdale in 1850 in the Langhorne Creek area. The firm is still run by the Potts family.


Classed 4th growth of Cantenac-Margaux owned by the proprietor of Boyd-Cantenac.

Pouilly Fuisse

(Pronounced ‘Poo-ee Fwee-say’) One of the best-known white wines of the Maconnais. The wines, made from the Chardonnay, are light, fresh and slightly firm. They used to be considered medium priced or inexpensive, but unfortunately for Europeans they suddenly became popular and smart in the U.S. The result was that prices soared and today they tend to be expensive. Areas of the vineyard sometimes named on labels are: Pouilly Vinzelles. Pouilly Loche. Pouilly Chaintre.


Vineyard region near Sancerre in the upper Loire.


One of the black grapes mainly cultivated in the Jura and blended there with the Trousseau.


This curious drink, seldom made nowadays, consists of different liqueurs being poured carefully in layers into a tall glass. The heaviest go in first, the lighter liqueurs on the top, and so stay in their layers.


Region in the Veneto area of Italy where the red wines are reputedly good. The town Pramaggiore is the scene of an annual wine fair.


German cranberry liqueur.

Premieres Cotes de Bordeaux

Region within the Gironde area, along the north bank of the River Garonne, producing both red and white wines; the latter are possibly the better known. Today these are becoming known on export lists.


These Wine Cellars, in Erie County, Pennsylvania, U.S., are fairly recently established. They make a range of wines from French hybrids as well as Vitis vinifera.


The pressure inside a Champagne bottle – or that of any quality sparkling wine – is measured in ‘atmospheres’, one atmosphere equalling 15 lb per in (psi) (1.05 kg per cm2). The term is easy to understand if one realises that, when air is compressed, it exerts force as when one blows up a balloon. The pressure inside many Champagne bottles is the equivalent of the pressure inside the tyre of a London bus – about 5.5 atmospheres. When the wine goes first into the bottle, the atmospheric pressure inside is slightly higher.


The Cognac version of the velenche or pipette. A narrow metal cup which can be lowered on a string or cord into a cask to take a sample.

Le Prieurl

Classed 4th growth of Cantenac-Margaux which, because it now belongs to Alexis Lichine and some of his associates (who give it the name ‘Prieure-Lichine’), is well known in the U.S.


Catalan wine region in Spain, getting its name from the 15th century Carthusian monastery called Scala Dei on the Sierra de Montsant. Priorato is actually a district within that of Tarragona, but the wines it makes are individual, both dry and sweet, and can achieve very good quality, deserving to be better known.


In a drinks context, this means the period when the U.S. ‘went dry’ and alcoholic beverages could not be offered for sale. It began in 1919 (although some States had been dry long before then) and continued until 1933. The rise of gangsterdom as a means of supplying ‘bootleg’ liquor to the market was immediate, and appalling drinks were put on the market. The necessity for masking the frightful versions of basic spirits, that were often made in the bathtub, caused the great popularity of the cocktail and mixes.


(Pronounced ‘Pro-ku-patch’) Grape used widely for red wines – to which it sometimes gives its name – in central Europe, including Yugoslavia.


Italian wine region north of Treviso, in the Veneto, where white wines, still and sparkling, dry and sweet, are made. They enjoy good reputations, although they seldom feature on export lists.


Dalmatian dessert wine, which is said not to be fortified.


The wine region of Provence extends east, north and slightly north-west of Marseilles in the south of France. Red, white and rose winesare made, most of them of no more than everyday quality, although some of the better known V.D.Q.S. And now the vins depays are beginning to be popular outside the region. The roses are robust and suitable for drinking with fish or meat; the reds are easy drinking, usually at their best when quite young; the whites are often rather tough and not as attractive when drunk in a cold. Dampish climate as in the sun. A variety of grapes are used. Some well-known names seen on labels include: Cassis (nothing to do with crème de cassis liqueur), Bandol, Bellet, Palette and Cotes de Provence. Frequently unusually shaped bottles, decorated attractively with tags and with elaborate labels are used; but recent legislation, which has done much to improve the quality of the wines, also controls the manner of presentation.


As with other plants, the method of pruning vines is of great importance. The aim is to allow sufficient shoots to develop to bear grapes for the forthcoming vintage, with the shoots that will develop in the next year being given maximum protection and encouragement. Pruning must be done to keep up the quality yield of a vine, as well as enabling sufficient quantity of grapes to grow. In addition, vines in cold vineyards must be pruned so that they are kept aerated and risk as little frost damage as possible; in hot vineyards the pruning must enable the foliage to provide shelter for the fruit against the sun. Different regions use different methods of pruning, according to the vines planted, the type of vineyard (flat, sloping, steeply sloping and so on) and according to the methods of training or propping up the vines.


Region in southern Italy, where enormous quantities of wine are made; most of it is intended for blending or for sending up to the north to make vermouth. Although there seems no reason why these wines should not be pleasant drinks on their own. So far those that have come my way on export lists have been nondescript and dull, but there are supposed to be some of reasonable quality.


The 17.5 fl.oz (50cl) straw-covered flask in which much of the wine of Orvieto is bottled.


Parish in the Cote de Beaune in Burgundy, making some of the very finest white Burgundies. Because of the location, some parts of the great sites are in the parish of Chassagne-Montrachet as well. There are several A.O.C.s, of which certainly the most famous is Le Montrachet, which some would rank as the most outstanding white Burgundy of all. The vineyard’s most famous owners are the Marquis de Laguiche, and Baron Thenard. It is very small, and consequently Le Montrachet is always expensive. The autoroute was diverted at enormous cost especially to preserve the integrity of Le Montrachet. Batard-Montrachet is possibly the best known of the other A.O.C.s from this area.


Not to be confused with mezcal or tequila, this is a Mexican drink, made from the Maguey plant. It is made by piercing the heart of the plant and extracting the sap, which may already be fermenting. It may be further fermented or have flavouring added. It is low in alcohol. Pulque has not yet been commercially bottled or canned, but it is drunk in large quantities in special pulque bars in Mexico.


A mixed drink which, although it is nowadays usually assumed will be hot, can in fact be hot or cold. Punches which include milk are more nourishing and can even be non-alcoholic. Punch is usually served from a large bowl ladled out into individual glasses or cups. In the 18th and 19th centuries punch was drunk with meals, rather as mineral water might be today, hence the huge, ornate punch bowls which could stand on the table as centrepieces.


The hollow at the base of many wine bottles. It serves, in wines that may throw a deposit, to retain this in the base of the bottle.

Punte Mes

Registered name of a type of vermouth made by Carpano of Turin. Its origin, however, is interesting enough to be included. The Carpano establishment – a type of wine bar as well as a shop – was near the Turin Stock Exchange and therefore frequented by dealers. At this time, anyone ordering a drink would specify the particular flavourings, amount of bitterness or sweetness, and so on required. Each was mixed individually from the herbs and spices behind the bar.

One day in 1876, certain stocks had fallen by a point and a half on the Borsa. One businessman, who wanted to order his usual slightly bitter-sweet vermouth, said in Piedmontese dialect. ‘Cam dag’n Punte Mes’ signifying ‘Give me one and a half ‘points’ of bitterness in my vermouth.’ Everyone roared with laughter – but the use of the expression caught on. Eventually Carpano (who had been the first firm to sell vermouth commercially) put the drink up in a bottle.


Well-known name in Australian winemaking. Eric Purbrick established the reputation for quality of Chateau Tahbilk (sic) in the Goulburn Valley north of Melbourne. Red and white table wines, some of them attaining considerable quality, are produced on this estate and by its winery.

Putt, puttonyos

Term used to indicate the amount of sweetness and quality in Hungarian Tokay. The putt is a container holding 6.6-7.7 gallons (30-35 litres) of grapes. Affected by Botrytis cinerea, these (when crushed to a paste) are added to the fermenting must, which they make sweet. The number of putts indicates the amount of sweetness.

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


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: