King Cnut's Empire, 1016
1 day ago
Essays, articles, and discussions on wine history.
|A mid-19th century American wine cask|
These should be made of well-seasoned white oak staves, and can, of course, be of various sizes to meet the wants of the vintner. The best and most convenient size for cellar use I have found to be about 500 gallons. These are sufficiently large to develop the wine fully, and yet can be filled quick enough to not interrupt fermentation. Of course, the vintner must have some of all sizes, even down to the five-gallon keg; but for keeping wine, a cask of 500 gallons takes less room comparatively, and the wine will attain a higher degree of perfection than in smaller casks. The staves to make such a cask should be about 5 feet long, and 1½ to 2 inches thick, and be the very best wood to be had.
|Epernay during WWI|
|Map of Champagne District|
I have not seen burgundy half a dozen times since I have been here. The old colonist finds claret thin and sour; but the younger generation are beginning to take to it, although there is no wine harder to obtain here than claret. Nine-tenths of what one buys is adulterated. His knowledge of crûs being naturally limited, the colonist likes to see on his wine a fine label, one which makes the quality of the wine easily comprehensible to him. Thus the most successful claret sold here is divided according to degrees of nastiness into five ranks, and you ask for So-and-So's No. 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, irrespective of vintage or year. 'Bon ordinaire' is of course unobtainable, but you can get 'Chateau Margaux,' duty paid, at from 40s. to 50s. a dozen. I was once asked to buy some wine bearing that label for 2s. 6d. a bottle. The names of one or two well-known wines having reached your host's ears, he likes to show you by the name on the label that he is giving them to you; and, unfortunately, Margaux and Lafitte labels cost no more than any other.