Cyrus Redding's Wine Book from Mid 1800s As Free Google Download


The 440 page book , A History and Description of Modern Wine, published in the mid 1800's is now available as a free download from Google books. The book discusses most of the wines made in Europe at the time as well as some from Africa and other regions. The URL is:
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I found this classic book to be very interesting.
Reply to
cwdjrxyz

Interesting indeed (though I found some of his "of the 1st class" type comments confusing). Didn't seem the Burgundy heirarchy has changed that much (though he puts Chambolle-Musigny as CdB- is that historic, or a mistake?).
Reply to
DaleW

On 1 Sep 2006 10:06:10 -0700
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Indeed thanks for this and the other links.
Glancing through the section on Hermitage, I found this interesting tidbit:
"The shiraz, or scyras vine, was afterwards introduced. It succeeded to admiration. ... and the sterile hillside was soon converted into a vineyard."
I've never before heard "scyras" for syrah, and this is perhaps some indication that "shiraz" enjoys a much longer association with the English language than I had given it credit for. Can anyone come up with an older reference of "shiraz" for "syrah?"
-E
Reply to
Emery Davis

Here's a reference to the use of scyras in an 1840 publication from Austrialia:
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In there, it is claimed that "scyras" is a European rendering of "Shiraz."
Mark Lipton
Reply to
Mark Lipton

The Redding book I noted was the 1851 edition. However there is an early 1833 edition of the book at
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Scyras also is mentioned there with a claim that a monk may have brought it from Persia.
You find few wine books in English much earlier than this, but many books that mention wine in passing.
I will pass along a massive French cookbook from 1827 that has 760 pages. I have not had time to examine it in detail, but there is likely some discussion of wine in it.
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The Art of French Cookery 1827, 760 pp
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Reply to
cwdjrxyz

On 2 Sep 2006 22:20:36 -0700
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Thanks cwd. Actually I found the quote about the Shiraz origin in the Redding also, some pages later. I guess we will have to admit that the designation of Shiraz has some historical precedent and legitimacy after all. :)
The cookbook is very interesting and I look forward to spending a bit more time with it. On the subject of wine it doesn't have a tremendous amount to say, but there is a very interesting list of "top Bordeaux" which doesn't as far as I can tell reflect the 1855 classification at all! (This said I only glanced at it quickly).
Thanks again for the links and cheers,
-E
Reply to
Emery Davis

The latest research about what Syrah/Shiraz actually is likely is given in the quote below that I found on the web.
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Although cultivated since antiquity, competing claims to the origin of this variety gave credit to it either being transplanted from Persia, near the similarly-titled city of Shiraz or to being a native plant of France. Starting in 1998, combined research of the University of California at Davis and the French National Agronomy Archives in Montpellier proved syrah is indeed indigenous to France. DNA profiling proved syrah to be a genetic cross of two relatively obscure varieties, mondeuse blanc and dureza.
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I do not know enough about plant genetic research to comment on how accurate this evaluation may be, but the two organizations that did the research have a good reputation. I wonder if mondeuse blanc or dureza are grown at all any more in France, and , if so, do they produce any wine of good repute.
Reply to
cwdjrxyz

On 4 Sep 2006 00:56:24 -0700
I don't personally know these cepages, but they are probably grown under some other local etiquette. However I do see that mondeuse blanc is authorized in Vin de Savoie , and that dureza also comes from the region.
Although another source lists "dureza" as coming from the Ardeche [!] and being practically extinct. Also has Mondeuse Blanche [sic] so apparently this is so shrouded in the mists of time that we're no longer sure what the gender is; although feminine is of course the more logical.
-E
Reply to
Emery Davis

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