The History of Wine in 100 Bottles: From Bacchus to Bordeaux and Beyond

The History of Wine in 100 Bottles: From Bacchus to Bordeaux and Beyond

Oz Clarke

Language: English

Pages: 224

ISBN: 1454915617

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Winemaking is as old as civilization itself, and this illuminating volume takes a unique approach to that history: by exploring 100 bottles that have had the biggest impact on the evolution of wine. Moving from the first cork tops to screw caps, renowned wine writer Oz Clarke presents such landmarks as the introduction of the cylindrical wine bottle in the 1780s; the first estate to bottle and label its own wine (formerly sold in casks to merchants only); the most expensive bottle sold at auction and the oldest unopened bottle; the change in classifications; and the creation of numerous famous vintages. Fully illustrated with photographs of bottles, labels, and other images, this is a beautiful tribute to the "bottled poetry" that is wine.














even any châteaux to speak of, and wines from whatever estates there were never appeared under their own names – they were sold to merchants in Bordeaux city who blended them up without a thought for their provenance, and shipped them off in casks. The only names these wines would ever bear would be those of the Bordeaux merchant or of the importer. That simply wasn’t going to satisfy de Pontac. His family had acquired the estate of Haut-Brion just south of Bordeaux in 1525. Its land is

they’ve gone. A Magnum is two bottles, and often thought to be the best size if you’re interested in ageing wines. Then it gets more complicated. Bordeaux has a three-bottle size (the Marie-Jeanne), a four-bottle Double Magnum and a six-bottle Jeroboam. But Champagne and Burgundy call the four-bottle size a Jeroboam, and the six-bottle size a Rehoboam. And we’re not done. Bordeaux strikes back with an eight-bottle Imperial, while Champagne and Burgundy call their eight-bottle a Methuselah. And

either Marqués de Murrieta or Marqués de Riscal. But it’s not quite as clear-cut as you might want. Murrieta made his first Rioja vintage in 1852 – but it wasn’t at his bodega. Riscal started building his bodega in 1850, but he didn’t make his first vintage until 1860. Which was the year that Murrieta established his own bodega. Both of them imported Bordeaux ideas, especially concerning oak barrels, how to make them and how to use them. Both began by planting Bordeaux grape varieties like

fruits, the same haunting scent wrapped round the javelin of acidity are still there, as ever. As the winemaker says, ‘In Vega Sicilia our acidity is our passport to eternity.’ And the King of Spain does now get his allocation. Although Great Britain’s Queen Elizabeth may not be so lucky. When she visited Madrid, the ambassador wanted to serve Vega Sicilia but, well, he had to wait his turn, just like everybody else. 1920-1933 Prohibition They called Prohibition the ‘Noble Experiment’. But

1154-1453 The Birth of Claret So often in our history, it’s politics, not taste, that decides what our favourite tipple is going to be. One of our lot marries the King of Spain’s daughter, so suddenly we’re all drinking sherry. A Dutch prince suddenly turns up on the English throne, so suddenly we’re all drinking gin. And it’s the same with Bordeaux and its wine, which for hundreds of years became known as the Englishman’s drink – claret, or the light red wine of Bordeaux. Bordeaux had been

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