No Sack please
Replies: 13 - Last Post: Oct 17, 2012 4:33 AM Last Post By: pinchaque
Oct 14, 2012 2:22 AM
Oct 14, 2012 4:02 AM
Oct 14, 2012 5:06 AM
Oct 14, 2012 7:49 AM
4The editors of the OED must have enjoyed their sherry, for this particular meaning of sack has one of the longest etymologies I've seen in the dictionary:
"Early 16th c. wyne seck, ad. F. vin sec, 'dry wine'. Cf. G. sekt, earlier (17th c.) sek, Du. sek. Vin sec is given by Sherwood 1632 (but not by Cotgrave 1611-32) as the Fr. equivalent of 'sacke'. According to Littré, vin sec meant only 'dry wine' in the current Eng. sense, i.e. wine 'free from sweetness and fruity flavour'; there appears to be no ground for the assumption made in Grimm's Deutsches Wörterbuch, s.v. Sekt (and in earlier German dictionaries from the 17th c. onwards), that it at some time meant 'wine from dried or partially dried grapes'. Some difficulty therefore arises from the fact that sack in English, as well as sekt in German, was often described as a sweet wine (so already in our earliest quot.), though Shakspere's mention of 'sack and sugar' shows that it was not always such even in the 16th c. It is possible that before the recorded history of the name begins it had already been extended from the 'dry' wines of a certain class to the whole class, and had afterwards come to be applied esp. to those wines of the class which were originally excluded. But evidence is wanting. The Sp. *vino seco, It. *vino secco, usually cited by etymologists, appear not to be recognized by the lexicographers of the respective langs. The form sack is not a normal development from the original seck. It may perhaps be explained by the fact that in the 16th c. seck was a provincial form of sack n.1; persons who were accustomed to regard 'seck' as a mispronunciation of sack may have applied the supposed correction to the name of the wine. It is not, in the present state of the evidence, probable that there was ever any confusion with the OF. vin de sac (' Saccatum, vin de buffet, vin de sac', in a gloss quoted by Godefr.), OHG. sacwîn (written saicwin ), MDu. sacwijn, which according to early explanations meant a beverage made by steeping the lees of wine in water, and then straining through a bag."
Oct 14, 2012 8:30 AM
5From an article in the British Medical Journal, March 23, 1861. The author is agreeing with a Dr. Barclay that moderation is better than teetotalism. Given human proclivity to excess, a teetotaler will just find something else ot binge on.
Oct 14, 2012 3:01 PM
Oct 14, 2012 4:56 PM
Oct 14, 2012 9:29 PM
Oct 15, 2012 4:41 AM
Oct 17, 2012 3:15 AM
10It mentions in the wiki-article on Sack that the British used to drink sweet and fortified wines they called Sack not just from Sherry (Jerez) but also Canary, Mallorca (known as Palm, from the city of Palma) and Malaga.
Sweet/fortified Malaga remains in production, just. I used to drink Malaga from time to time 20-30 years ago, and very occasionally see it for sale today in England. However I only found one brand, Scholtz Hermanos, that was good - indeed it was superb - but the rest I came across were all exceedingly unpleasant, with a distinct taste of disinfectant. Google tells me Scholtz have closed. I suspect that if they had managed to hang on a little longer, the Spanish themselves would have discovered this great wine and they could have made money, a lot of money, for it. It was made with a solera system, like Sherry. A few other Malaga producers hang in, and maybe they can make this wine great again.
Canary wine is occasionally referred to in Shakespeare, and more recent literature too. This wine was made from the Malvasia grape (known as Malmsey in English, just as for Malmsey Madeira), which is still grown in the Canaries, but fortified wines appear to have long gone out of production there. I guess the Port wine trade destroyed their market.
I've never heard of Palm before. The term palm wine now refers to wine made from palm tree sap, as drunk in SE Asia, Pacific Islands, etc. Apparently wine-making was substantially abandoned in Mallorca during the phylloxera plague, but has come back again in recent decades, though a few estates date back 100 years or so. Fortified wine does not appear to be in production.
Oct 17, 2012 3:43 AM
11How strange, I had some Malaga yesterday with raisins on ice cream.
I've just put two and two together.
Oct 17, 2012 4:19 AM
Oct 17, 2012 4:33 AM
13On the subject of peculiar sherry, A friend of mine bought a weird bottle of Soviet sherry at a wine auction which seemed on first glance like a ridiculous product for anythign other than novelty value.
I never knew that the Massandra vineyard in the Crimea was Tsar Nicholas's favourite and the 1775 vintage is worth about $43k a bottle.
(4 star Hotel)
From US$173.18 per night
(0 star Hotel)
From US$20.15 per night
(0 star Hotel)
From US$34.32 per night