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bottle, has been drunk, and is at length exhaled in the fumes of poetry :
Kreislauf des Wein's.
Aus der Tonne in das Fass,
In die Flasche und in's Glas.
Aus dem Glase in die Kehle,
Aus der Kehle in den Schlund,
Und als Wort dann in den Mund.
Aus dem Worte etwas später
Formt sich ein begeisternd Lied,
Mit dem Menschen Jubel zieht.
Und im nächsten Frühling wieder
Fallen diese Lieder fein,
Und sie werden wieder Wein !
SPARKLING RHINE (HOCK) AND MOSELLE WINES.
Although the making of these is still of recent date, it has already increased considerably, and is gaining more and more attention. The principal places for their manufacture are Hochheim, Mayence, Frankfort, and Coblentz.
Most of them are made from Palatinate wines, as these are particularly adapted for the purpose.
The so-called “Sparkling Moselle’ is also generally made from the growths of the same district, and has a peculiar flavour, supposed to belong to the wines of the Moselle, but with which it has no similarity, being imparted by the following process. In a slight degree,
it is not disagreeable, and is much liked by ladies ; but it is frequently overdone to a nauseous extent:
The small flowers of the elder-tree are carefully plucked from the stalks, and steeped in wine for some hours, after which they are passed through a very fine strainer, and added to the wine. This decoction improves much by age.
The process of making the wine sparkle, and all other preparations, are exactly the same as the in use with champagne.
Many German sparkling wines are fraudulently sold as champagne, under the assumed names of various well-known French firms; and for this object, the brands on the corks and cases, and the labels on the bottles, are imitated so exactly, that they cannot be distinguished.
A treaty of commerce has been long under discussion between Prussia and France, and there is little doubt that it will soon be carried out, notwithstanding the active opposition and jealousies of Austria, and of some of the smaller German states; among these must particularly be classed Nassau, which justly fears that if the wines of France were admitted at a low rate of duty, the produce on the banks of the Rhine could not compete against them. As a matter of course, if there were a treaty, all use of false brands or marks of firms in either country would be punishable, and as this forms a large portion of the trade in the German wine districts, it is not surprising that the proprietors of the great ' false champagne
establishments use every endeavour to keep things as they are.
Neither on the Rhine, nor in any other part of Germany, is red wine grown which can for a moment compete either in price or quality with many of the growths of France. Even now, sparkling wine makers, fearing danger to their corks and cases and labels, are trying to induce wine-merchants and hotelkeepers, whom they supply with (so-called) Fleur de Silleri, Ay, Cramant, Verzenay, &c., to sell with the true German names. By introducing these gradually, they hope to have in some measure accustomed people to call for Moussirender Rüdesheim, Marcobrunnen, &c., instead of always · Champagner Wein,' of Cliquot, &c.
A great drawback to the success of German wines in England may be traced to the high prices at which they are sold. The merchant on the Rhine usually charges 100 per cent., and even more, on the price of the grower, when he has orders from England, Russia, &c.; and as the English merchant must of course charge his profit, it often happens that before the wine reaches the consumer it has risen enormously. The proper way is for the English winemerchant to purchase direct from the grower, and thus to save the intermediate profit; but he must then buy not less than a stück, for growers have rarely even half-stücks for sale.
He should find out who is the most trustworthy broker in the locality, get him to send samples, and,
BUYING BY BROKERS.
when he has decided upon what he wishes, should transmit the amount ; for, as a rule, the farmers and proprietors are always paid as soon as the cask is placed on the buyer's cart.
Generally it may be arranged with the broker to have the stück racked into aums, if the extra expenses are paid. It is evident that it is scarcely possible to purchase in this way, unless there be a knowledge of the language. The broker's commission is usually 2 per cent. besides travelling expenses, &c. It is not advisable to buy very young wines, as these generally suffer from the voyage, and few in England know how to treat them. They should be at least two years old, and may then be kept in wood for a year longer, provided they be once, at least, drawn from the lees and kept filled up. The most advantageous time to purchase is after the vintage, for there are then many who, being in want of money, are anxious to sell. It cannot, of course, be taken as a uniform rule, that the wine is then cheapest, but it occurs, not unfrequently, that a vintage, considered fine at first, may not prove so in the end, and that prices will consequently fall.
Dealers usually keep wines in casks of a stück and half-stück, rack them frequently off the lees, and fine them, so as to have them ready for sale as soon as possible. When a small cask has been filled from a larger, the one that the wine has been drawn from must be again filled up, as it is injurious to Rhenish to be left on ullage. If, from any cause, this cannot
be avoided, a sulphur match should be burned in the empty space, which will be a protection for two or three weeks. The empty casks ought to be well rinsed, placed in a fresh, airy store-room, often examined, and occasionally sulphured.
In bad seasons, the wines are often quite undrinkable, on account of their acid taste ; and it is then usual, in order, in some degree, to counteract this, to put chalk into the cask, and, after it has lain for about a week, the wine is transferred to another cask. To impart a favourite amber colour, a little sugar is burned till it becomes brown, when a glassfull is put into an aum, and the whole stirred about. Sometimes sherry, madeira, or teneriffe are employed to make what is called “old brown hock,' formerly in great repute in this country, but now replaced by purer,
On the Rhine itself, quite new kinds are preferred, on account of the richer taste and flavour which these possess.
Merchants who have a foreign trade, generally add brandy in order to give more strength, but even the smallest quantity injures the delicate flavour of the growths of this district. Purchases by the merchants from the growers or farmers are always in stück (pieces), which are everywhere of the same gauge ; but in Nassau and Hesse the stück fills only 7 aums, while in Frankfort, where the aums are smaller, it fills 8 aums. It is not to be wondered at, according to the usages of trade, that the sales are according to the Frankfort aum.