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Book review: History of Wine Words

>> Tuesday, December 08, 2009

History of Wine Words
By: Charles Hodgson
Publisher: P2Peak Press best use for this book is probably as a dinner conversation piece. Or as something to leaf through idly in the sofa. It a dictionary of wine words – each word is described with a bit of history and sometimes an amusing story. You can learn, for example, that ullage, the empty space between wine and cork, comes from the French ouillage, meaning to top up, which in itself has its roots in the Latin oculus, meaning ‘eye’. And the eye supposedly refers to the empty air space in a barrel. Or that a ‘butt’ is not what you think but a 15th century English word for barrel (or sometimes bottle). I’d have liked to know the origins of the bung, as in the bung hole, but it’s not there unfortunately. The author is a wine lover and etymologist with his own web site at Entertaining.

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