Mmmmm, adulterated Burgundy


I was going to write a piece on the traditional practice of ‘Hermitaging’ wine. This involves adding beefy Southern wines such as Hermitage to lighter wines like Claret or Burgundy to give them a bit more body. This is now thought to be a shameful practice. It wasn’t always so. There is an example in the 1860s of a lot of Latour adulterated with Hermitage going for more than the pure stuff. Of course nothing like this goes on nowadays but you can recreate the spirit of the Victorian wine merchant in the comfort of your own home. In an earlier post I described mixing past-it claret from my friend’s cellar with more modern Rioja. I told Bob Tyrer from the Sunday Times about my more modest experiments recently and he has written them up in his column so rather than write my own article, I’ve just pasted his on the left:


About Henry

I’m a drinks writer. My day job is features editor at the Master of Malt blog. I also contribute to BBC Good Food, the Spectator and others. You can read some of my work here. I’ve done a bit of radio, given some talks and written a couple of books (Empire of Booze, The Home Bar and the forthcoming Cocktail Dictionary).
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2 Responses to Mmmmm, adulterated Burgundy

  1. Chaz Folkes says:

    This sounds a rather good idea, and certainly ought to brighten up hard times as Bob Tyrer says. When things get really thin, I’ve discovered that you can also invigorate cheap red Vin de Pays D’Oc with Cassis, or if it’s really rough, a slug of Crème de Framboise. The sweetness really takes away the taste of the plastic bottle, but the downside is that it increases the poke considerably, and should be drunk with caution…

  2. Henry says:

    That actually sounds quite delicious. Reminds me a little of the old winter trick of adding a shot of Kahlua to a pint of Guinness. It tastes like boozy chocolate. Don’t have more than one as they are a bit sickly sweet.

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