Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Wine and time - more sayings

I promised more sayings about wine and here they are:

Was die Hundestage gießen, müssen die Trauben büßen. The Hundestage are when the sun is found in the same part of the sky as Sirius (the dog star) i.e. the end of July through to the end of August. If you get to much rain at that time then the quality of the wine will be poor. The same idea is expressed through Wenn gedeihen soll der Wein, muss der Juli trocken sein. But a mild winter that brings little rain or snow is good. Sind im Jänner die Bäche klein, dann gibt im Herbst es guten Wein. Notice the strange placing of es and the typically Austrian use of Jänner for January.

Some sayings relate to the Church calendar. Wenn es Jakobi regnet, ist der Wein nicht sehr gesegnet. Jakobi - St James - is 15 July. Wenn Matthäus weint statt lacht, aus Wein er doch noch essig macht. St Matthew is 21 September and at this time the grapes will have reached a stage of ripening in which heavy rain will disturb the production of sugar (fructose) in the grapes. Soll der Winzer fröhlich sein, tritt Allerheiligen Sommer ein. Sunshine at this time - 1 November - gives extra sweetness to the Spätlese-Trauben.  The grapes harvested very late on when the main season is over give a particularly sweet and high quality wine - not my taste, I'm afraid.

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