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practice as necessary for the extension of seem enough; but, in fact, the main evil the trade: “ The English merchants knew arises out of it; for to make wine keep, that the first rate wine of the factory had which has been made from all sorts of become excellent ; but they wished it to grapes, it must be largely loaded with exceed the limits which nature bad assigned spirits, which being distilled from a mass to it, and that when drunk it should feel of unripe as well as ripe fruit, with the like liquid fire in the stomach; that it rotten grapes and stalks superadded, proshould burn like inflamed gunpowder; that duces a base deleterious substance. This, it should have the tint of ink; that it should although called brandy, is not what we be like the sugar of Brazil in sweetness, know under that name. The brandy in and like the spices of India in aromatic use in this country is distilled from grapes flavour. They began by recommending, by which have been grown on fine land, fully way of secret, that it was proper to dash it ripe, with spoiled part and stalks excluded, with brandy in the fermentation, to give it and has a fine rich taste and flavour; while strength, and with elder berries, or the the brandies chiefly used in preparing rind of the ripe grape, to give it colour; and wines for our vitiated stomachs are either as the person who held the prescription Portuguese or Spanish, and are of a kind found the wine increase in price, and the so base as to be detected at once if tasted English merchants still complaining of a alone. Cognac and Nantz, like all other want of strength, colour, and maturity in spirituous liquors, are bad enough, perhaps, the article supplied, the recipe was propa- but the abominable strengthener of almost gated until the wines became a mere confu- all our wines, being distilled from the fersion of mixtures."*
mented refuse of half-ripe Spanish and The testimony just quoted is corrobo- Portuguese grapes, is positively poison. rated by numerous writers who demonstrate Our palates, our national taste, have become that the wines exported to this kingdom from vitiated; nay, our very intestines, it may various parts of the world are almost invari- be said, have become trained, as it were, to ably adulterated with ardent spirit. Dr. crave for the deadly mixture. To drink Henderson, in writing upon port wine, re- wine largely has long been customary and marks, “ that with the people of this coun- fashionable; and to bring it within the reach try, a notorious partiality exists in favonr of as many as could be, it had to be made as of a wine of which the harshness, bitterness, cheap as possible; and when the middling acidity, and other repulsive qualities, are classes entered generally into its use, it had only disguised by a large admixture of to compete and compare with the spirituous ardent spirit, but which long use has ren- liquors they had been accustomed to drink; dered so palatable to its admirers, that they to do which, and to lighten up the dull and fancy it the best of all possible wines.” Dr. stupid, it was requisite it should inebriate M‘Culloch has made some judicious re- in much about the same space of time as marks on the difference which exists between spirits did. The foreign wine companies, by the light and quick flavour of pure French degrees, came thus to charge it with the wines, and those adulterated with the addi. base and nearly unsaleable spirit before detion of ardent spirit. “The common cause,” scribed; by which means they sent very insays he, “of this evil is the admixture of ferior wine, with still worse brandy, to be brandy or spirits. This practice, universal here consumed under the name and at the in the wines of Spain, Portugal, and Sicily, price of wholesome, delicious, genuine which are intended for the English market, wine.” has also been introduced into our domestic The following observations, on this subwines, under the mistaken notion of pre-ject, are extracted from an article in a late venting them from turning sour, and with number of the Quarterly Review :-“For the idea that it enabled them to keep for a the English market, the secondary growths longer time.”
and vins ordinaires of Medoc are bought up A gentleman, well acquainted with the and mingled with the rougher growth of practice of adulterating wines, writes thus: the Palus. And even this compound will * Every one knows that the wines of Por- not reach the proof for our fire drinkers; tugal, consumed in this country, are and because our mouths have been seared obtained exclusively through the medium with brandied ports, there must be in Bourof the Oporto wine company, who enjoy a deaux a particular manufacture called tramonopoly of the trade, and whose interest vail d'Angleterre,—three or four gallons and practice it has been to render all the of the inflammable ink of Alicant, or Beni qualities of port wine of nearly a similar Carlo, with half a gallen of Stum wine, and taste, by means of the intermixture of the a dash of hermitage to every hogshead of bad with the good. Were the above mix- Medoc.” The same reviewer, in treating of ture all we had to complain of, it would sherry, adds: “ It is monstrous, that even
this fine wine, so powerful in itself, should
be defiled with brandy; and if the quantity * Original documents respecting the injurious do not, as Dr. Henderson asserts, exceed effects and impolicy of a further con in ince of the three or four gallons to the butt, it is several Portuguese Royal Company of Oport). Londin, 1813, p. 40.
years before the wine recovers from its in
fiuence and develops its own oppressed fla- it is mixed with real port, affording a very
The vitiated taste of the English great profit to the dealer. But a large pormarket is the only excuse for the merchants; tion of what is sent into the country, and for the wine itself cannot require the ad- consumed under the name of port wine, is mixture.” “We do think it a serious evil, entirely a fictitious production.” no matter how produced or how far reme- Dr. Lee remarks, that in 1832 he met diable, that the national taste should have with “ several cases of cholera, apparently become habituated to the brandied, fiery, induced by drinking cheap port wine." deleterious potations which are known as The cheap port wine sold in this country common port.” “The genuine supply of is manufactured principally by that class of good Oporto is notoriously and utterly un- chemical operators to whicho Addison has equal to the demand which the protection made allusion. The Wine Guides contain occasions for it; and every temptation is, ample directions for its easy manufacture. therefore, created to mix it with villanous The following among many other receipts trash, and to cover the adulteration with for making port wine, found in Wine excessive quantities of brandy.” “ The Guides, may sufice as a specimen:-Take Sicilian wines which we import are generally of good cider 4 gallons, of the juice of red disguised and poisoned with the execrable beet 2 quarts, brandy 2 quarts, logwood brandy of the island; and this attempt to 4 ounces, rhatany root bruised if a pound; give strength to weak wines must always first infuse the logwood and rhatany root in utterly extinguish their flavour. As long brandy and a gallon of cider for one week, as the practice prevails, it is useless to hope then strain off the liquor, and mix the other for improvement, even though the hills at ingredients, keep it in a cask for a month, the foot of Mount Etna be, as one vast when it will be fit to bottle." vineyard, producing great varieties of A writer of talent, in the 43rd number of wine.”
the Quarterly Review, makes the following A traveller of comparatively recent date remarks:—“The manufactured trash which thus remarks on the wine of Xeres: “That is selling in London, under the name of which is sent to England is always mixed Cape, Champagne, Burgundy, Barsac, Sauwith brandy. Most of the wine-merchantsterne, &c., are so many specious poisons, in Xeres have distilleries to make brandy, which the cheapness of the common and into udd to the wine, but do not export any.
** ferior wines of the Cape allows the venders To these interesting quotations may be of them to use as the bases of the several added some further remarks of Dr. Hender-compositions, at the expense of the stomach
“ The number of hands through which and bowels of their customers.” wine usually passes before it reaches the Mr. Busby, in his interesting work on the consumer, the great difference of price be- Wine Districts, states, in reference to the tween the first rate and the inferior sorts, low-priced wines which are palmed on the and the prevailing ignorance with respect public for sherry, that all these lower priced to their distinguishing characters, afford so wines are largely mixed with brandy, being many facilities and temptations to fraud intended for the consumption of a class of and imposition in this branch of trade, that people who are unable to judge of any no buyer, however great his caution, how- quality in wine but its strength. The same ever just his taste, is wholly seeure against writer remarks, that “brandy is always them.”
added to the finest sherries on their shipment, Dr. Charles A. Lee, of America, remarks to enable them to bear the voyage, it is said, on this passage:
“ The same is true of but, in reality, because strength is one of the nearly all the port wine sold in the United first qualities looked for by the consumers.' States, and of the cheap port without ex- Again, “ in no case do the exporters send a ception.”
genuine natural wine, that is, a wine as it The same writer in another place re. comes from the press, without a mixture of marks: “In this country, the manufacture other qualities. of port wine is no longer a secret. The Large quantities of fictitious sherry are drinkers of it seem to care so little whether manufactured in this country, of which some the article be genuine or not, that it would of the cheaper wines form the basis. To be an act of supererogation to attempt se- these are added brandy-cowe, extract of crecy. All that appears to be required is, almond-cake, cherry-laurel-water, gumthat it bear a good colour, and contain sufti- benzoin, and lamb’s-blood, as occasion or cient brandy. A red wine is imported from variety may require. Claret is equally Marseilles and Bourdeaux, at about 40 cents adulterated with other wines. A small a gallon, called French port, which is made quantity of Spanish red wine, with a porinto • first rate’ Oporto, by adding a little tion of rough cider, previously coloured by burnt sugar, or a decoction of Brazil wood, means of berry dye, or tincture of Brazil and a portion of alcohol. Sometimes also wood, is added to a cask containing inferior
claret. The cheap placarders and advertise
ers are enabled to reduce their prices, by a * Jacch's Travels in Spain, 4to, 1809. + Bacchus, American ed., note, p. 252.
* Visit to the Vineyards of Spain and France.
little management in the apportioning what by means of lead, which is practised is a is used of the Spanisk red wine and the great extent, among the dealers in France, cider."*
in preparing wine for exportation. It con“ The Cape wint generally sold to the sists of a solution of sugar of lead in water, public is composed the drippings of the with a small allowance of alcohol. By aducocks from the various casks in the adulter- ing a little nitric acid, and then
ortion of ator's cellars, the filterings of the lees of the sulphuric acid, to a tumbler-full of this fluid, different wines in his cellar, any description I have lately seen a deposit of sulphate of of bad or spoiled white wines, with the ad- lead, in the form of white flakes, filling onedítion of brandy or rum-cowe and spoiled third of the glass, and this too in a sample cider. “The delicately pale Cape sherry, that came direct from the importer.” or Cape Madeira, at astonishingly low Champagne appears to be adulterated to such prices, and, of course, for reudy money, is perfection, that even good judges are unable composed of the same delicious ingredients, to ascertain the difference between the gewith the addition of extract of almond cake, nuine and spurious article. In America, acand a little of that delectable liquor, lamb's-cording to the same physician, the price blood, to decompose its colour, or, in the of champagne varies from twenty shillings cant phraseology, to give it complexion.”+ to thirteen dollars per dozen. Mr. Busby
The Mechanics' Magazine not long ago affirms, that genuine champagne is never gave the following accurate analysis of a sent out of France at less than three francs, bottle of cheap port wine: “Spirits of wine or sixty cents, a bottle. Wemust conclude, 3 ounces, cider 14 ounces, sugar 15 ounces, therefore, that a considerable proportion of alum 2 scruples, tartaric acid 1 scruple, the wine sold in America under that name strong decoction of logwood 4 ounces.' cannot be genuine.
The following recipe to colour claret and The following paragraph relates to a port will serve as an illustration of this me- practice of habitual occurrence:—“A comthod of imposition: “Take as many as you pany of Frenchmen have contracted with please of damascenes, or black sloes, and some farmers in Herefordshire for a consistew them with some dark-coloured wine, derable quantity of the fresh juice of cerand as much sugar as will make it into a tain pears, which is to be sent to them in syrup. A pint of this will colour a hogs- London, immediately after it has been exhead of claret. It is also suitable for red pressed, or before fermentation has comport wines, and may be kept ready for menced. With the recently expressed juice use."
they made last year an excellent brisk wine, If fictitious wines should perchance pos- resembling the finest sparkling champagne; sess tou high a colour, an equally efficient and we are told that the speculation was so remedy is found: “If a butt of sherry is too productive, that they have resolved considerhigh in colour, take a quart of warm sheep ably to extend their manufactory.”* or lamb's blood, mix it with the wine, and The following important extract from the when thoroughly fine draw it off, when you “ Times” newspaper of June, 1838, is of will find the colour as pale as necessary.- considerable importance: “It is not, perThe colour of other wines, if required, may haps, generally known, that very large esbe taken off in the same manner.”
tablishments exist at Cette and Marseilles, in A recipe, which we now give from a the south of France, for the manufacture of work of authority, is said to produce a every description of wines, the natural pro“ beautiful red colour" in the manufacture ducts not only of France but of all other of spurious port wine: " Take of raspings wine-growing and wine-exporting countries. of red sandars wood six ounces, spirits of Some of these establishments are on wine one quart; infuse fourteen days, and large a scale as to give employment to an filter through paper for use. It produces a equal, if not greater, number of persons beautiful red colour for port wine."|| than our large breweries. It is no uncom
The value of champagne renders it a mon occurrence with speculators engaged fruitful subject in the hands of adulterators. in this sort of illicit traffic, to purchase and Most of the second-rate champagne sold in ship imitation wines, fabricated in the this country is prepared from the juice of places named, to Madeira, where, by colacıd fruits, such as the gooseberry. Dr. Lees susion with persons in the custom-house deremarks, that the high price of good cham-partment of the island, the wines are landed payne wine has led to many adulterations in the entrepot, and thence, after being an imitations of it, some of them of a most branded with the usual marks of the pernicious and dangerous character.-genuine Madeira vintage, re-shipped prinSuch,” he observes, “is the common one cipally, it is believed, for the United States.
The scale of gratuity for this sort of
work to the officials interested may be es* Wine and Spirit Adulterations Unmasked,
timated by the fact, that, on one occasion, pp. 104 and 125. # Deadly Adulterations, p. 20.
seventy pipes were thus surreptitiously # The Vintners' and Licensed Victuallers' Guide, passed at a charge of 1000 dollars. It is a $ Ibid., p. 234. À Palmer's Publicans' Director, p. 91.
* Reece's Monthly Gazette of Health, 1829.
circumstance no less singular, that the same particular appeared in the Acta
Germunica, maneuvre is said to be cominonly carried a publication of high repute.* The practice on with counterfeit wine made up in Cette was universally condemned as dangerous, and Marseilles, and thence despatched to and in some of the German states it was Oporto, where the same process of landing, made a capital offence.f Soon after this branding, and re-shipment, as genuine port, event, some individuals who had infringed is gone, through; the destination of this this law were punished by hard labour. A spurious article being most generally to the wine-cooper at Eslingen revived this in uUnited States. Such is the extent of this rious practice, and induced other indi.inefarious commerce, that one individual duals in various places to adopt the same alone has been pointed out in the French plan; he was condemned, however, to lose ports who has been in the habit of despatch- his head. Those persons who had the ing, four times in the year, twenty-five adulterated wines in their possession were thousand bottles of champagne each ship- severely fined, and the noxious compounds ment, of wines not tlie produce of the cham-were destroyed. I pagne districts, but fabricated in these wine The well-known endemic colic of Poitou, factories. It is known that the imposition which first made its appearance in 1572, of these counterfeit wines has arrived at and raged with fearful violence for a period such a pitch as to have become quite noto- of sixty or seventy years, is now generally rious, and the subject of loud complaint in acknowledged to have arisen from the the United States, at least.”
adulteration of wine with lead. The disease Dr. Charles A. Lee says: "Champagne called lead colic thus derived its scientific is made from Newark cyder (in America), name, colica pictonum. In 1781 and 1782, in large quantities; and champagne baskets almost every individual of three regiments and bottles are in great demand for the in Jamaica was attacked with an epidemic purpose of replenishment.” Again: “It is colic, which, on investigation, was found to pretty well understood that such a thing as arise
from the presence of lead in the rum. the pure juice of the grape is unknown in Dr. J. Hunter, who paid some attention to this country, and that a large proportion of this subject, seems to suppose that the lead the wines consumed in the United States might be dissolved in the spirit while passis entirely factitious.”*
ing through the leaden worms of the appaIt has already been seen that brandy is ratus used in distillation. There appears almost universally used in the fictitious some reason, however, to doubt this cunpreparation of wines. This inflaming com-clusion. pound also appears to be the never-failing The lead colic, at one period, during the panacea when they are subject to diseases, cider season, prevailed to a most alarming and likely to run into decomposition. Other extent in the southwest counties of Engmaterials are, þowever, in common use. land. From evidence carefully collected by These are so numerous, that a few of them Şir George Baker it appears, that this epionly will be presented to the notice of the demic arose from the cider being adulterated reader.
with lead, partly with the design to correct The practice of using lead in the prepa- its acescence, when in a diseased state, and ration of wine had its origin at an early partly also from the liquor becoming imdate. It was not, however, until a compa- pregnated with the metal through which it ratively late period that the custom was had to pass.|| The records of the French looked upon as dangerous in its effects. The police bear testimony to the same iniquitous ancients were accustomed to boil their practice in 1696. wines in leaden vessels, although the ad- About 1750, a curious discovery was mixture of other mineral substances was made by the farmers-general of France. deemed injurious to health. I
For some years previous to that date,' it Lead is usually employed to improve the appears that 30,000 hogsheads of sour wine taste of acesent or harsh wines. The Ger- were annually brought to Paris, professedly man emperors issued decrees against its for the purpose of making vinegar, The
betwixt the years 1498 and 1577. In previous yearly imports, however, did not the year 1696, several persons in the duchy exceed 1200 hogsheads. On inquiry it was of Wirtemberg were poisoned, in conse- found that the vinegar merchants corrected quence of drinking wine adulterated with the sourness of the wines with litharge, and ceruse, a well-known preparation of lead. thus made them in a fit state for the markets. I The practice was defended under the pretence that its use was sanctioned by physi
* Cockelius, Acta Germ., Dec. 1, An. iv., Obs. 30. cians of high authority. The attention, Brunnerus, Ibid., Obs. 92. Vicarius, Ibid., Obs. 100. however, of physicians and legislators n'as Riselius, Ibid., Dec. 1, An. v., Obs. 251. directed to the subject. Various articles in
+ Gmelin's Geschichte der Mineralischen Gifte,
Erfindun iii., * Bacchus, American ed., p. 260.
+ Wines that do not yield a sixth part of their $ Transact. London Col. of Physicians, iii., 227. quantity of spirit are not worth the expense of || Ibid., i., 216. working.-PUBLICANS' GUIDE.
Paris and Fonblanque's Medical Jurisprudence, Plin. Hist. Nat., xxiii., 2.
vol. ii., p. 347.
I Beckmann Geschichte der
There appears some reason to suppose that crets belonging to the Mysteries of Vintners," the practice is not unknown in France in p. 31, is found the following direction to the present day; and, as a well-known prevent wine from becoming acid:-" To writer observes, the small tart wines used in hinder wine from turning, put a pound of such abundance, by people of all ranks in melted lead, in fair water, in your cask, that country, hold out strong encouragement pretty warm, and stop it close;" and “ To and facilities to its perpetration.* Accord- soften gray wine, put in a little vinegar, ing to Cadet de Gassicourt, it is quite com- wherein litharge has been well steeped, and mon in France to render brandy pale by boil some honey to draw out the wax, and means of the same pernicious ingredient.- strain it through a cloth, and put a quart Monsieur Boudet, indeed, detected in it of it through a tierce of wine, and this will several samples which were submitted to his mend it.” The Vintners' Guide contains inspection.f
some directions for clearing cloudy or muddy Dr. Shearman relates a case of a fatal wines. Sugar of lead is one of the articles character, from the adulteration of Geneva recommended to be used for this purpose. with lead, which fell under his own obser- "Gypsum or alabaster is used to clear cloudy vation. The criminal, in this instance, was white wines, as also fresh slaked lime, and an Excise officer, who pursued this nefarious the size of a walnut of sugar of lead, with a practice, in order to enhance the price of table-spoonful of sal enixum, is put to forty gin, which he had seized in the performance gallons of muddy wine, to clear it; and of his duty. On investigation it was found hence, as the sugar of lead is decomposed, that he had purchased twenty-eight pounds and changed into an insoluble sulphate of of sugar of lead at one time.
lead, which falls to the bottom, the practice The following statement, among others, is not quite so dangerous as has been remay be adduced in proof of lead or some presented."* other equally poisonous material being used Accum states that the most dangerous in the adulteration of wine:—“On the 17th adulteration of wine is by some preparation of January, the passengers by the ‘High- of lead, which possesses the property of flyer' coach from the north, dined, as usual, stopping the progress of ascescence, and at Newcastle. A bottle of port wine was also of rendering white wine, when muddy, ordered, on tasting which, one of the pas- transparent. I have good reason, he fursengers observed that it had an unpleasant ther observes, to state, that lead is certainly flavour, and begged that it might be changed. employed for this pnrpose. "The effect is The waiter took away the bottle, poured very rapid, and there appears to be no into a fresh decanter half the wine which other method known of rapidly recovering had been objected to, and filled it up from ropy wines.”+ And again:"Wine merchants another bottle. This he took into the persuade themselves that the minute quanroom, and the greater part was drank by the tity of lead employed for this purpose is passengers, who, after the coach had set perfectly harmless; but chemical analysis out towards Grantham, were seized with proves the contrary; and it must be proextreme sickness; one gentleman, in parti- nounced as highly deleterious. Lead, in cular, who had taken more of the wine than whatever state it is taken into the stomach, the others, it was thought would have died, occasions terrible diseases; and wine, adulbut has since recovered. The half of the terated with the minutest quantity of it, bottle of wine sent out of the passengers' becomes a slow poison. The merchant or room was put aside, for the purpose of mix- dealer who practises this dangerous sophising negus in the evening. "Mr. Bland, of tication adds the crime of murder to that Newark, went into the hotel and drank a of fraud, and deliberately scatters the seeds glass or two of wine-and-water. He re- of disease and death
those who conturned home at his usual hour and went to tribute to his emolument.”Í bed. In the middle of the night he was Orfila, in his work on Poisons, has the taken so ill as to induce Mrs. Bland to send following passage: Sugar of lead, cerusse, for his brother, an apothecary in that town; and still more frequently litharge, are mixed but before that gentleman arrived he was with acid or sharp-tasted wines, in order dead. An inquest was held, and the jury, to render them less so; and these subafter the fullest inquiry, and the examina- stances do, in fact, give them a sweet taste.” tion of the surgeon, by whom the body was The same writer describes the effects of opened, returned a verdict of-Died by lead as follows: “ It gives a sweet, astrinpoison.”ę.
gent, metallic taste, constriction of the In Graham's Treatise on the Preparation throat, pain in the stomach, desire to vomit, of Wines, under the division entitled “ Se- or vomiting :” and “foetid eructations,
hickup, difficulty in respiration, thirst, * Treatise on Poisons by Professor Christison, cramps, coldness of limbs, convulsions, 1832, p. 479.
+ Sur les Vins lithargyries, Mem, de l'Academie, 1787, p. 280.
* Vintners' and Licensed Victuallers' Guige, I Transactions of the Medical Society of London, p. 225.
† Accum's Culinary Poisons, p. 95. § Monthly Magazine, March, 1811, p. 188.