Mysterious sherry transports

Arthur Kenyon in Letters from Spain (GBS), in an otherwise standard mid-19th century account of the sherry trade in Jerez (“Zeres”), writes:

A good deal of the wine makes a voyage to India and back before it is mixed in the way I have described and sent to England.

Maybe the guys over Catavino will be able to tell me whether this is a Kenyon metaphor–I’ve never met it elsewhere–or whether there would actually have been some compelling reason for doing such a thing.

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  1. Omigod, I googled it and it’s true. Here it says:

    “The concept of linie aquavit happened by accident in the 1800s. Jørgen Lysholm owned a distillery in Trondheim, Norway. His mother and uncle sent a batch of aquavit to Asia on a large sailing ship, hoping to market it there. It didn’t sell, however, and five barrels were shipped back to Trondheim. When the aquavit arrived back in Norway, Lysholm noticed it had a richer flavor. At that time, Norway was shipping dried cod around the world. Lysholm began loading barrels of aquavit onto freighters that carried the cod, and retrieving them at the end of a long round trip.”

    So would the same thing happen if you left it in the bath with some hake?

  2. I’ve never heard of the Sherry trips(not to say they didn’t occur), though with the wines that were brought on travels, oxidation was the biggest enemy. Many oxidized wine traditions came from such travels. Madeira being one of them. Oxidized wine lasts longer and while I don’t know for sure, it would not surprise me that this occured. As for the Aquavit, I know this for a fact! I love Linie, especially some of the higher end stuff, and this does make the trip to earn the name!


  3. Transport costs were relatively quite high, so these must have been rather expensive treats. Being jolted around was obviously a factor, but it’s difficult for me to understand why they couldn’t achieve the same effect by driving barrels up and down a nearby hill in a cart, or even using a machine. Not as romantic, of course.

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