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The Fée Verte Absinthe Forum - The Oldest, Largest, Most Authoritative Absinthe Forum. > Absinthe & Absinthiana > Absinthe History
Funky D
A few questions I ponder, typically after a glass or three of the green stuff:

I realize Pernod Fils (and I'm guessing many other quality absinthe makers of the time) used a wine base in their absinthes. Where did they acquire the wine? Was it to the extent of operating their own vineyards, or did they outsource through other wineries?

Given the vineyards of France were nearly decimated in the late 1800's, how did this effect the production of absinthe? How were absinthe makers able to keep prices down as the cost of wine skyrocketed?

If these questions get answered, I'll know more history about an alcoholic beverage than I do of my family tree. At least a couple of them were French…
Grim
Not to be an asshole, but just to clarify: it wasn't a wine base, it was a spirit-of-wine base.

Unlike an eau-de-vie (brandy), esprit-de-vin was not made in a (cognac-style) 2-step distillation, but typically made in large volumes in a single pass through the still. It was also not aged in the fashion of typical brown spirits, and the taste of the coupe, or cut, in the spirit-of-wine is different; you shoot for less qualities that need balance through age, like spice/pepper and fruit.

The greater part of this style of base came from what is now the Languedoc-Roussillon region. The focal point of that production was Montpellier (for centuries as concerns the art), which has a very long and respected tradition in distilling history.

Unlike spirits from grains, beets, etc. wine produces a more forgiving spirit through rectification: at 85 to 92° Gay-Lussac (a measure of alcoholic strength) spirit derived from wine is not only a very functional and correct base, but it has some rounded, tight characteristics, and has potential to capture very favorable qualities like moelleux if the wine most proper for the still, and the techniques most proper for the spirit are used; grain or beet spirits in that range, with no age… hmm… what is the french word? Nauséabond?
Provenance
I find the technical details to be interesting. Thank you.
Funky D
I appreciate the clarification Grim… a search for "wine" on this forum is as useful as a search for "whine", but your post pushed me to do some further digging. I stumbled on a great thread from a few years back that answered many questions I didn't even have yet.

I also got a glimpse of how entertaining things can get around here when the old-schoolers are provoked. I should probably refrain from posting when drunk.
OCvertDe
Nothing like finding the answers to questions you didn't even have yet to make you feel ahead of the game.

Gotta love the archives around heyah.
speedle
Yes, follow OCD's example there, will ya?
Wild Bill Turkey
QUOTE(Funky D @ Aug 6 2009, 01:39 PM) *

I should probably refrain from posting when drunk.

Man, if it weren't for drunk posting, this place would be a complete waste of time. Well, okay, this place is already a complete waste of time. That's why we love it.
Absomphe
Indeed!
Patlow
You're a completely drunken waste of good time that I love.
Grim
QUOTE(Funky D @ Aug 6 2009, 12:39 PM) *

I appreciate the clarification Grim… I also got a glimpse of how entertaining things can get around here when the old-schoolers are provoked. I should probably refrain from posting when drunk.

Well, don't ever hesitate to ask…

Which thread was it?
Grim
QUOTE(Provenance @ Aug 6 2009, 07:21 AM) *

I find the technical details to be interesting. Thank you.

No thanks necessary… just stay in touch.
Funky D
QUOTE(Grim @ Aug 7 2009, 01:14 PM) *

Which thread was it?


A thead about what grape alcohol tastes like.

p.s. It was hypothesized by someone in that thread (I don't want to read the whole thing again to find the prophet) that the argument of grape alcohol vs. grain alcohol would be resurrected in 3 years. It's getting eerily close to the 3 year mark, and I take no responsibility if the mentioning of that thread rekindles any flames. If it does, you will spot me running away very quickly bye1.gif
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