This unusual photograph shows six young women sitting around a table drinking wine in White Chapel, Dawson in the Yukon territory. White Chapel was the prostitution district of Klondike City. The women are all sporting hats, glasses and bottles of wine, and puppies! There is also a dog. Good times are clearly being staged for there are at least ten bottles of wine and a small cask. Unfortunately, there is not enough resolution to make out what the labels are.
 A drinking “bee” at White Chapel, Dawson. ca 1899. #ASL-P41-053. Alaska State Library. URL: http://vilda.alaska.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/cdmg21/id/6586/rec/13
This image shows five men inside a building or a tavern that contains several wineskins. The men are dressed in three different manners all of which reflect the cooler temperature. The two men who sit in the foreground have some sort of wooly vests that match their hats. The two men that are standing in the background have dark long coats with buttons and darker hats. The fifth man appears to work with the wine, he has an apron on and is filling up a large metal pitcher. There appears to be a brazier on the floor. A few of the skins are probably from ox, one of which is on a shelf or rack several feet off of the ground.
 Cantina col vino nelle otri. Novarese, Vittorio. Ca. 1919-1920. Number 26659. Società geografica italiana. URL: http://www.archiviofotografico.societageografica.it/index.php?it/152/archivio-fotografie/sgi_master_dbase_8563/22375
I am on a bit of a kick when it comes to searching for images that I have never seen before. Today’s image moves us back some 1600 years from India to Egypt to show us a receipt for wine. While I am aware of extensive histories related to Egyptian wine I still find it staggering to see such original documentation. This particular receipt details 84 keramia that were taken from one vat and 85 keramia from another. In Roman Egypt a keramia was one of several measures used.  You may find the complete translation below.
Translation: “Phaophi 18. Herakleides has received from Eu… eighty-four keramia from the first vat and eighty-five keramia from the second vat, which equal one hundred sixty-nine keramia, equal 169. Give the price to the landowner, in accordance with the instructions concerning the contract.”
 URL: http://quod.lib.umich.edu/a/apis/x-1702/294r_a.tif
 Rathbone, Dominic. Economic Rationalism and Rural Society in Third-Century AD Egypt. 1991. URL: http://books.google.com/books?id=ie_GhrbUbZYC&lpg=PP1&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q&f=false
This is an interesting image given the unique wine bottle. It has a protruding cork sealing the opening, sloped shoulder of a dark color, and a red, cylindrical base. The manner in which the shoulders meets the base combined with the color differences suggests it might be earthenware or some other non-glass container. If it truly were dark glass then that implies either a red, wrap around label or some sort of holder. Any thoughts? Were corks produced in India or were they all imported?
 Wine and water-cooler holding a tumbler and bottle. Artist: Muhammad Amir, Shaikh, of Karraya (fl.1830s-40s). c. 1846. The British Library. URL: http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts/FullDisplay.aspx?ref=Add_Or_176
This undated photograph by A.D. Marchand shows Chinese grape pickers, amongst others, in a vineyard owned by James De Barth Shorb. This particular vineyard was located on his 600 acre ranch named San Marino that was a wedding gift from his father-in-law Benjamin Davis Wilson. James De Barth Shorb maintained orchards and vineyards of significant size. For example there were some 102,000 vines in Lake Vineyard and 129,000 in Mound Vineyard. Through his efforts he expanded his father-in-law’s winery making it the San Gabriel Wine Co. There are fascinating histories online so be sure to do a quick search for more information.
James De Barth Shorb passed away in 1896 dating this photograph to the late 19th century. The photograph shows bush farmed vines laden with grape clusters. There are numerous horse-drawn carriages scattered throughout the vineyard as well as empty and full boxes of grape. The carriage in the foreground looks like one a manager would use for the carts in the background are larger and drawn by teams. I do not see any secateurs but do like the conical hat of the man in the right mid-ground.
 “J. de Barth Shorb Vineyards, San Marino”. GS-Agri: grapes: 23451. California Historical Society URL: http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/flipomatic/cic/images@ViewImage?img=chs00000583_116a
This 18th century plan for a German vineyard shows coiled vines trained on individual posts.
 Plan oder Grundriß über einen Distrikt Weinberg auf Königshöfer Gemarkung gelegen, im Küttwigsrhein genannt, wovon den Zehnt Kurpfalz 2/3, dann Fürst Löwenstein-Wertheim und Reichsgraf von Hatzfeld 1/3 zu beziehen haben (Inselkarte). 1779. Landesarchivs Baden-Württemberg. URL: http://www.landesarchiv-bw.de/plink/?f=7-294220-1
It was not until I began to correspond with Mannie Berk, proprietor of The Rare Wine Co., that I began to look at historic wine auction catalogs. Some of these catalogs are multi-page documents with a few hundred lots of wine. Others are simply single-sheet broadsides. In this post I present three publicly available broadsides from the 1840s and 1850s. I find these broadsides interesting because they allow us to trace the movement of specific parcels of wine such as the “Bramin”, “Wanderer”, “Hindostan”, “Mandarin”, and “Odessa” Madeiras. These last three names are new to me.There are also unique wines such as the “Old Lisbon, stood several years on the Lees of Mad[eira].” or the specific parcels of 1836 Jules Lausseau, Chambertin. Perhaps illustrating the practice of blending Bordeaux is the lot of “Hermitage Claret” prior to the lot of Chateau Margaux. We can also learn about the types of wax seals used such as “Green Seal” and “Red Seal” Madeira. The sale of William Plympton’s wines suggest a wide range of wax colors. The right-most column could indicate the wax color because the lot of “Old Black Cork Madeira” is followed by color Black. In this case he used five different colors of wax: black, red, green, brown, and yellow.
 Catalogue of old wines, part of the estate of Thos. B. Adair. December 3, 1845. David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University Libraries. URL: http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/broadsides_bdsmd30948/
 Public sale of superior old wines … Jas. C. McGuire, Auctioneer. Washington City, D. C. . An American Time Capsule: Three Centuries of Broadsides and Other Printed Ephemera. American Memory, The Library of Congress. URL: http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.rbc/rbpe.20100200
 Stock of wines and liquors at auction. ca. 1855. David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University Libraries. URL: http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/broadsides_bdszz164022/