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in the second instance is just in the fact, that the first adds nothing but what should be in the must in good seasons, and is in it, though not in the right proportion; whereas the other adds substances foreign to the grape, and injurious to the human system. The first is pure wine, just as much so as if Nature had given the right proportions: the other is a vile adulteration, rightly and justly condemned.
The author talks a great deal about a subject of which he has a slight dawning, but not much light, or he would know that the must of the same variety of grapes will require a different treatment nearly every season; that some seasons it is furnished so nearly perfect by Nature, that it would be folly to add to it by art (in fact, it would show very little art if the wine-maker added to it); while in other seasons it will not be as perfect, and will need, perhaps, one-third of sugar and water to dilute the acids, and tone down its harshness : and the winemaker, in making these additions, makes it more wholesome and more palatable, consequently of more value to the consumer. Although he cannot attain the delicacy of bouquet of the best seasons, he can still make a good, wholesome wine, which will be almost as good. If he makes poor wine at all, it simply shows that he does not know his business.
This anonymous writer also takes the bold ground, that he can detect whether sugar and water has been added. If it has been added before fermentation, and in the right proportions, and fermentation has been well watched; in short, if every thing has baen done properly, — he cannot detect it; simply because fermentation changes the sugar into alcohol. In 1865, I made Concord wine in ehree different ways. Several casks were made of pure grape-juice: some were Made by adding fifty gallons of sugar and water to a hundred gallons of must; ind, again, other casks were made by fermenting sugar and water on the husks after the bulk of the juice had been expressed. I have shown these samples to hundreds, side by side, good judges of wine too, — perhaps better than the author of that very sage article,— and told them that one was pure grape-juice, asking them to select it . The result was, that some of them picked one sample, some picked the second, and others the third. All agreed, however, that the whole was good wine; and it has all been sold at the same price, although I told every one who wished to know it how it had been made. So much for the knowledge of purity, as he understands the term.
Again: many of our native grapes contain an excess of tannin, or astringcncy, and also of flavor, which makes their wine, if left undiluted, unpleasant to the taste and palate. By toning this down with an addition of water and sugar, we make it palatable and wholesome. Is it, therefore, less pure? or is it not really an improvement, devoutly to be wished by the wine drinking and consuming public? Perhaps it has never dawned upon the writer's mind that our grapes differ very much, in this respect, from the European varieties; and yet this is the case. Even our native varieties differ so much in this respect, that he who should treat their must alike wbuld show thereby that he knew nothing of his business, and is unfit to make wine. Therefore my definition of pure wine differs from that of the gentleman in this, — that I consider wine pure as long as only such ingredients have been aided before ferm:ntation as are naturally in the grape, though perhaps not in the right proportions. Whenever substances or ingredients foreign to the grape are added, it is no longer pure, but an adulteration.
Next we come to "Where are they?" I answer, "In the hands of every wine-maker, worthy of the name, throughout the country." I, for one, am ready to have samples of every cask I make subjected to the most critical chemical analysis; and if any thing is found therein which should not be in good wholesome wine, any thing injurious to health or foreign to good fermented grape-juice, I give this author, or anybody else, full leave to brand me as an impostor or adulterator. 1 have repeatedly offered this test to my opponents ; have requested they would appoint a committee of chemists themselves, who should be at liberty to choose their samples in my cellar: but they have never accepted my offers. If they intend to be fair and manly, and consider the gallying process as great an imposition as they pretend, it is their duty, a duty they owe to the wine-growing interest of the country as well as to humanity at large, to demonstrate that they are right. I am free to confess (and I wish every one who may buy of me to understand it), that, if Nature furnishes me perfect must or grapejuice, I will have it so; if it is imperfect, I will try to remedy these imperfections by adding what Nature should have supplied, and will supply in good seasons, but failed to supply in this particular instance. This prating about adulteration will not convince as practical a people as the American. Let us have facts; investigate, and make your investigations known; or, if you will not do this much for the good cause, you have no right to make accusations which you cannot prove.
Next the writer goes into specifications of varieties, and says he has had Delaware from Cincinnati, Missouri, and Illinois, none of them pure (as he understands that term); and only Messrs. Mottier and Harmes's productions were pure for Delaware. He further says, that the Delaware has in itself all the qualities to make a good wine, and has the character of fully ripening its fruit in all sections. I beg to differ: first, I say he did not know whether he drank pure Delaware wine (as he understands the term), unless the maker chose to tell him how it was made; and, secondly, I contend that the Delaware does not always fully ripen its fruit. I have seen it drop its lerfves so badly, that the grapes could not mature fully. I may differ with him also in the application of the term "ripe." I do not call a grape ripe when it is colored, but only when it has come to maturity without disease, and has hung on the vines, after coloring, until it begins to shrivel. I doubt whether the Delaware will attain this perfection everywhere.
Next our writer treats of the Concord, and says, "In South Illinois and Missouri, it can be grown to make a pleasant light claret wine, with, as we think, however, too much acid, but, nevertheless, very good; and as such we have drunk it." Now, if it contains too much acid, it certainly is not "very good," or even good. Here, however, it does not, in good seasons, and when fully ripe, contain too much acid, but has an excess of aroma, which is certainly tempered down and made more pleasant by adding water and sugar, although it makes a good wine without the addition.
Vol. IL ai
"Isabella," he says, "ranks higher in weight of must than Concord throughout the East, North, and Western States." I beg to differ as far as relates to one of the Western States. The Concord varies here from 750 to 85° by Orchles scale; while the Isabella varies from 6o° to 70° in good seasons, and has long been discarded by us as a wine-grape.
Next comes the Catawba, "on which" (we use quotations)" the reputation of the country so far stands as a wine-producing country." I must differ again. We have at least ten varieties, which all produce a better wine than the Catawba; and, to bring even it to the very highest perfection, the "art of wine-making" must be brought into play to a very large extent. Every one who tastes a Catawba berry, if ever so fully ripe, will find that it contains a great deal of astringency, which makes the wine too harsh if left undiluted. We quote further: "Nevertheless, there are many thousand gallons of really pure Catawba wine made at the West; and, among these good ones, the very best we have ever drunk we received last fall from George Leick, Esq., of Cleveland, O." Now, I happen to know Mr. Leick personally; and he freely acknowledged to me himself, that he added water and sugar, if necessary, to his wines. He would not be the skilful wine-maker he undoubtedly is, if he did not. So much for the writer's knowledge of " pure wine," as he understands the term. I will, however, make him a proposition. I hope to meet him at the next Pomological Congress in St. Louis, as I trust he will not " hide his light under a bushel," as he has done this time. I will then and there exhibit a Catawba, which for flavor, brilliancy of color, and general good quality, I am willing to stake against any sample produced in the country, East, West, North, or South. This I am willing to submit to any committee of chemists that the Pomological Society may appoint, for analysis, and challenge any grape-grower or wine-manufacturer to produce a better or purer article. Will he abide by the decision of that committee? and, should they decide in my favor, will he acknowledge himself beaten? The Iona and Ives's Seedling I will pass by, as I do not know enough about them. What I do know, however, coincides pretty well with his remarks. I think they have both been overrated as wine-grapes.
About Norton's Virginia, however, I know something, having been one of its early defenders; and still think it unequalled for producing a medical wine, resembling the best class of port. He says of it, "Its wine we have found generally nearly pure. It is so rich in itself of all the qualities that make up a good red wine, that there is no necessity of adding any thing thereto." So here he admits that there may be a necessity of adding something to other wines; and yet he has protested against the practice all along.
But, Messrs. Editors, I must close this rather rambling epistle, which I am afraid has already taxed the patience of your readers too much. I think I can leave the public to decide on the points at issue between the writer and myself. He has evidently, as our old German proverb says, "heard the bell ring but does not know where it hangs." He may have notions about wine-making, but really knows very little about it. George Husmann.
Hermann, Mo., July i, 1867.
Clinton Vines Vs. Rose-bugs. — When I saw a paragraph in a horticultural paper advising grape-growers to keep one vine of the Clinton in the garden for the use of the rose-bugs, I thought it merely a feeble joke ; but experience teaches me that it is " nojoque " at all.
I have a Clinton vine at a little distance from a dozen other kinds, and its leaves are entirely riddled by the rose-bugs; while I have not found six bugs on the other varieties, and none at all on the roses.
I pity the want of taste displayed by the bugs, but am glad to find that the Clinton is good for something. J. M. M., Jun.
P. S. — Since writing the above, I have found bugs in abundance on the Franklin: but that only strengthens the case; for the Franklin is much like the Clinton, and just as worthless.
The Celsis Occidentalism or nettle-tree, is quite common with us, and is held in very little repute.
We have never seen a tree of this species, although transplanted from the woods and hedge-rows into good soil and properly cared for, that was equal to our American elm, the different varieties of maples, ash, lindens, or any of our desirable shade-trees.
It may grow better, and be more highly esteemed, in other places; but, if a nursery-man here should offer trees of this variety for sale, poor, indeed, would be his success among those that were acquainted with it. One of the most striking objects we have had this season was a fine bush of the Weigelia Desboisii. 11 is a strong grower, very abundant bloomer, and the flowers of a deep red. We like sometimes, for the sake of variety, to train up shrubs to a single stalk. We have seen the syringa (Philadelphus grandiflorus) almost resemble a tree, and also the Forsytliia. The Weigelia Desboisiii resembles, when trained this way, and seen from a distance, a small tree of the double crimson hawthorn, and is a very attractive object. /. H.
Westburv, N. Hempstead, L.I.
Mealy Bug. — We know of no means of destroying the mealy bug, except constant washing with soap or glue water; and that will only keep the pest under a little. In places swarming with it, it is most likely that the walls and stages and shelves are infested. We have seen slate stages taken up; and, on every bearer, you could scrape off the insects in handfuls; and hence all temporary expedients proved unavailing. In such circumstances, we would thoroughly clean out one house; then we would shut it up closely, and smoke it for forty-eight hours with turpentine and sulphur burned, which, of course, would destroy every green thing and all animal life. We would then wash the house all over with boiling water holding soap in solution, dash it into every joint, and, when dry and exposed, fresh paint and clean. We would next bring in the plants that were cleaned, by cutting them back, and bathing their tops and roots, and then fresh potting in a moist heat. For the present, we know no remedy but washing, and that will only be a palliative. We never found smoking with tobacco of much use.
/echmeas: How To Flower Them Freely. — The /Echmeas are stove herbaceous perennials of comparatively recent introduction; but from the ready manner in which they maybe propagated, and the desire of all who see them in bloom to become possessed of them, they have become very extensively distributed. No great amount of success, however, would seem to have followed this general desire to become possessors of them; as to see them growing and flowering well is the exception rather than the rule. This is too generally attributed to a deficiency of heat, than which no greater mistake can be made.
To do them justice, they must have, when freely growing, an atmosphere well charged with humidity, and an average temperature of 6o° to 75°. They require little or no shading. This, an average stove temperature about April, at which time they are forming fresh shoots, is quite sufficient to perfect their growth. This accomplished, which, in a general way, will carry them on to about the middle of May or the beginning of June, the customary aridity of their native habitats must be artificially imitated. When it is desired to make specimenplants produce all the flowers possible, place them in the most exposed, the hottest, and the dryest position in the stove, and withhold water from them entirely. In this way, their vital energies are to be taxed for a month or six weeks, or, indeed, until they show obvious symptoms of suffering; and this will be found to induce them to form embryo flower-buds at the bottom of their cup-like growths. When this check has induced them to assume a state preparatory to flowering, treatment exactly the reverse of that last described must be suddenly entered upon. Abundance of water must be given to the roots, and the leaves must be syringed frequently; but water should not be allowed at this stage to stand in the cup-like formations previously alluded to, as it not unfrequently causes the embryo flower-spikes to rot away where young.
I have long practised another very simple method of flowering these plants in small pots, and in a form most suitable for in-door decoration, whether for the drawing-room or dinner-table, for either of which they are well adapted. About the middle of May, or between that and the second or third week in June, young shoots of the current season's growth are to be taken from the parent plant by cutting them off at the base, and afterwards laying them on their sides, in any convenient position in the stove, cucumber-house, or frame, for a fortnight or three weeks; after which they are to be potted singly and firmly into 48-sizert pots, in a compost formed of peat, potsherds, and silver sand. They are to be treated subsequently in every respect like established plants. They come into flower from November to January, at a time when good plants suitable for indoor decoration are scarce. It should be well understood that the object in thus laying them upon their sides for a time is to induce the formation of the embryo flowers, and that the check thus given tends to secure this desideratum. By treating Bilbergias and Tillandsias in a similar manner, a like success maybe realized. William Earley.
Difference In The Market. — While native strawberries were selling in Boston for one dollar per quart, they could be bought in Philadelphia for from ten to fifteen cents the quart.