Monday, September 12, 2011
September 12 -- Feast of Blessed Victoria Strata
In any event, when the kids were grown and busy with happy families of their own, she and some like-minded women formed the nucleus of a new order of nuns. Since the habits they wore were blue, they became the Blue Nuns. Victoria was elected Superior of the Order, and lived sweetly until 1617. The order spread throughout France and Italy.
So what does this have to do with Blue Nun, "the first truly global mass market wine brand," according to The Wine Economist?
Not much, except for the coincidence of a label. Unlike many Belgian abbey ales, which really are brewed by monks, this wine was always a commercial enterprise. The company's website doesn't explain why it was called Blue Nun, though it does say that the quality has improved tremendously since the 1970s, when it was head to head in the US market against Martini & Rossi, Paul Masson, Taylor Cellars, and Gallo.
Of course, the one possible connection between real nuns and this wine is that it was a style of Riesling called liebfrauenmilch (often just liebfraumilch in the USA, as if removing "en" makes the word any less unpronounceable). The word means "milk of the blessed lady," which sounds so sacrilegious that I think I'll just call it Riesling from now on. Not that I'll be ordering it anyway -- quality upgrade or no. I'll stick with a St. Sixtus Abt 12 (Trappist ale from St. Bernardus Brouwerie), thanks.
Posted by Tom Major at 4:00 AM