Rude wine terminology

Pisse dru French wine etymology

Beaujolais Nouveau is a relatively new wine in France, and one that cops a fair amount of cynicism from the French (see my post about Beaujolais Nouveau here).

The 2017 batch of Beaujolais Nouveau hit the shelves last week, and I stopped to giggle when I saw the bottles pictured above. The phrase “pisse-dru” literally means to urinate in a straight line. The merchandiser saw me and wanted to explain the history.

Pisse-dru” is also, apparently, a bonafide wine term used in the Beaujolais  wine region, just north of Lyon. So what does it mean? The wine man explained that the term was to refer to the juiciness of the grape. If a harvest produced a lot of juice per grape, the winemakers would describe the grapes as “pisse-dru“. Some smart bunny came up with the idea to include the phrase on bottles in 1955, just a few years after Beaujolais Nouveau had been developed, and the brand Pisse Dru was born.

I’m from Australia and we call things as we see them. Seriously, we have the Blue Mountains because they look blue from a distance, the Snowy Mountains (take a guess), the Great Sandy Desert (duh) and Ninety Mile Beach (really, yes, and it’s lovely). I grew up with this pragmatism in everyday life, and that’s probably why I’m not so keen on tasting things that sound so gross, like “straight piss”. I’ll just hide that bottle away next to the Jesus sausage and that box of coucougnettes (testicles).

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I’m a technical author, journalist and writer from Australia who has been living in Europe since 2000 and exploring the world from there. My passions are writing, snow sports and travel.

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2 comments on “Rude wine terminology
  1. emilycommander says:

    Jesus sausage! I might feel called upon to send you a box of Belgian “spunk biscuits” if you’re not careful.

    • Wendy says:

      Ewww. they sound less than tasty. My Google search failed to show me the biscuit and now I’m imagining the worst! Still, they might go well with those sweet testicle treats…

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About me

Wendy Hollands writer in Annecy, France

I'm an experienced technical writer based in the French Alps. I enjoy learning French language nuances, winter sports and travel. Drop by wendyhollands.com, my other site.

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