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Liebfraumilch, nowadays a generic term for any fairly sweet German white wine made in the Rhine area (used essentially for the British export market, incidentally, not in its homeland), used in the nineteenth century to be applied more specifically to wine made around the Rhineland city of Worms, near Mannheim. There is a church there called the Liebfrauenkirche, ‘church of Our Lady’, which has a small vineyard beside it, and legend has it that the wine made from grapes grown there was originally called Liebfraumilch, literally ‘Our Lady's milk’ (it is nowadays called Liebfrauenstiftswein, ‘wine from the foundation of Our Lady’). It first became well known in Britain in the mid-nineteenth century: Alfred Tennyson noted in a letter (1846) that ‘Dickens was very hospitable, and gave us biscuits and a flask of Liebfraumilch.’

Subjects: Cookery, Food, and Drink.

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