The new terms for some of Australia's much loved wine types have well and truly arrived as part of the vernacular with their acceptance by the Macquarie Dictionary.
Australia’s producers of apera and topaque were rejoicing after their submission to have the new wine category terms ‘apera’ and ‘topaque’ entered into the dictionary was accepted by the publication which is nationally and internationally regarded as the standard reference on Australian English.
Topaque will be joined by apera in the Macquarie Dictionary Online annual update to be released on 1 January 2013 and also in the sixth edition of the print publication later that year.
The inclusion of these new terms has been prompted by an official trade agreement between Australia and the European Union that sees topaque replacing the term tokay here in Australia and apera replacing sherry.
Colin Campbell, Fortified Sustainability Project Committee Chairman and Campbells Wines chief winemaker, who's part of the industry team behind the change, said it was "wonderful to see these words starting to become common place in daily language".
“It always takes a while for new terms to take hold just as it took some time for us to adjust to calling Australian ‘champagne’ sparkling wines but this is a step in the right direction,” said Campbell (pictured).
“It’s exciting to have two terms that have been especially crafted here in Australia that will become known around the world over time.
"Topaque will be a name completely unique to Australia and apera will be a name that Wine Australia can licence to other countries such as South Africa where it also is produced.”
Macquarie Dictionary Publisher and Editor Susan Butler said sometimes the English language changed of its own accord, seemingly undirected by anyone, but at other times it was given a clear nudge in a particular direction as is the case with apera and topaque.
“These new names have yet to acquire a patina of associations and customary usage, but no doubt they will as we settle down to having an apera before dinner and a topaque with dessert,” Butler said.
The Macquarie Dictionary definitions include:
Apera: A fortified and blended wine of Australia, ranging in taste from dry to very sweet. See sherry.
Topaque: A rich, sweet, complex dessert wine of Australia