Letter 368a

368a. Caroline to the Ramann Wine Distributors in Erfurt: Jena, 18 July 1802 [*]

Enclosed are the 13 R[eichstaler] 20 G[roschen] for 1/2 Eimer of Ofner wine and the small cask for Herr Doctor Hegel. [1]


[*] Sources: Freies Deutsches Hochstift, Frankfurter Goethemuseum (manuscript); Hegel in Berichten seiner Zeitgenossen, Philosophische Bibliothek 245 BoD, ed. Günter Nicolin (Hamburg 1970), 47, 576.

Concerning the Ramann Brothers in Erfurt, see Caroline’s letter to Wilhelm on 8 March 1802 (letter 352), in which she mentions their invoice for wine that Friedrich Schlegel had consumed. See esp. note 21 there with cross references. Back.

[1] Wine being packed for shipment ca. 1860 (Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper 9 [1860], no. 214 [Saturday, 7 January 1860], 93):


An Eimer was approximately 12 liters.

Concerning Ofner,or Adlersberger, wine, a Hungarian wine grown in volcanic soil along the Danube River, see also A. Leist, “Ungarische Weine. Die rothen Ungarweine,” Das Ausland. Eine Wochenschrift für Kunde des geistigen und sittlichen Lebens der Völker 22 (1 June 1855), 510–15, here 513–14, “3. Der Ofner”:

Among the Hungarian vineyards, the Ofner occupy the premier position with respect to the scope and quantity of its procreation, for the Hegyalja region is not to be viewed as merely a single local area. . . .

The Ofner wine has a dark red color; its better quality representatives are spirituous, spicy, but usually somewhat tart or acerbic. Among the various Hungarian table wines, Ofner has always occupied a respected position, and significant quantities were earlier exported to other countries, especially to Silesia and the other Prussian provinces, where, however, it was gradually supplanted by the steady acceptance of French red wines; as a result, it has become increasingly rare in those regions despite its favorable pricing.

Today, as French red wines are again becoming less popular, Ofner wine seems not quite able to regain its earlier popularity, specifically with respect to the comparatively unstable popularity of French reds, in part because of its lightness, in part also because of a peculiar tinge to its taste. . . .

Consumption of Ofner wine is, however, still quite strong in the Austrian provinces compared to the Upper Austrian wines, especially in Galicia, and during grape harvesting in Ofen numerous buyers descend on the area to buy large quantities at quite good prices. . . .

The best and strongest Ofner wine grows on the Adlersberg, whence also it has its name.

The occasion for Caroline making this payment is unclear. Schelling in any case writes to Wilhelm on 6 August 1802 (letter 368c) to query the cost of two bottles of liqueur Wilhelm seems to have secured for Hegel in Berlin. Back.

Translation © 2016 Doug Stott