Puzzles, posts, news and general word-chat.

Diabolically Arcane

Bingo. You’ve reached David Astle dot com, a carnival of words, puzzles and more words. Welcome aboard, and have fun.

Loading tweet...

Wine Words

17 September, 2013

Max Allen in today’s Australian has wowed me on ten fronts. His A-to-Z of wine terms reveals some zingers among the zinfandels. Here are the rarities below, as a Clayton’s kind of Storm.

Yes, no polling involved. (I’m all over the shop this week with a library visit, two school gigs and interviewing.) So if you feel the urge, see what wordplay you can render with these new offerings. No need to pick an alias. Just deliver some vintage devilry under your own name, and we the vintners will toast your subtle notes.

BRETT – short for BRETTANOMYCES – a rogue yeast that cna make wine taste like horse sweat

DAIGINJO – the finest, most style of Japanese sake

FOUDRE – large, old oak barrel

KABINETT – ripe but light quality among German rieslings

QVEVRI – egg-shaped earthenware vessel used in fermenting

XINOMAVRO – red grape from Greece with dusty nebbiolo characteristics…

…damn, let’s throw in NEBBIOLO too – red grape of the Piedmont district

YAMAHAI – sake-making technique that ensures richer, rounder palate

ZWEIGELT – Austrian red grape with spicy perfumes and snappy tannins.

Blend. Ferment. See what varietals you can produce.

comments powered by Disqus

Gargantuan News

Yep, my Gargantuan Book of Words is big & full of words. Not just English but secret codes, Papuan pidgin, Zulu worms, sound FX, funny goldfish, letter origami. You get the drift? It's big. It's fun. And it's out now


Gargantuan Book of Words

Sneeze words. Fake pasta. Viking slang. Gargantuan is a jumbo jumble of puzzles & games, mazes & quizzes, tailor-made for that wordy wonderkid in your life. Or anyone in love with letters, secret codes, puns, rhymes, emoji & all things languagey. More here 

read more +


Packed with games, pickles, codes and cheesy puns, Wordburger is your chance to be a champion puzzler in 20 quick bites. Ideal for wordy kids keen to open a new language door, or grown-ups who want to cut their cryptic teeth. Click here. 

read more +


Riddles in song, in code, in pictures. From Ireland & Wonderland, Einstein & Pompeii. Riddledom reveals 101 wry questions from 50+ languages & shares their secrets. A book to unlock culture via conundrum. Order here.

read more +

Recent Comments

Riddledom Rave

If you missed my riddle chat with Richard Fidler, then feel free to slurp the podcast at http://ab.co/1I9t1x5

Text-speak is creeping into Scrabble. Where do you sit?
OBVS I'm fine with it
Entrenched stuff - like LOL and OMG - but no more.
Words With Friends, maybe. Scrabble, no
Let the 'real' dictionaries decide first
Just the handy stuff, like FAQ and EUW
I mean, WTF?! No way
See Results