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Passum

Latin name for a sultana wine that was very popular in ancient times. It was a popular remedy. Aesculapius, the Greek god of healing, is said to have performed several miraculous cures by infusing his patients with passum mixed with black pepper. Passum is mentioned by numerous Greek and Latin authors as a stimulant and remedy. In Rome, passum was served at the banquets of the upper classes.

It was made from dried grapes (lat. passus = dried). The stems were twisted shortly before the grape harvest so that the water supply was interrupted. The grapes remained on the vine until they were shrivelled or raisined. The text "Vinum Tokajense Passum" can be found on the label of some Tokaj Aszú wines. Sweet wines produced in a similar form are Flétri, Passerillé, Passito, Recioto and Trockenbeerenauslese.

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