Appropriate or opaque? Aussie sherry and tokay now officially apera and topaque

The Macquarie Dictionary has accepted the new words for Australian sherry and tokay, apera and topaque. These names were created in response to a 2008 agreement between Australia and the EU to phase out the use of European wine names, such as sherry and port. The new names will be published in the Macquarie online soon, and in a new print version of the dictionary next year. The definitions are as follows: “apera – a fortified and blended wine of Australia, ranging in taste from dry to very sweet. See sherry.” 

And “topaque –a rich, sweet, complex dessert wine of Australia.”

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.” 

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