Would you buy a bottle of wine called apera or topaque? This is the question that is posed in an article in the Sydney Morning Herald on 27/1/09.

“These are the new names for Australian-made sherry and tokay. The international wine agreement, signed between Australia and the European Commission, outlaws the traditional European terms. Use of the word “sherry” must end by 2010 so the first bottles of apera will be seen later this year. Tokay drinkers have another 10 years before they desist.

‘The majority of fortified wine producers see this change as an opportunity to reinvigorate Australia’s fortified wine sector,’ says Colin Campbell, chairman of the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia steering committee, which is overseeing the project and approved the new terms. ‘These new names … mark the first stage of our plan for the industry.’

Campbell says names to describe the various apera styles (fino, oloroso) should be announced next month.