Rutherglen link to a wordy contender

OUT of a list of 300 has come a word that could top them all.

Little did Rutherglen winemaker Colin Campbell know that apera would be such a hit.

Apera has made the shortlist for Macquarie dictionary’s “word of the year”, a title it will get if enough people get online to give it a vote.

The change from sherry — a name that for many conjures up images of nanna’s pre-dinner tipple — was forced on winemakers after European Union rules made Australian wineries drop the use of sherry as a variety.

Macquarie’s people’s choice award is only open until Friday, so Mr Campbell urged people to get moving and give apera their vote at macquariedictionary.com.

“To be nominated as one of the new words of the year is a great accolade,” he said.

“I think it just shows the importance they place on it.”

Apera is in Macquarie’s “eating and drinking” category against three words of Japanese-origin — izakaya, konjak and shiritaki.

Mr Campbell — chief winemaker at Campbells Wines — headed up the Fortified Sustainability Project Committee that settled on the name apera in 2009.

Mr Campbell said it was a lengthy, complicated process.

“It was very difficult because the name we came up with was selected after we started off with 300 names,” he said.

Checks had to be made on whether a name could be registered because if someone else already had it, the name had to be struck off the list.

“It just became an incredibly difficult job because every name we wanted was already in use, or there was something barring it,” he said.

“Then we had to turn around and try to invent a name that we felt suited the wine.

“That’s where the word apera, which is basically for an aperitif-type wine, came from.”

The word of the year winner will be announced on February 6.

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