"And all those exclamation marks again, you notice? Five?
A sure sign of
someone who wears his underpants on his head."
(Terry Pratchett, Maskerade)
"Est! Est!! Est!!!" is a semi-sweet white wine with a small amount of effervescence and mild, fruity flavors,
made from trebbiano and malvasia grapes. It's typical of the lands around the Italian town of
Montefiascone, north of Rome.
Montefiascone has a long tradition of wine making (its name, "mons flasconis",
means "mountain of the flask of wine"); a letter written by Pope Innocenzo IV back in 1353 underscores the
importance of wineries in the economy of those lands.
"Est" is Latin for "Is", so the name of the wine is "Is, is, is".
I am not making this up.
According to the legend, in 1110 a German bishop named Giovanni Deuc (whose name is variously spelled as Johannes
Defuk or Johan Fugger) was travelling to Rome for the coronation of Henry V.
Since he loved good wine, he instructed
his servant Martino to travel ahead of him, stopping at every tavern to sample the cellars. Martino would indicate
to his master the best places where to stop by writing the word "est" on the door, meaning that "(the wine) is (good)".
When the bishop reached Montefiascone, he was delighted to read "Est! Est!! Est!!!" on the door of the tavern.
He apparently drank too much of that excellent wine, since he died there and on his tombstone you
can read the epitaph "Per il troppo EST! qui giace morto il mio signore Giovanni Deuc" ("Because of too much
Est! here lies dead my lord Giovanni Deuc").
Every August the town commemorates the death of the bishop with a festival where the "Est!" flows freely.
TenMinJoe informs me that there is a chain of Italian restaurants in the UK called "Est Est Est".
DylanDog mentions a pizzeria in Santa Maria Maggiore with the same name.
There is also a trattoria in Raleigh, North Carolina, where WaldemarExkul grew up.