Origins of Wine
There is nothing in this well but wind
I’m drunk again on the wine of love-
Winebringer, bring more wine!
And fill up my cup, for without wine this
Party will be no fun.
Dear friends and customers of mega store
Welcome! We start this blog today to share and provide more information about wine and spirits to all our customers: recent enthusiasts and expert connoisseurs alike. . Our goal is to give you further knowledge and fun to be used with passion and enthusiasm while toasting with friends and family or simply alone for the sake of being a bon vivant.
Wines and spirits can get complicated as there are thousands upon thousands of different production methods, regions, grape varieties, chateaux, vineyards, and distilleries… (Sofocles claimed it so in his wise philosophical quote “I know that I know nothing”) … nevertheless, the good news is that we don’t need to be experts to recognize when a particular flavor is enjoyable to our palate. By expanding upon your knowledge, you will also learn to recognize richer subtexts that will undoubtedly improve your ability to enjoy more from all fine wines and spirits you consume. We hope our recommendations and facts increase your passionate delight.
Let us begin with the origins of wine…
Although there is no exact record detailing the origins of wine it is said that early civilizations made wine from wild fruits, berries and wild grapes. Archaeological evidence suggests that grape cultivation and wine making began in Mesopotamia and surrounding lands between 6000 and 4000 BC. The discovered remains show that in ancient times wine was made as we know it today including the methods of crushing grapes through feet, fermenting (letting the grape juice and skin rest for several days), and finally aging the liquid in pots or casks. Primitive wine was carried in animal skins by our primitive ancestors. Later on ancient Egyptians easily stored the liquid with the making of the first clay pots. The wine making industry arised around 3000 BC with the advent of large-scale grapes cultivation and recipients for such large quantities were needed. Archaeologistfound inside burial chambers of important people wine clay recipients for it was believed dead people needed all their belongings for their afterlife, the precious liquid most inclusive. As an example, clay pots were discovered in the tomb of Tutankhamen and it was surprising to find remains of white wine showing its prevalence alongside with red wine.
In ancient Greece wine played a fundamental role in all aspects of society: literature, mythology, medicine, leisure and religion and it is also said that Greeks were the founders of wine making as we know it in the modern world.
Ancient romans in turn took the vines from Greece to Italy and the rest of Europe. For romans, wine was an important part of their life developing different varieties of grapes and cultivation techniques. Putting pearls inside a recipient of wine and drinking them was a common practice by the time. Bacchus was the roman god of wine and represented good-cheer, festivity, laughter and merriment. Bacchanalia was a festivity held in his honor and people got so drunk – especially women who at this time were allowed to drink as much wine as they wanted- that depravation and crimes were difficult to contain. As a result these festivities were banned by the roman senate in 186 bc. In ancient Rome all kinds of people were allowed to drink wine, even slaves, who couldn’t imagine life without the precious liquid that allowed them to cope with a lifetime of servitude.
Consumption of wine was also a fundamental part of the Jewish religion since biblical times. Jesus himself is said to have drunk it in his last supper. Thus, wine became a symbol of the blood of Jesus.
During the middles ages wine was the most popular spirited drink among all people in southern and some regions of central Europe. In the northern regions grapes were not cultivated due to different climate conditions and its inhabitants drank beer and ale instead.
Eastern Europe was dominated by vodka and other spirits which were distilled from the regionally abundant grains.
Wine was important for all catholic celebrations so wine merchants began to trade it to all Europe since continuous supply was necessary. Benedictine monks in Germany and France also produced large quantities of wine alongside other catholic orders such as the Cistercians, Carthusians, Templars and Carmelites.
Interestingly enough the first appellation system in the world to identify where the grapes for a wine were grown was developed in Portugal. This country has one of the oldest wine traditions in history.
Thank you for reading and we at mega hope you enjoyed sharing with us this cultural and historical experience. Wine is a passionate and never ending issue.
So sample, taste, enjoy, love life…. Cheers!
Graciela Rodriguez, Writer / Journalist