Introduction to the history of wine. Wine has been a popular beverage of mankind for thousands of years. Our natural fondness of this drink stems from the wonderful taste, its nutritious properties and not least its psychotropic intoxicating effects. Out of all alcoholic drinks, none has had such an impact on society.
The trade of wine between cultures opened up channels for religious and philosophical ideas to spread across Europe.
Wine is also frequently mentioned in the bible from Noah and his grape vines to Jesus, as perhaps the finest winemaker to date. Wine is to this day used in the Catholic Church as a substitute for the blood of Christ, which is an indication of the key role the beverage has played in years gone by.
Centuries ago, a wine industry was also the mark of a provident country, as only developed societies could support a prosperous and competitive wine industry. It is often said that western society built its foundations on wine. When was wine first created?
No one can be sure, but there is an ancient Persian fable that recognises a woman as the discoverer of wine. According to the fable, she was a princess who had lost favour with the King.
Wine in ancient times
The shame was so overwhelming that she ate some table grapes that had spoiled in their jar in an attempt to end her life. Her suicide did not go as planned - instead of slipping into eternal slumber she got giddy, intoxicated and then passed out.
When she awoke she found all the troubles of her life seemed to have passed. She continued to eat the spoilt grapes and her mood changed so much that she regained the favor of the King. Although this is a pleasant tale, the accidental discovery of wine probably happened a few times in different regions, but what is for sure is the invention of wine is down to pure dumb luck. Sixty million year-old fossils. The first of the wine we all know and love can be traced back to sixty-million-year-old fossils, which means our pre-human ancestors may well have come to realise older grapes will have been more desirable.
We can also observe this with our animal friends today, who tend to prefer riper fruit. The earliest remnants of wine were discovered in the site of Hajji Firuz Tepe, in the northern Zagros Mountains of Iran.
History of wine in italy dating back to the phoenicians
The wine dated back to the Neolithic period B. Carbon dating confirmed the wine was from sometime between B. Although wine dating any earlier than this has yet been found, it is thought the art of wine making started shortly after B. This was a far more stable living situation than the Nomadic way of living, which most humans were currently employing. This stability allowed people to experiment with their cuisine and drinks.
Some of our favorite dishes and drinks we still enjoy today were developed in this time period, including beer and of course wine. Wine and the ancient Egyptians. Now we skip forward a few thousand years to the Predynastic era of the Egyptian Pharaohs, when wine was spreading across the ancient world. Even Pharaohs have bad days!
2. sixty million year-old fossils
However, wine the Egyptians drank was a distant relative to the wine we know today. The Egyptians used white, pink, green, red, and dark blue grapes, as well as figs, palm, dates and pomegranates. So as you can imagine, the taste would have been completely different to what we would expect when being served wine today.
Making wine from various fruits is essentially the same as that of grapes, except sugar is added to help thea fermentation. The Egyptians used trellises, which were protected from sunlight because the light is too intense in Egypt and they also knew that the last days before the harvest were the most vital. Once the grapes were picked they were taken to a large pressing vat.
The Egyptians pressed grapes by treading on them, rather than using a stone press to crush the seeds and stems, adding a bitter taste to the resulting wine. There was then a second pressing of the wine in an oblong linen slough. This slough was stretched across a solid wooden frame as four men on one side stretched the linen, meanwhile a fifth made sure none of the precious wine was spilt.
These 3 grades could be mixed to make different kinds of wine e.
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These 3 different grades of wine were then left in a trough to ferment. The Egyptian fermentation process. Fermentation is the converting of sugar from the grapes into alcohol.
During this process the yeast releases enzymes that bind and react with the sugar to make alcohol ethanol. The amount of alcohol obviously depends on the amount of sugar. Any sugar left over will add sweetness to the drink.
To achieve a drink with a light consistency, it would be fermented for only a short while a few days. Whereas if you want a heavy final product it would be fermented for a long time several weeksas well as being heated as this speeds up the conversion of sugar. To add color and bitterness to the wine, the seeds, stalks and stems may have been left in the must.
The composites of the grape vine were included in the must. The rather gritty wine would then be filtered through linen to dispose of the stalks and other solids. The wine was then bottled and sealed with mud and reeds. The wine would be sealed a few days before it turned to vinegar.
History of wine
It seems that the Pharaohs were particularly fond of the drink, as it became their preference to take into the afterlife. At this time, wine was almost exclusively for royalty and served only at special occasions like festivals. However, it also had medical uses like sedating women during childbirth and as an antiseptic.
When sealing their wine, Egyptians would make an impression in the wax. Greeks and their love affair with wine. The next people to carry the torch of this great commerce were the Greeks. The early s of the wine in Greece were the replica wine presses found in Crete tombs and date back to between BCBC. It is believed the Phoenician traders introduced the Greeks to the joys of wine. After the Phoenicians did the Greeks this favour, wine industries were established in most of Western Europe. So, next time you meet a Greek person, thank them for doing us all the biggest favour ever.
The Greeks knew the nutritional benefits of drinking wine, which is an excuse we still all use today! In ancient Greece, the wine was so important it developed a religious status. The Greeks used wine to achieve clarity of mind when at a symposia a gathering where predetermined philosophical subjects were discussed.
They would never drink wine as some people today do and drunkenness was frowned upon.
This is a great indication of how thoroughly embedded in the culture wine traditions were. By looking at the countries the Greeks introduced winemaking to, we can get a vague idea of how the ancient Greeks made wine and how it may have tasted. Another clue to the flavour of the wine is the surviving Greek varieties such as Limnio, Athiri, Aidani and Muscat. This, of course, means that many of the grape varieties we know today were fathered by the Greek varieties. It is known that the regions of Hios, Thassos and Levos all produced high-grade wine, whereas the wines of Samos were poor quality.
The Greeks all realised that the ecosystem played a key role in the characteristics of the resulting wine. They were the first to create their own appellations of origin, anyone caught violating them received a severe penalty. The ancient Greeks highly valued sweet wine, as do current day Greeks.
This may have been due to its staying power, but more likely its popularity stemmed from the sweetness and higher alcohol percentage. It is no well-kept secret that the Greeks like to mix their wine with water including sea water amazingly and to add honey and spices.
A wine from ancient times
This shows us of how thoroughly embedded in the culture wine traditions were. The ancient Greeks used to line the amphoras with tree resin, which gave it a very distinctive flavour. It is thought that developed into the wine Greeks and much of the world drink and enjoy today, known as retsina. Greeks and their recent wine history. During the Turkish occupation, the wine industry of Greece was almost whipped out as the Muslim Turks discouraged winemaking and heavily taxed wine farmers.
This meant many farmers went out of business and the only people who were excluded from the heavy tax where monks. Fortunately, the monasteries kept the craft alive in Greece for the years it was occupied. The Greeks then achieved independence in After France recovered, the demand for raisins went down and the Greeks started to grow wine vines again. These prevented a stable wine trade from being established until