History of Wine

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 History of Wine
Archaeological evidence suggests that the earliest wine production came from sites in Georgia and Iran, dating from 6000 to 5000 BC.The archaeological evidence becomes clearer, and points to domestication of grapevine, in Early Bronze Age sites of the Near East, Sumer and Egypt from around the third millennium BC.

The very oldest known evidence suggesting wine production in Europe and second oldest in the world comes from archaeological sites in Greece and is dated to 6,500 years ago. The same archaeological sites in Greece also contain remnants of the world™s earliest evidence of crushed grapes. In fact, several Greek sources as well as Pliny the Elder describe how the ancient Greeks used partly dehydrated gypsum before fermentation and some type of lime after fermentation to reduce acidity. The Greek writer Theophrastus is actually the oldest known source to describe this aspect of Greek wine making.

In Egypt, wine became a part of recorded history, playing an important role in ancient ceremonial life. Wine was possibly introduced into Egypt by the Ancient Greeks. Traces of wine were also found in China, dating from the second and first millennium BC[20]

Wine was common in classical Greece and Rome. The Ancient Greeks introduced vines such as Vitis vinifera and made wine in their numerous colonies in Italy, Sicily, southern France, and Spain. Dionysus was the Greek god of wine and revelry, and wine was frequently referred to in the works of Homer and Aesop. Many of the major wine producing regions of Western Europe today were established by the Romans. Wine making technology improved considerably during the time of the Roman Empire. Many grape varieties and cultivation techniques were known. Barrels were developed for storing and shipping wine.

Since Roman times, wine (potentially mixed with herbs and minerals) was assumed to serve medicinal purposes as well. During Roman times it was not uncommon to dissolve pearls in wine for better health. Cleopatra created her own legend by promising Marc Anthony she would "drink the value of a province" in one cup of wine, after which she drank an expensive pearl with a cup of wine. Another medieval application was the use of snake-stones (banded Agate resembling the figural rings on a snake) dissolved in wine against snake bites, which shows an early understanding of the effects of alcohol on the central nervous system in such situations.

In medieval Europe, the Christian Church was a staunch supporter of wine which was necessary for the celebration of the Catholic Mass. In places such as Germany, beer was banned and considered pagan and barbaric while wine consumption was viewed as civilized and a sign of conversion. Wine was also forbidden in the Islamic civilization, but after Geber and other Muslim chemists pioneered the distillation of wine, it was used for other purposes, including cosmetic and medical uses. In fact the 10th century Persian philosopher and scientist Al Biruni described a number of recipes where herbs, minerals and even gemstones are mixed with wine for medicinal purposes. Wine was so revered and its effect so feared that elaborate theories were developed which gemstone-cups would best counteract its negative side effects.

Article Source: Wikipedia

 

 

 



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