This semester, I’m taking a seminar called “Wine, History and the Environment,” — the perfect class to take my first semester back since Paris. So I’ve decided, I’ll be sharing some fun facts about wine every week, as I learn in my lectures and readings!!
But first, an original quote that I’m exceptionally proud of: “Mind over matter, wine over water.” I mentally pat myself on the back everytime.
1. In Ancient Greece, privileged men (since at the time women were out of the picture), got together and drank wine and participated in wordplay and philosophical discussion, which was called a “symposia.” It was the equivalent of a modern dinner party, where a host chose what wine to drink and would moderate how drunk each guest got. (Some symposia even turned into giant orgies!!)
2. Ancient Greeks and Romans would dilute their wine with water.
3. The Greeks began growing their grape vines in neat rows, which allowed more vines to be packed into a given space, increasing yields and easier access for harvesting.
4. Clinking glasses came from the old tradition of sharing one communal goblet for wine – as people started using their own classes, they started clinking to symbolically unify the glasses and the general atmosphere of the gathering, as if they were all using a communal glass.
5. Wine is both free of pathogens and contains natural antibacterial agents that are liberated during the fermentation process. So if you want to make your drinking water safe, add a dash of wine in there. Along the same lines, wounds treated with wine were less likely to become infected because of the lack of pathogens and antibacterial agents.
Topping it off with a quote about wine:
“I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food.” – W.C. Fields
Reference: Standage, Wine in Greece and Rome, “The Delight of Wine,” “The Imperial Vine.”