Posts Tagged ‘Ancient’

1500 year old wine press.

1500 year old wine press.

 

Archaeologists have unearthed a huge wine press and rare ceramic church model near the city’s old highway.

Archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) have unearthed a huge wine press and a ceramic model of a church dating back to the 5th and 6th centuries, the early-Byzantine period.

The huge wine press, the size of a football field, consists of three components, IAA archaeologist Dr. Rina Avner explained.

“A large treading floor paved with ceramic tiles was discovered in the center in which there is a press bed of a screw used to press grapes. Three vats into which the must flowed were revealed along the western side of the treading floor. The collecting vats were carefully designed with slots in their sides that allowed the liquid to flow in a controlled manner and they were treated with hydraulic plaster so as to prevent the must from seeping into the ground.”

Read on …

Couple-selecting-wine-horiz-orig-640x427

The freedom to choose and drink wine.

 

Wine is old, ancient, neolithic. It has been consumed throughout recorded history. Yet wine as we know it today is relatively new. Where it originated, what it tasted like and represented, and how it was transformed over time are explored in Paul Lukacs’s fascinating new book, “Inventing Wine: A New History of One of the World’s Most Ancient Pleasures,” published in December by W. W. Norton & Company.

One thing is clear from Mr. Lukacs’s work: most wine for much of history was vile, nasty stuff. If an ancient critic had etched a tasting note to describe the wine that most people drank, it might have read, “Wretched, horrible, vinegary, foul.” Yet people drank it anyway, because they had no choice. Other beverages like water and milk were disease ridden. Wine might have tasted awful, but alcohol was a built-in disinfectant.

It was not until the Renaissance, writes Mr. Lukacs (who, when not researching wine, is an English professor at Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore), that familiar notions of discrimination came to be. Only then did wine connoisseurs, a minute group to be sure, begin to associate particular styles and qualities in wine with specific places, an early idea of terroir. And only then did astute wine drinkers begin to perceive that some wines could be appreciated intellectually and emotionally rather than just physically, and that the best wines conveyed a sense of balance, length and depth.

But it was really with the Enlightenment in the 18th century, when a series of revolutions began that would transform our understanding of grape-growing, wine production and wine storage, that wine began to resemble what we now take for granted.

Read on …

 

meditrina-goddess-of-wine-brenda-owen

 

 

The true origins of viticulture and brewing, whether it was in Sumeria, the Lebanon, Georgia and so on, may never be known for sure.

What is sure is that ever since he first created alcoholic drinks, man has usually ascribed to them divine properties.

As was pointed out in the Top 10 Wine Saints, Christianity merely replaced the old gods of wine, beer, grapes and grain, with new figureheads.

This often makes the identification of “wine gods” rather tricky and, aside from some of the more obvious standouts, ancient cultures and societies often venerated many figures connected to drink.

The Greeks in particular personified many things relating to wine, its effects and preparation, with minor deities.

There was Methe, the personification of drunkenness, Acratopotes, one of Dionysus’ companions and a drinker of unmixed wine, there was Ceraon who watched over the mixing of wine with water and Amphictyonis a goddess of wine and friendship between nations.

 

Read on …

The History of Wine.

The History of Wine.

CLICK TO LISTEN TO INTERVIEW

Wine is our original alcoholic beverage. It dates back 8,000 years and, as Paul Lukacs writes in his new book, Inventing Wine: A New History of One of the World’s Most Ancient Pleasures, was originally valued more because it was believed to be of divine origin than for its taste. And that’s a good thing, Lukacs tells Fresh Air’s Terry Gross, because early wine was not particularly good.

People would add a variety of unexpected ingredients to obscure and enhance the flavor. Everything, Lukacs says, “from lead to ash to myrrh to various kinds of incense, spices. And the most common thing added, especially to wines that people valued, were fresh resin from pine trees or boiled resin — namely pitch — from pine trees. Lead, in fact, will sweeten wine, so lead was used for thousands and thousands of years.”

The book is filled with surprising facts about the drink. Pharaohs have been buried beside jugs of it. The Quran promises baths of wine in the afterlife because

Read on …