Wine has been part of civilization for over 6500 years. Wine seems to prosper in a society that has slowly become a civilized one. Wine in its early days was preferred to water as it was safer to drink, and for most people, a much healthier food substance that was good for the body and the alcohol effect on the brain. Some historians also believe it induced healthier procreation and produced healthier people over a long stretch of life. We know now that a glass of wine is very good for a person to maintain their health. In ancient societies, it was consumed for its medicinal effect and for its liberating effect on a humanís life. It is believed that wine as it is made now was a happy accident that just happened. Some claim it was a god given gift by the son of Zeus, Dionysus, while others claim it was discovered by Noah.
Early Archeology Finds Of Wine Evidence
In archeology digs that go back 6500 years, the evidence of wine crushing tools and methods has been found in the dig. Two sites in Georgia and Iran are dated at 6000 and 5000 BC, and tools for wine making were found that suggest that this was a process that was well known at the time and was heavily intertwined in the history, the culture, and social climate of an advancing civilization. Evidence from digs in Macedonia show grape crushings that are over 6500 years old. Wine played an important role in early Egypt in their many ceremonial events. The same can be said for evidence found in China that dates to the first millennium of the time after Christ. These early civilizations were more advanced than many thought before the study of these cultures and their various elements took place. This evidence of wine consumption also is evidence of a society that has the time and the energy to be more thoughtful and less completely involved in trying to find a way to stay alive.
Roman Influence On Wine
As with many facets of history, the world owes the Roman culture thanks for libraries, architecture, devices for making war, building roads that still exist, safe movement of water for the public, grape cultivation, and making wine. The culture that was well ingrained at the time of Christ is an obvious example of the good life that some in that society lived and the comforts that existed for their pleasure like a good wine. Rome was well advanced over all competing civilizations, except maybe Egypt, with amenities that come to a life style that is not just trying to exist, but has time to read, think, and do great public works like roads and water movement.
Many of the major wine producing areas of Europe can trace their history back to the time of Rome's great growth and world dominance. Wine was the liquid of choice when eating and in celebrations, as water was not safe and wine had other effects on the mind that people with access to it found pleasurable and stimulating. It proved to be a healthy choice and did induce procreation that was less fraught with bad results and more healthy babies.
Church Or Christian Influence On Wine
The Catholic Church became the next element in the history of wine because of the churchesí constant need for wine as part of the celebration of Christ. Wine was used as a symbol of Christís blood in the ceremony of Catholic Mass. The Church was responsible for the vineyards and the making of the wine. Many of the abbeys for monks made this their primary daily action after religion. The use of wine in ceremonies, celebrations, and just as a drink with food made it popular and stimulated its growth as a crop and the industry for making different wines of all levels of quality. Some of the wineries in Europe have been in operation through every century since the birth of Christ. Many have been in the same family for all that time, or were run by members of the Catholic Church like many of the monk organizations. Some of these vineyards and their resulting wine output are some of the best wines and champagnes in the entire world production. The quality of the grapes and the care and devotion that these wine makers exhibit, borders on a fanaticís desire to do it perfectly every year, and then let the aging of the wine produce the great taste and pleasure these wines give to their aficionados.
Modern Times Influence On Wine
Modern wineries are found in many parts of Europe, Italy, Spain, and the United States. In fact, the wineries of France were severely attacked by a blight that may have originated in the US and been shipped back to France when there was an ongoing study of the two countriesí vines and their grafting. It was thought that the steamship, which enabled crossing the Atlantic in less time, was partly responsible, as the aphids did not die in the speedier transit. The French wineries were exceptionally susceptible to this blight, which decimated the vineyards in France and other areas of Europe. These vineyards were saved by bringing new vines over from the US. This element of history from the 1850s makes for an interesting footnote to the history of wine. It is argued by wine connoisseurs which wine growing areas produce the best wine, but the end result is that in blind tastings, many areas of the world show up well and win the contest including France and the US. It depends on the type of wine being considered and the sophistication of the judges.
Without wine, elegant dinners would be less formal and decidedly less enjoyable to consume.
A great wine enhances any meal and the pleasure of enjoying it with friends or acquaintances. A superb wine makes all food taste better as it refreshes the palette and adds to the taste of a good meal. A steak, fowl, or seafood dinner without a good wine is just not complete. Great Italian cooking is certainly made even tastier when enjoyed with a good wine or Chianti. Wine tasting parties are fun to attend and can be very educational when done by a true wine connoisseur. Traveling from winery to winery in a wine growing part of any country is an activity that is not only fun, but provides a greater appreciation of the wine culture.