We can find many curious facts about the history of wine. As a companion in the history of man, wine has a good number of anecdotes and curiosities. Some minted during the many centuries that make wine part of our life. And it is that there is no doubt that there is not an older drink or more intimately related to each of our pages of life as Humanity.
Precisely for this reason, choosing only ten curiosities about the history of wine is difficult. A minimal selection if we take into account that, 6,000 years before Christ, there were already nomadic peoples in the Middle East making wine from wild grapes.
A fact that only accounts for how far we have to go back to compile these small events that do nothing more than put their grain of sand in the construction of the myth and history of wine.
- There Are Three Gods Of Wine
Although the most famous of all is the Roman Bacchus, the truth is that he is not the only deity related to wine. What’s more, this god so immortalized in ancient art is nothing more than the Empire’s adaptation of the Greek god of wine Dionysus. However, even before this deity with two names already issued the first god of wine.
To know it, we would have to go back to nothing less than the year 2700 BC and a place as unique as Sumeria, a region in the south of Ancient Mesopotamia. In this territory, a goddess related to wine was already honored: Gestín. A name whose translation means “mother strain.” Curiously, and despite being the only recognized divinity, two other gods of the Mesopotamian imagination support the importance of wine in their civilization: Pa-gestín-dug, whose meaning is “good strain”; and Nin-kasi, a name that can be translated as “the lady with intoxicating fruit.”
- The Oldest Warehouse In The World Is In Armenia
It dates back to no less than 4100 BC and is one of the great archaeological discoveries related to the history of wine. Its facilities are 1000 years ahead of the oldest until the moment in which, in the middle of the Cold War, it was discovered by chance by Soviet soldiers who were looking for a defense point in the cave.
- The Disputed Origin Of The Toast
Although for us it is a normal act of celebration, it is still unknown today exactly how the toast was born. For some, it has its origins in Ancient Rome since these people considered that wine should be enjoyed with the five senses, hearing included. For others, the root of the toast is in Ancient Greece and the gesture itself was a matter of caution: toasting involved showing the guest at our table that the glass was not poisoned. Something that aroused many suspicions when it was toasted with water.
But despite these distant origins, many defend the theory that the toast as we know it today dates back to 16th century Germany. What’s more, some historians even attest to the exact moment in which the toast was born: in the celebration of the conquest of Rome by the troops of Charles V.
- The Vineyards Were Close To Monasteries And Cathedrals
The turbulent history of Europe during the Middle Ages, marked by multiple wars throughout the centuries, permanently endangered the production of wine. For this reason, the monks and religious used to be in charge of safeguarding the vines and their fruits. A gesture that not only allowed them to have a self-consumption of wine but also a product with which the religious orders traded as part of their subsistence economy.
- Why Was Wine So Important In The Middle Ages?
What has been one of the darkest times in history is also due to the absolute lack of hygienic conditions. A few centuries in which Humanity was exposed and diminished by the infinity of diseases that, among other carriers, were transmitted through water. Thanks to the wine fermentation process, it was possible to quench thirst without fear of falling ill.
- What Was The First Quality Wine Made?
Arnaud de Pontac, president of the Bordeaux parliament and owner of a vineyard, is credited with having started creating quality wines in response to the growing demand of the French bourgeoisie of the time. Thus, in 1660 he began to apply techniques that are still valid today, such as the selection of grapes or the wine aging process, to turn his wines into the best and most expensive on the market at the time.
- The Largest Warehouse In The World Is In Moldova
And no, it does not enjoy this title casually but it is part of the Guinness Book of Records. Its dimensions leave no one indifferent: 250 kilometers of underground tunnels, of which only 50 are used, in which a whopping two million bottles of wine rest. It was founded in 1969 taking advantage of an old underground route that had been excavated in previous centuries.
- The Phrase “They Don’t Give It To You With Cheese” Comes From The World Of Wine
Surely you have ever used it and, beyond recognizing its meaning, you have not stopped to think about its origin. It is interesting to discover that this expression was born in the world of wine. And the thing is that cheese was the trick used by many old winemakers to make their wines pass through soft and silky broths. For this reason, before buying a certain wine it was offered to taste it together with a cheese tasting plate that completely clouded the palate and avoided an objective value judgment.
- The Wine Has No Color
A statement that can be scandalous and yet is absolutely true! Practically all wines are colorless in origin, although their color is the result of the maceration of the grape must with the pulp, skins, and seeds. It will be these ingredients that will really determine the final colors and aromas of a wine.
- The Sea Is A Fantastic Wine Cellar
The wine bottles found in the shipwrecked wrecks account for this. A constant temperature and pressure, the absence of light, and salinity have proven to be ideal factors for the aging of the wine. Something that has promoted the existence of underwater wineries in different parts of our geography.