miercuri, 16 ianuarie 2013

Myths, legends and true facts from the wine history

The history of the mankind is also a history of wine, at least in the last 6000 thousands of years. Can't figure a party in the good old times without wines, good wines, and food. Can't imagine neither today a party without wines, or a sophisticated dinner without wines. Besides, if the sophisticated dinner is a romantic one, the wine makes the perfect excuse for him, but also for her.

I am sure that wines played  an important role in the history of mankind, much more important than a serious scholastic historian could imagine. E.g., Cleopatra made history not only with her nose, but also with the glass of wine for Marc Anthony. The Romanian medieval ruler Stephen the Great enjoyed a glass of wine at the right time, and there must be much more examples for the way of mixing wine and history. Think a little about Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt, and the abstinent Hitler, who could destroy the world and its good habits!
Drinking wine is much older than you think

An important fact: the oldest evidence of drinking wine date back in 5400 b.C and has been found in Zagros, Iran. Most probably, the wine has been produced in that area. For 5000 years the wine consumption was reserved to the upper class. The kings of Egypt and Mesopotamia served wines to the high ranking guests, showing their wealth. The rich people of antique Athens were labeled according the belonging vineyards! The Greeks, inventors of the civilization, started to do what we call today wine tastings. This good habit has been taken and refined by the Romans.
The Greeks found first wine tastings, but the Romans took over and developed further

Around year 500 a.C takes place the segregation of the Europeans in wine drinkers and beer drinkers, which continues up today. The wine became the favorit drink for the southern part of Europe, where the Roman occupation was tighter and the influences stronger. The Northern part of Europe, with the British Islands, are populated with Barbarians drinking beer. (Actually, the segregation is not so obvious anymore!).

Very close to the places where have been found the first traces of wine, emerged the Islamic belief, forbidding the wine!. There is a legend: two pupils of Mahomed had a strong argument after taking too much on bord. The Prophete, asking advice and guiding from the allmighty Allah, became the simpliest answer: "The wine is a Devil invention". Even the Christians took champagne (actually sparkling wine, to be more precisely) for a Devil invention! It happened when the people did not know what is Carbon Dioxide, a gas which can be found in any wine.
And this is a modern wine tasting, a contest!

Champagne has been created first around 1700, surely not by the Monk Dom Perignon. Some people say, it was simply an accident. Dom Perignon only had major contributions to the development of champagne, which became shortly the favorite drink of the women! Madame de Pompadour used to declare " Champagne is the only wine making a woman more beautiful after drinking a glass!" ( I would add: the woman becomes much more beautiful if her partner drinks the Champagne!)

And a last legend for today: a renowned French porcelain producer created the first champagne cup based on an extraordinary model: the breast of Marie Antoinette.

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