First and foremost, you should know that I’m not a wine snob. I’m perfectly content with the two-buck-chuck from Trader Joe’s. When I wine shop, especially at Trader Joe’s, I try to stay under $5, elsewhere I try to stay under $10. Big spender here. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy wine, but I am apparently incapable of picking up on the subtle flavors and idiosyncrasies. Besides, the people who smell and swish and spit out their wine drive me nuts. I always feel that they’re showing off, their knowledge and their wealth. I tend to associate wine people with rich people, an association that apparently goes far far far back in history.
Without further ado, I give you the second installment in my history of drink series, with some fascinating factoids on wine.
“Thanks to this kind of propaganda, wine and its associated drinking paraphernalia became emblems of power, prosperity and privilege.” (the propaganda being obelisks and pottery featuring wealthy wine drinkers.)
“Typical mixing ratios of water to seem to have been 2:1, 5:2, 3:1, and 4:1. A mixture of equal parts water and wine was regarded as ‘strong wine'” (The Greeks drank wine at symposiums, or discussions, and diluted the wine with water).
“Plato saw drinking as a way to test oneself, by submitting to the passions aroused by drinking: anger, love, pride, ignorance, greed, and cowardice. He even laid down rules for the proper running of a symposion, which should ideally enable men to develop resistance to their irrational urges and triumph over their inner demons.”
“Green and Roman wine gods, like Christ, were associated with wine-making miracles and resurrection after death; their worshipers, like Christians, regarded wine drinking as a form of sacred communion.”
“Modern European drinking patterns crystalized during the middle of the first millennium and were largely determined by the reach of Greek and Roman influences…In the north of Europe, beyond the reach of Roman rule, beer drinking, typically without the accompaniment of food, is more common.”
All passages pulled from Tom Standage’s The History of the World in Six Glasses.