Wine is an alcoholic beverage that is made from grapes that have been fermented. It is important to understand the history of wine as we enjoy the taste of the beverage. Wine is a drink with many faces and its grapes are now present on all continents. It is a drink rich in variety and flavor. Wine can last for years, centuries or even decades. The beverage has symbolic importance and was essential to many religious ceremonies for many years. This article will explain more about the history of wine.
The History Of Wine
To begin with, the word wine comes from the Latin word vinum. This reminds us of its importance to the everyday life of the ancient Romans who laid the foundations of modern-day wine culture and the wine industry. Evidence suggests that wine originated in West Asia including the Caucasus Mountains, Euphrates River Valley, and Southern Anatolia. This area spans a large area that includes the modern-day nations of Armenia, Georgia, Northern Iran, and Eastern Turkey. The production of ancient wine dates between 6,000 BC and 4,000 BC. It includes an ancient winery site in Armenia, grape residue found in clay jars in Georgia, and signs of grape domestication in eastern Turkey.
Wild Vines in Southeastern Anatolia
Moreover, by studying grape genetics, José Vouillimoz (a grape “ampelologist”), identified a region in Turkey where wild grape vines closely resemble cultivated vines. The research supports the theory that a convergence zone between cultivated and wild vines could be the origin place of winemaking.
A Relic Winery Unearthed in Armenia
Moreover, the oldest known winery in the 4,100 BC exists in a group of caves outside the Armenian village of Areni. The village is still known for winemaking and makes red wines with a local grape known as Areni. This type of grape is thought to be quite old and people can still drink it today.
Ancient Wine Influencers: The Phoenicians and Greeks
In addition, from West Asia, wine grapes followed cultures as they expanded into the Mediterranean. Sea-fairing civilizations including the Greeks and Phoenicians spread wine throughout much of Europe.
The wine was for Pharaohs and the Gods
Furthermore, the origins of wine date back to the time of King Pharaohs in Egypt. It entered written history in ancient Egypt in the third millennium BCE. There was not enough land to produce grapes, and the climate was also not good for large-scale wine production. So wine remained a beverage of the elites and pharaohs, a drink used in religious ceremonies. For its red color, the ancient Egyptians thought wine resembled blood so it was linked to the myth of Osiris, perceived as the blood of the god of resurrection. Additionally, archaeological evidence suggests that wine was used for medical purposes and in burial ceremonies.
Wine Remained a Holy Drink Thanks to the Blood of Christ
Lastly, in 312 CE, Christianity became an official religion. The new religion embraced wine. It was the drink that played an important role in the Bible and the life of Jesus Christ. The first miracle of Christ was the transformation of six jars of water into wine at a wedding in Cana. Christ’s offering of wine at the Last Supper led to its role in the Eucharist. It was the central ritual in the Christian religion where the red liquid symbolizes Christ’s blood, his ultimate sacrifice for all mankind. Wine’s importance to Christianity caused both the Catholic and Orthodox Church to focus on the production and cultivation of wine.
In conclusion, wine is a beverage that most people enjoy. The wild vines in South eastern Anatolia, a relic winery unearthed in Armenia, and ancient wine influencers: the Phoenicians and Greeks make the history of wine. Wine was the drink of the Pharaohs and the Gods, and it remained a Holy drink thanks to the Blood of Christ.