Wine's Link With Religion
Wine Gods
The First Vineyard
Wine Regions Of The Ancient Mediterranean

Wine has a long history, and individual bottles of wine can have their story too. These two aspects add greatly to wine's fascination, but wine's place in our cultural history is the larger and grander theme. Wine was one of the first things that Man created, and it has held a special place in many cultures. The history of wine is also an intriguing story of technical innovation, as Man applied his intelligence to the problems posed by the first chemical reactions that he encountered: fermentation and oxidation. No one can know who made the first wine. The great classical civilizations of Greece and Rome traced it back into their prehistory, and built legends around its discovery. Ancient Egypt has left us wine lists and wall paintings. Indeed, the Egyptians recorded the vintage, vineyard and winemaker on individual jars of wine: the first wine labels. The Babylonians laid down laws to regulate the running of a wineshop, and wrote vivid descriptions of a magical, jewel bearing vineyard in the Epic of Gilgamesh, the earliest imaginative writing there is: it appears to have been written in the 18th centurv BC. Wine can be, and is, made from wild grapes. The grape is the one fruit that, with its concentrated sugars and ample juice, has an inherent tendency to ferment. Fermentation makes alcohol, and this will take place when the grapes are ripe and the juice released comes into contact with yeast there in plenty, in wild form, on the skins of the grapes. So if the grape juice is held in a container, wine will make itself. Pure conjecture leads us to a Stone Age man who placed ripe grapes in a vessel clay pot, wooden bowl or skin bag and, perhaps forgetting them, left them to ferment. In warm conditions this will happen in hours rather than days, and in days there will be wine of a sort. Who was the first to drink this intoxicating and delightful juice We can never know, but perhaps he or she also had the first wine induced headache. At feasts, in religious ceremonies, as antiseptic, as medicine: wine has played many roles. But only comparatively recently in its history came the biggest breakthrough: when the ability to age wine was mastered, allowing us to keep it perhaps for years, improving in cask or bottle, fine wine was born.

Wine regions of the world.

History of wine
Choosing Wine
Keeping Wine
Serving Wine
Tasting Wine
Wine and Food
Making of Wine
Maturing Wine
Wine Terminology
Creating A Cellar
Facts And Fallacies
Wine Glossary
Reading Wine Label
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