Ancient Roman Wines
As the legend of viticulture and wine was inspired by greek, Romans adapted wine drinking traditions too. Greek Dominance during – BC was significant, as the Romans drank greek wine only. The wines’ price was high because very few wines came from anywhere else rather than Greece. The Romans and Alcohol. Wine was always the Roman’s alcoholic drink of choice. Viticulture was established long before the Greek’s had any influence over Roman culture. The Roman god of wine, Liber, was a very Roman deity with characteristics very different to the Greek wine God Dionysus.
Of the many contributions the Romans made to the world - both ancient and of those passed on to modern society - perhaps the most lasting was the art of wine vinum making. Wild grapes, though now nearly extinct, grew in abundance throughout the Mediterranean and were cultivated in earnest throughout the region. The Etruscans and Greeks were the preeminent wine consumers in Italy prior to the rise of Rome, and though wine was an important part of the Roman diet, it didn't become the cultural icon of their society from the very start.
The Carthaginians who dominated Mediterranean trade prior to the Romans were the wine connoisseurs of the time, and the earliest ancient references prior to Latin was provided in the Punic language. As Rome expanded, and eventually defeated Carthage in the mid 2nd century BC, Roman vineyards began to spring up in earnest throughout Italy. No longer overwhelmingly dedicated to the art of warfare in Italy, local farms were able to flourish.
The wild grapes that once formed the basic wine culture of Italy were cultivated and farmed in abundance. Prior to this, Italy was an agrarian culture based predominantly on sustenance farming, but as expansion into fertile lands such as Sicily and Africa occurred, the door was opened to other agrarian pursuits. Wine and grape production in Italy soared in the 2nd century BC, and large slave run vineyards dotted the coastlines.
Wine production so replaced that of traditional food farming, that the Emperor Domitian was forced to destroy several vineyards in 92 AD, while putting a how to remove trojan generic in place on the growth of new vines.
Several ancient authors dedicated lengthy documentation on the production, economics and cultural value of wine. Cato the Censor provided the first Latin work involving Roman wine, among other agricultural pursuits, 'De Agri Cultura'.
Varro provided a rather cursory review of wine production in a greater work on overall farming in 'Res Rusticae' Country Matters. Perhaps the best example of all Roman sources on wine production comes from one of the least known Latin sources. Columella, in his own 'De Re Rusticae' On Country Mattersprovided a highly detailed look at the Roman art of grape growing, wine production and consumption.
Pliny the Elder, adding in his own great work, Historia Naturalis, that wine production in Italy by the mid 2nd century BC surpassed any other place in the world. The cultivation of wine and grapes was disallowed, at least by Roman farmers outside of Italy during this period, and wine became a great export commodity.
While it would remain a treasured piece of Roman daily life, its export value would diminish as the Empire expanded. As Gaul and Hispania essentially France and Spain came under Roman influence, massive vineyards were established in these provinces, and Italy would eventually become a major import center for provincial wines. The Romans drank wine as a staple part of their diet, preferred over anything else. In fact, the quality of drinking water was such that, wine was a typical drink at any time in the day.
However, unlike today, ancient wine was almost always consumed mixed in with large percentages of water. The ancient wines were stronger, both in alcohol content and perhaps in flavor, making the watering down of their drinks necessary.
In so doing, not only was the longevity of a serving secured, but the alcoholic effects also slowed. They enjoyed wines of many varieties and flavors, and mixed the original grape product with an exhaustive list of flavor changing properties.
Even chalk was added to reduce acidity. The flavor of the wine was also altered through its storage method. The typical method of storage was in the classic Roman amphorae a handled jug with a cylindrical container area, and small long neck and spout.
In these, they might coat the inside with resin, not only for preservation, but to affect the taste of what kind of wine did the romans drink final product. The boiling procedures too affected the taste, and the Romans were well aware of the various taste properties gained by using lead, iron, copper, etc.
Wine production varied, of course, depending on the quality of the product intended. For any wines, grapes were gathered and trodden with feet, but generally sent to a press for further refinement. The Torculum or the Roman press could sometimes be a sophisticated piece of machine driven parts, but was most commonly a heavy wooden beam.
The juices were strained generally through a colander like object called a Colum to separate any thick skins or other undesirable objects. To ferment, the juices were poured into amphorae or similar what is the process of peritoneal dialysis called dolia, under varying conditions.
Some amphorae were buried in sand, others in dirt, and some were allowed to rest in bodies of water. Some juices were boiled before being poured into amphorae for fermentation.
High quality vintage wines could be left for considerable lengths of times in this storage process. Though the required length of time seems to have been anywhere from nine days to a couple of months, depending on the desired final product, vintage wines were preferred to be aged anywhere from 10 to 25 years. In fact, the Emperor Caligula was once presented with a year old vintage that was considered a supreme treat.
Unfortunately, as the Empire began to collapse, both vineyards and the wine industry as a whole fell into a similar state during the so called "Dark Ages". Though wine production continued, it didn't regain its immense popularity until the resurgence of classical culture in the European Renaissance. A common class wine, generally how to zip image files with honey and served to Plebes and the lower classes at public events.
A bitter wine made from the grape skin husks, seeds and any other product left over from the pressing process. Fermented by soaking in water, it was generally served to slaves, though some lower classes, and even soldiers may have had access to wines that were hardly any better. Varro, however claimed that it was the drink of old women. Today these excess grape products are used in distilling the liquor Grappa. A sour vinegar like wine what is special about the city of venice mixed with water to reduce the bitterness and generally available to soldiers and lower classes.
Manufactured from inferior and half-ripe fruit gathered before the regular harvest period. Perhaps also used in the production of ciders and similar drinks. A sweet wholesome wine, made from dried grapes that were pressed in the heat of the day. Similar to vinum dulce but grapes were allowed to dry in the sun for longer periods of time. The wine was described as more 'luscious' than the vinum dulce. Raisin wine. Obviously made from nearly completely dried grapes.
It's most prized variety was imported from Crete. Example of wines used for medicinal purposes. Marrubii for coughs, Scillites for digestion and as a tonic, Absinthiates roughly corresponding to modern Vermouth and Myrtites as a general medicine aiding many ailments. A Greek wine hailing from the island of Lesbos, and Mytilene in particular. It was considered light, wholesome and had natural taste of salt water. An strong, sweet Italian wine of Latium considered perhaps the best of wines.
It was the favored wine of Augustus hailing from the hills of Setia. However, Setinum seems to have fallen into disfavor and became nearly extinct due to miscultivation and the canal of Nero that was dug out directly in this grape's natural habitat. Another sweet wine of Latium. Before the imperial period, this seems to have been the what tv show has the most seasons prized grape variety.
This grape too seems to have suffered under Nero's canal. A sweet wine made from grapes grown in the Alps, especially prized from near Verona, Italy. Suetonius claims that this wine, and not Setinum was actually the favorite of Augustus.
A highly prized wine, available mainly to the upper classes. It was made from the Aminean grape originating near Naples, but transfered to Mt. Falernus between Latium and Campania.
These vines grew best around elm trees. A preferred wine among the upper classes, it provided several varieties of flavors including very sweet, sweetish, rough, and sharp. It was considered perfect if kept for 15 years. Hailing from the bay of Naples, this mid class wine was considered lacking in richness and very dry. It was best when kept between 5 and 20 years. The Emperor Tiberius referred to it as nothing more than generous vinegar.
His successor Caligula called it nobilis vappa, indicated it being known as worthless. Of course, these men had tastes for higher qualities, so their reaction can be understood. From the ridge above Baiae and Puteoli, produced in small quantity, but of very high quality, full bodied. Hailing from Cales, Calenum was a large grape and its wine, according to Pliny, was better for the stomach than Falernian. Again, Pliny suggests that this wine was full bodied how to move one booty cheek at a time nourishing, but apt to attack both stomach and head; therefore little sought after at banquets.
This wine hailed from Sicily and was made fashionable by Julius Caesar. He served it often as his various public events and triumphs. The finest of this type was called Potalanum. A Gallic or later French wine that was considered acceptable to the Romans. It's grape was cultivated in the south, or What type of collagen is in skin. Another wine of Hispania, that was famed not so much for quality, but for the massive quantity in which it was produced.
An Egyptian grape originating near Alexandria. It was said to be white, sweet, fragrant and light. An eastern wine, whose finest product seems to have come from near Damascus, Syria. Named from a long narrow sandy ridge near the western extremity of the Nile Delta. It was aromatic, slightly astringent, and of an oily consistency, which disappeared when it was mixed with water. Wine Wasn't Always So Popular Amongst the Romans Of the many contributions the Romans made to the world - both ancient and of those passed on to modern society - perhaps the most lasting was the art of wine vinum making.
Wine Wasn't Always So Popular Amongst the Romans
Wine varied in price and privilege throughout the Roman empire. There were several well known varieties and vineyards such as the Falernian wine, which was reserved for the aristocratic classes and for special occasions. In Pompeii there is a tavern with a price listing still present on the wall. In Rome, wine was drank at every meal, making one to wonder if a modern day Roman would pour Chardonnay into his Cocoa Puffs. Even slaves, slaves who were thought to exist on the same spectrum as mongrel dogs, were allowed to drink wine.
Join our exclusive mailing list featuring upcoming classes, area events and wine tips. We keep your information private. Enter your email address Become a Fan. Energetic and humble expertise for events, your cellar or personal curiosity Anyone who knows wine knows that it has greatly impacted the history of our world.
From Noah drinking it in the Old Testament, to legends of soldiers who used it as courage to fight during medieval times, wine has impacted conquests and wars. While this impact could have been more direct, with a very small glass of wine declaring itself Emperor of France, its subtlety was still felt; it is hard to refute the argument that, without wine, our world would be very different.
History, as we know it, has always been under the influence. As the Romans invaded lands, they also introduced their culture and refinement to those lands, as if packing up the ideas of Ancient Rome in a briefcase and carrying them along to every conquest. Wine, a huge part of the history of Ancient Rome as demonstrated by the vast amounts of vineyards planted around Italy , was one of the ideals that transcended territories. In Rome, wine was drank at every meal, making one to wonder if a modern day Roman would pour Chardonnay into his Cocoa Puffs.
Even slaves, slaves who were thought to exist on the same spectrum as mongrel dogs, were allowed to drink wine. A life of servitude, to the Romans, seemed reasonable, but a life without wine was out of the question; it was simply preposterous. Possessing an affinity for wines that could grow old, the Romans often sipped the spirits of wine aged ten or twenty years.
Their wines were also, in keeping with the reputation of the excess known to mark their culture, high in alcohol content. The Romans were well educated in the different grape varieties and the different regions from which they came. They were also very inventive with their wine, often adding ingredients to alter the taste. Among the ingredients they experimented with were saltwater, honey, herbs and chalk. Keeping with their creative abilities, the Romans contributed to the culture of wine through their invention of glassblowing.
And so, enter the Romans. As the Roman Empire expanded, so did its vines, reaching as far north as Britain. France, previously planted with vineyards by the Greeks, was conquered by the Romans and soon many more vineyards sprung up.
Beginning with the Rhone Valley vineyards, the Romans quickly planted their vineyards all across France, leaving France to eventually become known as producers of only the finest wines.
When the Romans got to Spain, they found that the Spaniards had beat them to the punch, and the wine. They possessed vineyards that dated back to 4, BC. But the Romans, not to be outdone, began demanding wines of better quality. The Romans then took over the viticulture in this area, fermenting it into greatness. The Germans, like the Spaniards, had been engaged in grape growing for thousands of years. But, when in Rome or rather when Rome comes in things start to change.
The Romans, having brought in higher quality and better techniques, began to alter the vineyards of Germany. Even some of the soldiers, taking time out of their busy schedule 10 a. The Roman Empire was a monster player in history.
Without them, the fine wines of Europe might not exist: The Roman Empire made it possible to drink wine when in Rome, and everywhere else.
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