Last month we had the opportunity to learn a little more about the history of wine by going back in time to ancient Egypt. In today’s case, we will talk about how wine arrived in classical Greece and how it was accepted in this culture.
It is believed that wine came to Greece through the island of Crete, most probably from Egypt and the surrounding regions. Grapes were cultivated from 700 B.C. in this region of Greece, and soon after this brew became so popular that a patron among the gods, Dionysus, was assigned to it. Wine came to be used in many ceremonies, such as funeral rites or even communal feasts, throughout Greece. It is believed that at one point it was the Greeks or the Phoenicians who introduced the vine to Spain, as well as to other regions of the Mediterranean.
Another interesting fact that we can find about this culture and its wine consumption is that at that time the Greeks had the custom of watering down the wine, that is, diluting the contents with water after fermentation. They did this because their wines had a high alcohol content.
In addition to this, additives were very common in Greek wines. After fermentation, substances such as gypsum (with the intention of clarifying them) or sea water were added. On the other hand, they also blended wines from different regions in order to obtain better results. One of the most popular wines of that time was the wine of Mende, which it was said that even the gods enjoyed drinking.
Finally, it is worth mentioning that on some occasions wines were brought from distant places as a symbol of exoticism, either for blending or to drink them directly. The most popular wines from abroad were those from the mountains of Lebanon or Palestine.
That said, here ends this article dealing with the history of wine in ancient Greece, next week we will talk about what the age of the vineyard says about its grapes. If you enjoyed this article, we invite you to stop by our YouTube channel, where every Saturday we upload a video dealing with the same topic as here in greater depth. The video related to this article will be released this Saturday.