#AtoZChallenge: “W” is for WINE

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w

Day 23: April 26

 [Cover photo:  Santo Winery in Santorini, Greece]

WINE, VINO, VIN, WEIN, MADIRA

wine

Whatever you call it, it’s been around for centuries, starting in China circa 7000 BC and quickly spreading westward.  It played an important role in Mesopotamia, Israel and Egypt and was an essential part of Phoenician, Greek and Roman civilizations.

egyptian wine making

Grape cultivation, winemaking, and commerce in ancient Egypt c. 1500 BC
[Photo Credit]

 The Greeks and Romans worshipped Dionysus, aka Bacchus, God of “Wine, Merry Making, Theatre and Ecstasy” 

dionysus

2nd-century Roman statue of Dionysus, after a Hellenistic model
[Photo Credit]

While touring the museum at Ancient Olympia, our guide told us a wine-related story:

The ancient Greeks were smart and mixed their wine with water, in order to enjoy it without getting drunk.  A famous battle in Greek Mythology was fought between the Lapiths (a Greek tribe) and the Centaurs (half man, half horse).  The Centaurs, all extremely drunk, were summarily defeated and banished by the sober Lapiths.

The western pediment from the Temple of Apollo at Olympia depicts that battle:

olympia museum

©DDB

Historically, wine has been an important part of certain religious rituals, particularly in Christianity, (especially Catholicism), and Judaism.  Many monasteries make their own wine. 

monk drinking wine

Public Domain Image

In modern times, wine is made just about everywhere.  My favourites are dry wines from Italy, France and Spain, but was pleasantly surprised by the wines we encountered in Germany last fall.  German wine, once notoriously sweet, has changed for the better.  Some wines from California, U.S.A. and British Columbia, Canada are also very good.  They even make wine right here in Ontario that many people enjoy, but I have to be honest – they don’t appeal to me.  Ontario is famous for making Ice Wine, which is very expensive and considered a delicacy.  It dates back to Roman times, but the Germans re-invented it in the 18th century.  Again, too sweet for me, but not bad if you cut it with brandy.  

ice wine vineyard

An ice wine vineyard near Niagara Falls, Ontario
[Photo Credit]

CHEERS!


scroll

Do you enjoy wine?  What’s your favourite?

Looking forward to your comments!

atozbanner 2014


Debbie

The “Doglady”. Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada. Writer/blogger, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature & cinema buff. Eternal hippie/rockchick. Bi-national, German/Canadian and multilingual. Currently working on a memoir of the dogs she has known during her years as a pet sitter, along with other memoirs and creative writing pieces.

Debbie

Debbie

Debbie

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42 Comments

Filed under #AtoZChallenge 2014, Food and Drink, Travel, Writing/Blogging

42 Responses to #AtoZChallenge: “W” is for WINE

  1. I don’t know much about wine, but I enjoy drinking it. I’m fine with that wine that comes in a box–tastes good to me. Sometimes the more expensive wines don’t taste as good to me as the cheap wines. They have some nice wineries in the area surrounding Los Angeles (where I am). The wine I’ve had from those places seems pretty darn good to my uneducated oenophilic knowledge.

    Lee
    An A to Z Co-host
    Arlee Bird recently posted…Xanadu (#atozchallenge)My Profile

  2. Well thats an informative post and I just love wine.. The older the better. Not the sweet ones though

    PhenoMenon

  3. Pingback: #AtoZChallenge: “X” is for XENIA

  4. Great post. My local vineyard is Clover Hill. They have a great wine at Christmas- has some spice taste to it (nutmeg, cinnamon, something like that).It’s really different. Quite good.

    I counter your music video with “Pat Benatar – Strawberry Wine” (also on youtube).

    Stopping by from the #atozchallenge !
    J Lenni Dorner recently posted…Update – just need #Wordpress #CSV plugin to re associate #tags yet!My Profile

  5. A winesome and quite informative post :)
    In China rice wine is most popular, which is made from rice starch…
    sheela recently posted…Dangling on the chain was….My Profile

  6. I’ve never been a fan of wine, I have to admit. I’ll drink it if I have to…but I’d rather have fruit juice or Welch’s sparkling grape juice, to be honest!
    Stephanie Faris recently posted…W is for WalkingMy Profile

  7. Generally I drink red wine – cab or malbec. If I drink white, i like it dry – have a couple sauvignon blancs and piont grigios we like. I never say no to champagne or prosecco !
    Sammy D recently posted…Bittersweet and ApplauseMy Profile

  8. Interesting tidbits on wine. I like the stuff high school girls drink. White Zinfidel. I must not drink it much, because I can’t even remember how to spell it. Cheers.
    Joyce recently posted…#AtoZ : W for WinningMy Profile

  9. This post gives me a high ;)
    good one. I only tasted wine once or twice, not a regular drinker

    Thanks for visiting my blog :)
    good luck with the challenge
    afshan recently posted…“W” for “What? Why? Who? When?” – The never ending questionsMy Profile

  10. Perry
    Twitter:

    You’re so right about German wines, and Alsatians. I get into heated arguments about whether all Rieslings are sweet, and Gewurztraminer has that surprising fizz.
    Perry @ ArmitageAgonistes.wordpress.com

  11. What a great choice for W. Love my wine…preferably red. In summer I like pinto, winter I got more for zinfandel or a nice italian.
    Slimdoggy recently posted…Black & White Sunday | SlimDoggyMy Profile

  12. I’m a fan of sweet wine, and absolutely LOVE ice wine! I seem to be a rarity, though – most people I know prefer dry.
    Laurel Regan recently posted…Blogging from A to Z Challenge – W is for…My Profile

    • Sweet wine gives me a headache, but I know many people do enjoy it. The Ice Wine bottles make lovely gifts. Somebody gave me some pre-mixed with brandy once and I did like that – less sweet. :)

  13. My current favorite wine is a red mix from California (where I’m from) called Curious Beasts. So damn good. I can easily make the whole bottle disappear all by my lonesome!
    Millie Burns recently posted…A to Z – VegasMy Profile

  14. I and my friend love trying different wine and still we are in learning phase, I will ask you if I get struck up with a weird wine next time!
    S(t)ri recently posted…Walk On Air – AToZ Challenge 2014 – Day23My Profile

  15. Cathy
    Twitter:

    Thanks for the interesting wine lesson, Debbie. I don’t like wine or liquor so am not a connoisseur of the different kinds. I can appreciate the artistic and historic value of it though. Fascinating about the drunk centaurs. That was funny.
    Cathy recently posted…W is for Writer’s BlockMy Profile

  16. I rarely drink, and if I do, it’s always wine, though I can’t tell any diffrence between different types of wine :)
    Rajlakshmi recently posted…The Watch AlertMy Profile

  17. Nothing beats the French wine but do try the one from South Africa. It’s good. Love the tit bits of wine..M not a regular drinker but do have for christmas. nice one, Debbie:)
    vishalbheeroo recently posted…W for wallstreetMy Profile

  18. Interesting topic and informative post, Debbie. I like both red and the white wine!! :)

    PS : I am not able to comment on this post. It says, “You did not spend enough time on the page before commenting. Please spend some time to read the post before leaving a comment!”
    I swear, I have read your post, Debbie ;)
    Shilpa Garg recently posted…W is for WillpowerMy Profile

  19. W is for Wine: GREAT CHOICE! I enjoyed your piece, especially the Greek mythology and art. And LOVE Eric Burdon and Spill the Wine! That was a great video! I never heard of the Ice Wine. How neat! As for wines that I enjoy: Reisling and Pinot Grigio. I like reds as well and prefer sweeter wines. I guess my palate isn’t as refined as most wine connoisseurs…
    Michele Truhlik recently posted…V is for Voices in My HeadMy Profile

    • Glad you enjoyed this Michele. I adore Eric Burdon too! ♥ We even drove 4 hours through a blizzard in Feb. 2013 to attend one of his concerts. :) Yes, Ice Wine is a very popular Canadian export. Pinot Grigio is my favourite white wine, but it has to be Italian, (hubby insists!). We tried some California Pinot once and it was pretty bad. LOL Different brands have varying degrees of sweetness; the more aged ones are drier. Thanks for dropping by. Can you believe the challenge is almost over??!
      Debbie recently posted…#AtoZChallenge: “V” is for VOLCANOESMy Profile

  20. I enjoy a little occasional indulgence in wine now and then…but I really enjoyed my trip to Napa Valley in California, going through the green wineries and the whole ambiance of that place. Ice Wine – that is something I have never heard of! Interesting.
    Beloo Mehra recently posted…W is for Way, Way to Integrate the Spiritual and the Secular in EducationMy Profile

  21. Eli
    Twitter:

    Oh Yes, Debbie, excellent choice for your W for Wine! Love your wine-write up:-) Must admit Dionysos is among my favorite gods..:-) I love my chilled white wine..-)
    Eli recently posted…W for WindowMy Profile

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