#AtoZChallenge: “W” is for WINE

43 Comments#AtoZChallenge 2014, Food and Drink, Travel, Writing/Blogging


Welcome everyone, to the #AtoZChallenge Blogging Extravaganza, where hundreds of bloggers publish 26 posts in 26 days – one for each letter of the alphabet – covering a myriad of topics! “Travel & Culture” is my theme. Click HERE to see all posts. Please support our efforts by visiting, sharing and commenting. We have all worked long and hard on this project. Click on the banner at the top right sidebar or near the bottom of this page for the list of participants. Have fun and thanks for reading!


Day 23: April 26

[Cover photo: Santo Winery in Santorini, Greece]



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”

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

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]


Do you enjoy wine? What’s your favourite?

Looking forward to your comments!

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Debbie D.
Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada, known as "The Doglady". Writer/website owner, photographer, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature and cinema buff. Eternal "hippie/rockchick". Binational, German/Canadian and multilingual. Looking for the next adventure!
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43 thoughts on “#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.

    An A to Z Co-host

    1. A friend of mine swears by boxed wine and keeps telling me to try it, but the wine snob in me keeps resisting. LOL I have had some excellent California wine. Thanks for visiting Arlee and have a great week. 🙂

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


  3. 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 !

    1. Nice to meet you and welcome the The Den. 🙂 Your Christmas wine sounds interesting! Thanks for the song selection; I wasn’t familiar with it.

  4. 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!

  5. 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 !

    1. I love champagne and Prosecco as well! 🙂 Over the years, we’ve enjoyed a few (but only a few) bottles of Dom Perignon. That is a delight to the taste buds.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

    1. Wine is a normal part of our dinner most days, but only one glass, rarely more and it has no effect other than to enhance the meal. 🙂

  8. 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

    1. Alsatian wines were always drier than the German ones, but finally, that has changed. 🙂 Thanks for visiting today and have a great week.

  9. 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.

    1. Hello Slimdoggy. 🙂 Wine is always a part of our meals, although we prefer white and Italian. Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

    1. 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. 🙂

  10. 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!

    1. Curious Beasts? Interesting name, Millie. 🙂 Hope it’s better than the one I tried, called Bare Foot (California Pinot Grigio). 😛 Enjoy!

      1. Oh Bare Foot is a cheap wine…not a good example of California Wines. The Curious Beasts runs +$20 a bottle, but the grocery regularly has it on sale for about $14. It is worth every penny! Yum.

  11. 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!

  12. 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.

  13. 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:)

    1. I did try a South African Pinot Grigio recently and yes, it was good! 🙂 glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks for visiting.

  14. 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 😉

    1. Haha! Sounds like the anti-spam feature was being a little over-zealous. It’s set to 30 seconds only, so it shouldn’t have been a problem. Sorry about that! 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the topic.

  15. 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…

    1. 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??!

  16. 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.

    1. The Napa Valley is a place I haven’t experienced yet, but I’d like to. 🙂 Glad you enjoyed your time there, Beloo.

  17. 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..-)

    1. I’m with you about the chilled white wine, Eli. I got a kick out of the full description for Dionysus, God of “Wine, Merry Making, Theatre and Ecstasy”.
      What’s not to like, right? 😀

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