. Vite Vinifera De Vino's Blog: Nectar of the Gods

Friday, November 17, 2006

Nectar of the Gods

Throughout history, divine properties have been attributed to wine. Jesus miraculously transformed water into wine. Catholics represent the blood of Christ by wine. The Popes made their own wine, the Chateauneuf du Pope, which was used for their own holy consumption (and also served to dignitaries).

In historic texts predating Christianity, miracles involving wine abound. The Greeks had one god devoted entirely to wine. The habit for winemakers in ancient Greece to chant the name of this deity while crushing the grapes persisted well into the Roman Empire. It was common to hear a Roman say "in vino veritas" meaning "there is truth in wine." Perhaps not exactly a religious statement, but the idea that people were more likely to be honest while drinking wine was considered something magical. Certainly, the choice of wine in Roman culture was a telling measure of the prominence of a guest and the status of the buyer. But, the importance of wine went far beyond a status symbol. It was believed to have youth-preserving properties, be good for the skin, and was given to pregnant women (at that time, alcohol content was lower but wine was naturally bacteria-free and usually cleaner than water).

If one believes that science is a kind of modern religion, providing its own magic and miracles, then it should come as no surprise that the priests of science continue to report on the divine properties of wine. We know that wine contains antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and other substances with remarkable biological properties. Medical studies indicate that moderate consumption of wine improves cardiovascular health, inhibits cancers, protects against Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, lowers risk of diabetes, boosts the immune system, lowers stress, lengthens life, and help you fight the flu virus as Italian researchers recently discover. And there is far more for science to discover about wine.

In addition to that, when I consider that wine also tastes delicious and makes you happy, I have to conclude that our ancestors were right to believe that wine was a gift from the gods!

Buona bevuta a Tutti

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