More about Wine at The French Paradox
Click on the bull to see Carnaval.com's Dionysian revelries.
jar, called an amphora, held a mixture of wine and
water that was served to guests at an all-male
drinking party called a symposium. [click pic
for better view of satyrs
courage and makes men more apt for passion.
Ovid Ars Amatoria
|“No man also
having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for
he saith, ‘The old is better.’” --- Luke 5:39
|"Forsake not an
old friend; for the new is not comparable to him: a
new friend is as new wine; when it is old, thou
shalt drink it with pleasure." --- Apocrypha,
|Wine brings to
light the hidden secrets of the soul, gives being to
our hopes, bids the coward flight, drives dull care
away, and teaches new means for the accomplishment
of our wishes." --- Horace
|How much better
is thy love than wine!
The Song of Solomon, 4:10
Like the best wine . . . that goeth down sweetly,
causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak.
The Song of Solomon, 7:9
|Wine is life."
--- Petronius, Roman writer
|Wine that maketh
glad the heart of man.
The Book of Psalms, 104:15
|Wine is a
peep-hole on a man.
Alcaeus c. 625 - c. 575 B.C.
|I am falser than
vows made in wine.
William Shakespeare 1564 - 1616
As You Like It [1599 - 1600], act III, sc. v, l. 73
nothing serious in mortality.
All is but toys; renown and grace is dead,
The wine of life is drawn, and the mere lees
Is left this vault to brag of.
Macbeth, II. iii. (100)
expands, unites, and says Yes: it brings the votary
from the chill periphery of things to the radiant
core: it makes him for the moment one with truth.'
|He who loves not wine, women and
song remains a fool his whole life long.
Martin Luther, 1777
|"Wine cheers the
sad, revives the old, inspires the young, makes
weariness forget his toil."
|Let us have wine and women, mirth
Sermons and soda-water the day after.
|Give me women, wine and snuff
Until I cry out 'hold, enough!'
You may do so san objection
Till the day of resurrection;
For bless my beard then aye shall be
My beloved Trinity.
Women, Wine and Snuff
(The tattoo once read 'Winona Forever'!)
|Bacchus we thank who gave us wine
Which warms the blood within our veins;
That nectar is itself divine.
The man who drinks not, yet attains
By godly grace to human rank
Would be an angel if he drank.
French drinking song
|Days of wine and roses laugh and
Like a child at play.
Johnny Mercer (1909-1976)
Days of Wine and Roses
|Souls of poets dead and gone,
What Elysium have ye known,
Happy field or mossy cavern,
Choicer than the Mermaid Tavern?
Have ye tippled drink more fine
Than mine host's Canary wine?
John Keats (1795–1821)
Lines on the Mermaid Tavern
|Wine rejoices the heart of man and joy is the mother
of all virtues.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1771
|I like best the wine drunk at the
cost of others.
Diogenes the Cynic
|There is a devil in every berry
of the grape.
|Wine comes in at
And love comes in at the eye;
That's all we shall know for truth
Before we grow old and die.
William Butler Yeats 1865 - 1939
The Green Helmet and Other Poems , A Drinking
The wines that one best
remembers are not necessarily the finest tasted or
highest quality produced but rather those drunk in a
more favorable atmosphere surrounded by delightful
Around 2500 B.C. Egyptian
trade with the isle of Crete passed along the secret
of wine making.
Prior to this fateful expansion in Mediterranean trade,
the art of wine making belonged to the Egyptians. Making
due with a poor growing climate, Egyptian wine was frail
and could not be made in large enough quantities for the
masses. It was a delicacy of the Pharaoh, and the Gods.
|“The peoples of
the Mediterranean began to emerge from barbarism
when they learnt to cultivate the olive and the
--- Thucydides, Greek Historian, 5th century
Everything changed for
wine when it landed in the hands of the Greeks. This
single event in the evolution of wine, more than any
other, would define its role on Earth for the next four
thousand years. It was in Greece - and by extension
Rome, that wine would
become a drink of the people and begin a spontaneous and
rapid expansion throughout the world.
Amphorae were invented
by the ancient Greeks and adopted by the Romans as the
principal means for transporting and storing wine, oil,
olives, grain, fish, and other commodities. They were
produced on an industrial scale from Greek times and
used around the Mediterranean until about the 16th
promises an expression of the sensual joys of life
unrestrained by the state and untrammeled by the
When people were drunk, acting or in a state of
religious ecstasy they were believed to be in the realm
Because of this divine beverage's
power, experience has established that wine, which
may provide strength in both mind and body, is a
blessing only to those who use it with measure, and
that is why Dionysus has been called "health-giver".
'To Your Health!'
|"Wine is at the
head of all medicines; where wine is lacking, drugs
are necessary." - Babylonian Talmud: Baba Bathra
comparing diets in western countries have discovered
that although the French tend to eat higher levels
of animal fat, surprisingly the incidence of heart
disease remains low in France. They named this
phenomenon the French Paradox. Many scientists now
believe the reason is the greater consumption of red
wine in France. Something in the grape helps to
lower cholesterol levels in the body and thus slows
the build up of deposits in the arteries. Compounds
such as resveratrol have been discovered in grapes
and these have been positively linked to fighting
cancer, heart disease, degenerative nerve disease
and other ailments. While only only red wine is
fermented with the skins there are health benefits
to drinking all wine and alcohol for that matter.
The benefits of moderate daily consumption of
alcohol compared to total abstinence are many and
Yet some say that the god Bacchus himself defined the
limits: mixing only 3 bowls of wine: the 1st to
Health, the 2nd to Love and pleasure, and the 3rd to
Sleep. The 4th bowl, they say, belongs to Violence;
the 5th to Uproar, the 6th to Drunken Revel, and the
7th to Black Eyes. The 8th, they proceed, belongs to
the Police, the 9th to Biliousness, and the 10th to
Madness and hurling the furniture. All this is well
known; for wine in reasonable quantities is fine,
but too much drinking is followed by mockery, which
is followed by filthy insult, which is followed by
law-suit, which is followed by verdict, which is
followed by chains and a fine, which leads us back
to "wine is fine".
TWISTED WINE LOGIC:
"It is well to remember that there are five reasons
for drinking: the arrival of a friend; one's present
or future thirst; the excellence of the wine; or any
other reason." -- Latin saying
and you will sleep well. Sleep, and you will not
sin. Avoid sin, and you will be saved. Ergo, drink
wine and be saved." -- Medieval German saying
Mosaic from Antioch on the Orontes. Third century
CE. Hatay Archaeological Museum, Antakya.
to the Orphics, when the young Dionysos was torn apart by
the ferocious Titans, his blood splattered on the ground,
and from that spot rose the vine, thick with clusters of red
grapes, resembling the drops of blood that had been shed.
The grapes, then, contain a part of Dionysos within them,
and whenever we crush the grapes, and drink their juice, we
are drinking the God. It was Dionysos who taught man the art
of fermenting the juice of the vine, and how to pour
libations during festivals
---Ovid's Fasti 3.727.
Roman Historian Pliny the
Elder rated 121 B.C. as a vintage “of the highest
Odysseus on Dionysus & wine
Who is this Dionysus? Is he worshipped as a god?
"This is the effect of your wine—for wine is a
crazy thing. It sets the wisest man singing and
like a girl; it lures him on to dance and it makes
him blurt out what were better left unsaid."
Odysseus: Yes, the best source of joy in life
[Euripides, Cyclops 521]
[Odysseus to Eumaeus 1. Homer, Odyssey 14.464]
It should not be forgotten that wine
once more commonly included many other ingredients,
herbal, floral and resinous, adding to the quality,
flavour and medicinal properties of the drink. The
cultivation of all these also originally came under
the lore of Dionysos, making it a general vegetation
cult and herbal school. Honey and bees wax were also
added to early wine.. Greek wines, that would
only have been 15% proof, has led some, including
Graves, to conclude some of its additives were
of an hallucinogenic nature. The suggestion of
"magic potion" associated with the Dionysos rites,
may have included poison ivy, "kykeon" (probably
ergot ale), and possibly fly agaric mushrooms.
The Greeks also had knowledge of the properties of
datura, henbane and belladona.
itself can be seen as a symbol of drug-taking. The
fennel stalk, known as a narthex, was what Greek
herbalists stored their plants in to keep them
fresh. The pine cone came from a tree whose resin
fermented, makes a powerful intoxicant and may well
have been mixed with the wine.
Ivy, was once thought to negate the
effects of drunkenness, and to be the opposite of
the grapevine, blooming in winter rather than
summer. The berries of ivy can be intoxicating
The fig, thought to be a purgative of
toxins, and the pine, a wine preservative, taken
from the evergreen.
Wine is one of the
most civilized things in the world and one of the
most natural things of the world that has been
brought to the greatest perfection, and it offers a
greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than,
possibly, any other purely sensory thing.
Death in the Afternoon
'Pour, Bacchus! the remembering wine;
loss of me and mine!
Vine for vine be
And the rape
requite the lote!
haste to cure
the old despair,
Nature's lotus drenched,
The memory of
Flavius Claudius Julianus,
the last Pagan Emperor of Rome, put beer in its proper
"Can this be Dionysus? How the deuce!
Now, by the very Bacchus, in this guise
We do not recognize
The son of Zeus.
How came this goat-reek? Wine is nectar-scented.
The Celt from barley-tops, so We suppose,
For want of grapes and nose,
This brew invented.
Beer is no scion of the God ethereal,
No son of Semele to the lightning born,
But plain John Barley-corn."
In fact, a Cereal.
|Dionysus and Kataragama:
Parallel Mystery Cults
First noted by Ptolemy of Alexandria in the 2nd
In the dry jungle
of remote southeastern Sri Lanka lies Kataragama or
Katir-kamam, the (place of) 'light and
love-passion', a shrine complex of exceptional
antiquity and sanctity that attracts many thousands
of Buddhist, Hindu and even Muslim devotees year
round, particularly during the fortnight-long Aesala
festival in July-August, when a small casket
believed to contain the secret of the god's
birth—nay, the god himself—is taken out in solemn
yet joyful torch lit procession nightly, escorted by
his women-votaries and troupes of riotous dancers
representing the animal, human, chthonic and
At the tomb of
discovered in 1922 by Howard Carter in Western
Thebes, Egypt. The inscription on the jar reads:
"Year 5. Wine of the House-of-Tutankhamun
Ruler-of-the-Southern-On, l.p.h.[in] the Western
River. By the chief vintner Khaa."
Scientists have detected wine in a jar from as far
back as 5400 B.C., found at the site of Hajji Firuz
Tepe in the northern Zagros Mountains of present-day
Iran. But the earliest knowledge about wine
cultivation comes from ancient Egypt, where the
winemaking process was represented on tomb walls
dating to 2600 B.C.
Also in ancient Egypt beer was a more frequent
beverage than water, since it was trusted more to be
germ-free and not nearly as expensive to produce.
The earliest scientific evidence of
grapes is from 60-million-year-old fossil vines.
Republic of Georgia is regarded to be a homeland
of wine . Wine has been made in the fertile valleys
of Georgia for more than 7,000 years. However the
earliest known evidence of a fermented wine-like
drink is from the Chinese village of Jiahu
dated from 6000 to 7000 BC.
Ancient pottery jars discovered at Hajji Firuz Tepe
in the Zagros Mountains of present-day Iran,
near the city of Urmia , indicate that grape wine
was produced as far back as
written record of winemaking comes from a much more
recent source, the Bible, which says Noah planted a
vineyard after exiting the ark.
began to be an husbandman, and he planted a
--- Genesis 9:20 This is thought to
reference the first Cities found in Turkey
following the Ice Age which ended about 10,000 BC.Grape
presses dating to the late third millennium B.C.
have been found at Titris Höyük in southeastern
In Egypt a thriving royal winemaking industry
had been established in the Nile Delta. The industry
was most likely the result of trade between Egypt
and Canaan during the Early Bronze Age, commencing
from at least the Third Dynasty (2650 – 2575 BC),
the beginning of the Old Kingdom period (2650 – 2152
1000-950 BC Ancient
Greeks cultivate vineyards throughout Spain, Italy
and the Greek Islands
Benefits of Moderate
Research extending back as far as 1926 has
demonstrated that drinking in moderation is
associated with greater longevity than is either
abstaining or abusing alcohol. A wide body of
studies suggest that moderate levels of alcohol
consumption [1-3 drinks/day]can reduce stress;
promote conviviality and pleasant and carefree
feelings; and decrease tension, anxiety, and
self-consciousness. In the elderly, moderate
drinking has been reported to stimulate appetite,
promote regular bowel function, and improve mood.
The reduced risk of heart disease means moderate
drinkers live longer than both abstainers and heavy
Cardiovascular disease is the
number one cause of death in a number of countries
and in the United States heart disease kills about
one million people each year. The Director of the
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
has written that "numerous well-designed studies
have concluded that moderate drinking is associated
with improved cardiovascular health," and the
Nutrition Committee of the American Heart
Association reports that "the lowest mortality
occurs in those who consume one or two drinks per
day." The World Health Organization Technical
Committee on Cardiovascular Disease asserted that
the relationship between moderate alcohol
consumption and reduced death from heart disease
could no longer be doubted.
Risk of progression to problem
drinking is the major health risk of
moderate drinking. The main debate for the medical
profession is whether the risks of problem drinking
outweigh giving the advice to patients to drink
|What to make
of the Moslem's world of total prohibition?
|The single verse
in the Koran on which the prohibition of wine is
based resulted from an after dinner fight where it is
not clear that the participants were drunk. The
Prophet's favorite wife, Ayesha, quibbled with the
injunction: She quoted Mohammed as saying 'you may drink,
but do not get drunk'." Mohammed himself, it is said,
was a regular moderate drinker of nabidh, a sort of wine made from dates.
However, the tolerance of Christians and Jews within
Moslem countries has always meant that wine was
available for a sinner.