Read e-book online Ancient Wine: The Search for the Origins of Viniculture PDF

Food Wine

By Patrick E. McGovern

ISBN-10: 0691070806

ISBN-13: 9780691070803

The heritage of civilization is, in lots of methods, the background of wine. This e-book is the 1st complete and up to date account of the earliest levels of vinicultural heritage and prehistory, which extends again into the Neolithic interval and past. Elegantly written and richly illustrated, historic Wine opens up entire new chapters within the attention-grabbing tale of wine and the vine via drawing upon contemporary archaeological discoveries, molecular and DNA sleuthing, and the texts and paintings of long-forgotten peoples.

Patrick McGovern takes us on a private odyssey again to the beginnings of this consequential beverage while early hominids most likely loved a wild grape wine. We persist with the process human ingenuity in domesticating the Eurasian vine and studying tips to make and safeguard wine a few 7,000 years in the past. Early winemakers should have marveled on the likely stunning technique of fermentation. From luck to luck, viniculture stretched out its tentacles and entwined itself with one tradition after one other (whether Egyptian, Iranian, Israelite, or Greek) and laid the basis for civilization itself. As medication, social lubricant, mind-altering substance, and hugely valued commodity, wine turned the point of interest of spiritual cults, pharmacopoeias, cuisines, economies, and society. As an evocative image of blood, it was once utilized in temple ceremonies and occupies the center of the Eucharist. Kings celebrated their victories with wine and made definite they'd lots for the afterlife. (Among the colourful examples within the publication is McGovern's recognized chemical reconstruction of the funerary feast--and combined beverage--of "King Midas.") a few peoples actually turned "wine cultures."

When we sip a pitcher of wine this day, we recapitulate this dynamic heritage during which a unmarried grape species used to be harnessed to yield a virtually limitless diversity of tastes and bouquets. historical Wine is a ebook that wine fans and archaeological sleuths alike will increase their glasses to.

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Extra resources for Ancient Wine: The Search for the Origins of Viniculture

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Groups of human 8 CHAPTER ONE beings (Homo sapiens) migrated from East Africa about 2 million years ago, across the natural land bridge of the Sinai Peninsula into the Middle East. Their first encounter with the wild grape might have been in the upland regions of eastern Turkey, northern Syria, or northwestern Iran. Perhaps they saw the plant in a more southerly locale—the Hill Country of Palestine and Israel or the Transjordanian Highlands—because of moister conditions prevailing during interglacial periods than at present.

In short, the wild vine had to be taken into cultivation, thus beginning it on its way to become the domesticated Eurasian grapevine that we know today. Once the basic principles of interbreeding and transplanting were mastered, additional crosses could be made or germ plasm chosen that produced the traits desired. The goal might have been a sweeter eating grape; a sourer, more bitter grape for vinegar; or a wine grape with balanced sugar content and acidity. 14 CHAPTER ONE When and Where Was Wine First Made?

The asexual transplanting of cultivars ensures that the microsatellites will remain intact for centuries. Applying powerful multivariate statistics for almost 30 idiosyncratic microsatellites (and the number of suitable loci continues to grow as researchers around the world apply the same techniques) has unequivocally established the parentage of some very well-known cultivars. At the same time, the wine world has been shaken to its foundations. John Bowers and one of my collaborators, Carole Meredith in the Department of Enology and Viticulture at the University of California at Davis, have shown that Chardonnay, the principal white grape of Burgundy in France, was the result of a probable accidental cross between the famous Pinot of the same region and an undistinguished, obscure white variety, Gouais blanc, which has actually been banned several times because of its poor-quality wine.

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Ancient Wine: The Search for the Origins of Viniculture by Patrick E. McGovern

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