Nectar of the Gods

We have Dionysus to thank for the wine we drink today in the 21st century. Apparently he was the one responsible for inventing wine.

As a Greek god worshiped over 3000 years ago from 1500-1100 BC, Dionysus was praised as the god of all things wine. His duly services include watching over humankind who were involved in wine-drinking for pleasure, drunkenness, wine-drinking for good health, grape harvest, grape tending, wine making, wine types, wine regions, and wine merchants and commerce (evidently, in the instance that things go awry here at Decanted, he’s the go-to guy). He is also known by his Roman name, Bacchus and the two are used interchangeably.

As the story goes, “When Bakkhos saw the wild grapes with a bellyful of red juice…he dug into the rock, he hollowed out a pit in the stone with the sharp prongs of his earth-burrowing pick, he smoothed the sides of the deepening hold and made an excavation like a winepress and made the first ever batch of wine.” That sounds almost too easy, but I guess if you are a god, then I suppose anything is relatively easy.

Since these events weren’t recorded as accurately as maybe they should have been, we have no idea of knowing how the skill and art of wine making was passed along into the hands of us mere mortals, but it was very kind of him to share his discovery to say the least.

From the unimaginative and strictly logical perspective,  I’m going to throw a left handed pitch here. If Greek and Roman gods are in fact “myths”, then I’m guessing that wine was around before the god Dionysus was conceptualized one night around the campfire. If humans made up the story about him inventing wine, then…dare I ask…was it in fact humans that invented wine? And if so, wouldn’t we want to take credit for it? Maybe it was just an excuse to put the work of mankind up onto a pedestal. Gray areas and mysteries of the past forever to remain unanswered.

In any case, stories are always fun and I will leave you with a jovial quote from Mnesitheus, Greek physician and wine drinker; “the gods had revealed wine to mortals, to be the greatest blessing for those who use it aright… For it gives food to them that take it, and strength in mind and body. To those who mix and drink it moderately, it gives good cheer”

Posted on February 1, 2011, in Wine. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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