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1001 deeds, sayings, curiosities and anecdotes of the ancient world

Wines with denomination of origin.

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The wheat, the wine and the oil are the three characteristic products of Mediterranean cultures from the Neolithic.

These products are always present, essential for feeding people and also essential in many religious rites and in different moments of social life, including specially the banquet.

We can say that in the Ancient World there are a whole wine culture in many ways similar to the current times. So then, as now,  there were some renowned ,but other less appreciated or common, wines.

Then, as now, these wines received the name of their place of origin or provenance. So the "Rioja" or "Ribera”" or "Burgundy" or "Bourdeaux"  of the Antiquity  were then the "Caecubus”, the "Caelenus" the "Falernus" or "Formianus", natives of Caecubum, Cales,  Falernum or Formiae .

The poet Horace  summarizes perfectly these data, for example, in an ode   (Odes 1.20) in which, wanting to regale their protector, the wealthy Maecenas, accustomed to fine  and high price wines, invites him to a common "Sabinus" , albeit it was of  the crop year in which the patron of the poet overcame a serious illness and  Horace  reaped it and now offers it to remember that happy time.

You will drink with me this Sabine common wine in not large cups
You  will drink then a "Caecuban" wine  and this  one pressed of Calenian grapes,
Falernas vines or  vines of Formias hills do not   fill my cups

Vile potabis modicis Sabinum cantharis….

  Caecubum et prelo domitam Caleno
   tu bibes uvam: mea nec Falernae
   temperant vites neque Formiani
   pocula colles.

Obviously, these wines were not affordable by the poet. Rarely   poetry and a good economic situation  formed  a couple.


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