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Origins of viniculture

This is a book review of a book on ancient wine by a biomolecular archaeologist (never heard of such a thing!) and he claims that during the Paleolithic era people drank fermented grapes and this has to do with whether or not such grapes were domesticated and what that had anything to do with the origins of agriculture. I can tell you without reading the book that it probably had everything to do with the origins of agriculture, i.e., men first worked at those things that gave them pleasure rather than those things necessity compelled them to do. Or, at the least, necessity and pleasure grew side by side. Hobbbes to the contrary notwithstanding. Nunc vino pellite curas, says Horace.

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When we traveled to Italy and stayed at Sergio Mottura’s vinyard, he explained the following, though I am no expert to know the veracity of his claim.

He explained that when the Romans made wine, they did not really filter any sediment out, so it was, needless to say, a bit chunky. Also, they added brackish sea-water to the wine. Now, this all sounds really disgusting and may also be false. I’d love to hear if any of this is true. He spoke English pretty well, so it wasn’t a mistranslation on my part!

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