Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Dionysus Was A Wine Snob

I'm currently reading the book "Divine Vintage" by Randall Heskett and Joel Butler which is a fascinating history of not only wine but necessarily on a related note the history of human civilization as well.
On page 20 I found the following wonderful quote:
 "Wine was available only to royalty and the wealthy. According to a later Greek story, Dionysus, whose origins were associated with a more ancient eastern deity, fled from Mesopotamia because people there drank only beer. This was a Greek way of explaining the barbarian nature of Babylonian society; they drank beer and not wine."
 This strongly suggests that our modern tendency to associate wine consumption with higher social/cultural status and in comparison beer consumption with lower social/cultural status has an antecedent in ancient history. Apparently, going way back to ancient human civilizations the winos looked down their noses at the beer-guzzlers.

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