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Scientists Uncover 3,700-Year-Old Wine Cellar

samzenpus posted 1 year,13 days | from the break-out-the-good-stuff dept.

Science 122

Taco Cowboy writes in with a link about the remnants of some well-aged wine recently uncovered in Israel. "Scientists have uncovered a 3,700-year-old wine cellar in the ruins of a Canaanite palace in Israel, chemical analysis from the samples from the ceramic jars suggest they held a luxurious beverage that was evidently reserved for banquets. The good stuff contains a blend of ingredients that may have included honey, mint, cedar, tree resins and cinnamon bark. The discovery confirms how sophisticated wines were at that time, something suggested only by ancient texts. The wine cellar was found this summer in palace ruins near the modern town of Nahariya in northern Israel. Researchers found 40 ceramic jars, each big enough to hold about 13 gallons, in a single room. There may be more wine stored elsewhere, but the amount found so far wouldn't be enough to supply the local population, which is why the researchers believe it was reserved for palace use. The unmarked jars are all similar as if made by the same potter. Chemical analysis indicates that the jars held red wine and possibly white wine. There was no liquid left; analyses were done on residues removed from the jars. An expert in ancient winemaking said the discovery 'sheds important new light' on the development of winemaking in ancient Canaan, from which it later spread to Egypt and across the Mediterranean."

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... a short while later ... (5, Funny)

DavidClarkeHR (2769805) | 1 year,13 days | (#45634751)

Shortly after discovering a 3,700 year old wine cellar, scientists declare:
Ish totally ... not *hic* full of ... wine ... s'all empties, i sh-wear.

Re:... a short while later ... (5, Funny)

mjwx (966435) | 1 year,12 days | (#45636017)

Shortly after discovering a 3,700 year old wine cellar

Scientists discover the demented writings of a 3,700 year old wine snob.

Re:... a short while later ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#45637615)

Shortly after discovering a 3,700 year old wine cellar

Scientists discover the demented writings of a 3,700 year old wine snob.

Somebody has to demand something more than what everyone else is satisfied with otherwise there would be no drive for progressive improvements.

Doesn't stop the noisy ones from being annoying though.

Re:... a short while later ... (3, Funny)

mysidia (191772) | 1 year,12 days | (#45638187)

Shortly after discovering a 3,700 year old wine cellar

Scientists discover writing on the side of the jar saying "Instant canned fruit drink, type 3 field ration, just add beer"

Re:... a short while later ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#45639395)

Tried retsina? Quick-acting, total memory-erase. No impact on 'performance' apparently, no hangover either. Disgusting, but well worth a try.

This was news two weeks ago (2, Insightful)

Nimey (114278) | 1 year,13 days | (#45634763)

It's been a couple weeks now since this was news on mainstream websites - the linked story is even from the 22nd of November. What's the point of posting it now?

Re:This was news two weeks ago (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#45634805)

False. The only news on November 22 was the 50 year anniversary of JFK's assassination.

Source: I happened to have checked the media that day.

Re:This was news two weeks ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#45635271)

It was in the news but then JFK's assassination anniversary assassinated it.

Re:This was news two weeks ago (5, Insightful)

spmkk (528421) | 1 year,13 days | (#45634813)

What's the point of posting it now?

So that those of us who go to "mainstream" websites for geopolitical news rather than scouring them for science/tech developments, and therefore might have missed this (as I did), can learn about it?

Re:This was news two weeks ago (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#45634835)

You're an ignorant Tea Baggist. Go fuck yourself.

Re:This was news two weeks ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#45634999)

You're an ignorant Tea Baggist. Go fuck yourself.

Yes, I avoid fox news, because it is too left-leaning. Slashdot for me.

Re:This was news two weeks ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#45636139)

Charming language. Did you complete primary school?

Re:This was news two weeks ago (0)

Nimey (114278) | 1 year,13 days | (#45634845)

This isn't science/tech, really, it's of archaeological interest.

I'm 99% certain I found out about it first from one of the sites Google News aggregates; maybe you'll get good results if you have it show you lots of science/world/whatever stories.

Re:This was news two weeks ago (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#45635785)

Archaeology is....a science!

Re:This was news two weeks ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#45636661)

So archaeology isn't science? Also no tech were involve whatsoever?

Re:This was news two weeks ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#45640713)

What is this now?

Slashdot: News for Nerds (who don't like scouring for sci/tech stories) Stuff that matters (but not as much as geopolitical stories)

=/

Re:This was news two weeks ago (2)

cyfer2000 (548592) | 1 year,13 days | (#45634941)

Oh the night that Paddy Murphy died, is a night I'll never forget. Some of the boys got loaded drunk, and they ain't got sober yet... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fO7cd8uXVRQ [youtube.com]

Now the fields are dead and bare (1)

fsagx (1936954) | 1 year,12 days | (#45638961)

Now the fields are dead and bare
No joie de vivre anywhere
Et maintenant we drink a bitter wine...

Re:This was news two weeks ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#45634947)

...The wine cellar was found this summer

All the news that's old, we print.

Re:This was news two weeks ago (2)

nospam007 (722110) | 1 year,12 days | (#45635031)

"It's been a couple weeks now since this was news on mainstream websites - the linked story is even from the 22nd of November. What's the point of posting it now?"

The wine cellar is now 3700 years and 2 weeks old.

Re:This was news two weeks ago (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | 1 year,12 days | (#45635191)

And when I read it on the Register [theregister.co.uk] I was told that it was "psychotropic."

The wine was flavoured with honey, mint, cinnamon bark, juniper berries and even mysterious "psychotropic resins", which might explain why people in the biblical era spent so much time spouting prophesies and wearing technicolor dreamcoats.

an interpretation which was omitted from the other news accounts.

Well? will this wine help you see things you wouldn't believe? Or is the Register seeing things that its readers shouldn't believe?

Re:This was news two weeks ago (1)

peragrin (659227) | 1 year,12 days | (#45638177)

The register is well known for making shit up for fun. they are far more subtle at it compared to the onion but truthful journalism they are not.

of course if you want truthful journalism you can't listen to anybody in the USA, or most of the other worlds major news companies.

Re:This was news two weeks ago (5, Funny)

Chris Mattern (191822) | 1 year,12 days | (#45635405)

It's 3700 years old. What difference does two weeks make, fer cryin' out loud?

Re:This was news two weeks ago (2)

drkim (1559875) | 1 year,12 days | (#45637143)

It's 3700 years old. What difference does two weeks make, fer cryin' out loud?

Its bouquet won't be fully developed for another year.

Re:This was news two weeks ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#45635615)

I don't read mainstream stuff, so it's the first I heard about it...

Re:This was news two weeks ago (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#45636007)

It'll be even better news in a few years.

Re:This was news two weeks ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#45637535)

Even more to the point. It's not really for nerds and it doesn't really matter.

those ingredients (4, Interesting)

FudRucker (866063) | 1 year,13 days | (#45634865)

cedar, cinnamon bark, honey, etc...

sounded like the ancient relatives of whoever invented Jaegarmeister http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%C3%A4germeister [wikipedia.org]

Re:those ingredients (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#45635039)

Jägermeister. The foulest drink on earth!

Re:those ingredients (1)

SpzToid (869795) | 1 year,12 days | (#45636887)

Perhaps, but if you happen to be travelling from The Netherlands to Austria, across Germany on an overnight train, Jägermeister can help to ease the journey with your new neighbors, especially if it helps everyone get some sleep. This is what is what invented for I think.

Re:those ingredients (1)

Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) | 1 year,12 days | (#45638971)

This is what is what invented for I think.

Is what?

The stories of Ruinum are true! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#45634875)

Greece is "across the Mediterranean"!? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#45634877)

An expert in ancient winemaking said the discovery 'sheds important new light' on the development of winemaking in ancient Canaan, from which it later spread to Egypt and across the Mediterranean."

Wine (drinking and making) was common in Greece before any Canaanite had heard that such drink even existed - and it was common for Greeks to trade their wine across the Mediterranean.

Re:Greece is "across the Mediterranean"!? (2, Funny)

Suiggy (1544213) | 1 year,13 days | (#45634897)

Oy vey, this is anti-semitic.Don't you goyim know that the civilization of Judea was far superior to Greece? There's a reason the word "Hell" was chosen to signify the degeneracy and barbarism found in Hellinistic Greece.

Re:Greece is "across the Mediterranean"!? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#45634951)

I am the one that made the parent comment about Greeks probably spreading the wine development across the Mediterranean and not Canaanites... and i am Greek!
To be honest i tryed to make it sound as little as possible anti-semitic and mostly without bragging about my Greek ancestors, but here one fact:
Canaanites -Philistines (as the were called by the Jews)- were actually Greeks... and a very big enemy of Jews!

Re:Greece is "across the Mediterranean"!? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#45634981)

The Canaanites weren't Philisitines. The Philistines may very probably have originally been from the Aegean but they settled on the southern coasts of the Levant, in what we may as well call southern Canaan and the south-western part of the Shephelah. As such, since they were there for centuries, we could certainly say the Philistines became Canaanites, but the converse is extremely categorically not true. There were people living in Canaan before the Philistines and any others of the Sea Peoples we may at times identify, and they had a distinctive culture. These are attested not least by communications between Egypt in the 13th century BC -- before the Sea Peoples and the collapse of the Minoan-era Aegean and Levantine civilisations -- and a variety of rulers in Canaan. This allows us to pin down a time of "Canaanite" culture, as seen in material remains such as pottery styles, architectural styles, status of the development of state and of technology, and so forth. This culture, which existed before the Philistines, was also present after the arrival of the Philistines and, indeed, was present in somes sites even after the Israelites expanded out of the northern hill country and into the Jezreel valley and the coastal plain.

(This does not include various arguments pointing out that the Israelites - and the Judahites to the south - themselves emerged from an equally "Canaanite" culture, merely one adapted to a mixture of rarified agrean settlements and pastoral groups, not least because by the time the Kingdom of Israel (under the likes of Omri, Ahab etc.) grew to a position of power, the culture of the highlands was materialy different from that of the coastal plain and not only because for whatever reason they didn't eat pig and the coastal cities ate tons of them.)

Re:Greece is "across the Mediterranean"!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#45635003)

You are partly right - Canaanites weren't Philisitines, but Canaanites at the time this ancient cellar was created most probably were Philisitines (i.e., Greeks).

Re:Greece is "across the Mediterranean"!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#45635119)

In 1700BC in the north? I'd need a bit more evidence that a loose statement about Greeks being Philistines being Canaanites, I'm afraid - obviously it may even be possible, and it may be it's impossible to prove one way or another, but I'd be quite sceptical without further evidence. Given the early date and the location, for instance, what evidence is there that this would be Greek rather than, for instance, early Phoenician? Why not Egyptian? Heaven forbid, why not "indigenous"? Sure, I'd be surprised if there weren't links with Cyprus, Anatolia (though identifying Anatolia as "Greek" in 1700BC would be... controversial) and Greece, but that doesn't even begin to say this is Greek.

I'm not an archaeologist, which is probably obvious, but I'm also not totally ill-informed (which I hope is also obvious, though a genuine archaeologist would tear me a new one in seconds, I have no doubt - and I'd bloody hope so, too). What's the justification for saying those that built this cellar were "most probably Philistines" (given it is at least 600-700 years before the Sea Peoples were even first mentioned, let alone the Philistines - bear in mind just how long 700 years is to us now, with all the written history, the archaeology, the science, and so forth, and how much longer it was back in 1100BC), and, even stronger, "i.e. Greeks". The first identification has to be extraordinarily suspect. The second identification is less so, if placed in its proper time (almost a thousand years later), and even more so if we're pushing it back to 1700BC.

Re:Greece is "across the Mediterranean"!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#45635307)

You are more archaeologist than i am and very good -better than me- informed about that area and time - but the evidence about my statement is the... wine!
Wine was (most probably) originally "a Greek thing" (the area of Caucasus/"Anatolia" -Pontos as we Greeks call it- where most probably wine first developed was heavely -but not only- populated with Greeks).
But i understand that i don't give you much info (i have read some things about it -both wine and Philistines- but i don't have sources right now, some of them in Greek... and i strugle with my bad English!).

Re:Greece is "across the Mediterranean"!? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#45635491)

If you can track down anything in English (or that translates even semi-coherently with Google Translate) then post them anyway, I'd be very interested to read them. I'd also be very sceptical, but I tend to view that as a positive, so long as "sceptical" doesn't translate to "closed-minded". I certainly interpreted what you wrote through English, and what you basically stated was that in 1700BC, the Canaanites were Philistine, and therefore Greek, which is certainly not true but is also probably not what you intended to say. For the main point, I'd certainly be very sceptical of a substantial Greek presence that early. It would need confirmation in finds of pottery and weaponry, and if the people building cellar - and presumably the building above it - were Greek, the architecture. Given the date, it would be very hard to pin anything down by writing (given Linear B [wikipedia.org] dates to Mycanaean times, hundreds of years later, and so far as I know is the earliest decoded written Greek*), so our only handles are on material remains. If such can be positively identified, brilliant - I'm very persuadable, because I've often been unconvinced by people's assumption that the distances of travel in early periods (early Bronze Age and even the Stone Ages) were extremely limited. If not, I'd be extremely wary.

Where it comes to the history of wine, however, I must confess I'm totally ignorant. About all I can say here is that if it's a technique developed in a particular area that is not accompanied by corresponding finds in a new area, I'd be very wary of ascribing it to literal migration rather than communciation and contact (and obviously individual travel). Much the same counts for the spread of first bronze technologies and then iron technologies - no-one serious claims that people expanded out from one area in the world and exterminated everyone who worked in stone, or in bronze. That's clearly farcical. (A farcical nature that should be borne in mind any time anyone talks about population migration in the ancient world. Sure, sometimes whole populations traveled... but that leaves fairly clear signs in the archaeology. It's a lot easier for culture to travel without extermination or mass displacement, particularly when it's carried on the back of superior weaponry.)

* Linear A overlaps the period we're talking about. I'm unaware of any Linear A being found in the Levant. But this may or may not be important since we've still not deciphered Linear A anyway, and it may represent a language that was on Crete before its culture intertwined more closely with the northern Mediterranean coast.

* By the way, in my original post I said "Minoan-era Aegean" when I meant "Mycenaean-era Aegean".

Re:Greece is "across the Mediterranean"!? (3, Interesting)

HornWumpus (783565) | 1 year,12 days | (#45635595)

Greeks claim wine like Russians claim vodka. Best not to argue with them in real life.

Ignoring my own advice: Monkeys get drunk on naturally occurring fermented fruit. Wine was almost certainly discovered prior to modern humans reaching Greece.

The Greeks did discover distillation, though they didn't drink the results. Give them vodka as a consolation prize.

Re:Greece is "across the Mediterranean"!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#45636269)

Just to clarify this: i just claim that systematical wine making (and drinking!) was (probably) developed by Greeks.
Vodka is surely Russian - we Greeks have the more noble (distiled from grapes) tsipouro/ouzo!
(and better don't argue with me - when we Greeks build the Parthenon you barbarians were still hanging from trees).

Re:Greece is "across the Mediterranean"!? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | 1 year,12 days | (#45639609)

...yes except it is not "us barbarians" that you're trying to denigrate. You're trying to denigrate a much older culture actually. That's the hilarious part about all of this. You're like a dwarf trying to call a midget shorty.

Re:Greece is "across the Mediterranean"!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#45640213)

So just stating the opinion that X werent the first people to develop/invent something is to denigrate them? Riiiight...

Re:Greece is "across the Mediterranean"!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#45635913)

Since i am i Greek (so an authority about the Greek word "sceptical"!) i can ensure you that you are as "sceptical" as my famous great ancestor was and tryed to teach others to be the same...!
The Greeks (Philistines - Minoetes from Crete and surounding Aegean islands) were already trading with Canaa natives before they settle there in an agressive way (that lead to the famous hostility with the Jews).
One place where their existance is evident is named "Kabri" (maybe in the same area as this cellar actually!).
Generaly the connection between Greeks-Philistines is strongly supported from both Greek and non Greek SERIOUS academics (o.k., i know... citation missing!).
About wine and Greeks, it's important to remember that Greeks had settlements in the Pontos area (where the oldest wine found), and that the -early verbal, that later became writen- mythology is a good evidence that... Greeks may have invented it.
I am afraid that i can not provide reliable sources at this time -and we are both anonymous so...-, but i am sure that -since you are a healthy "sceptical" person- if you are interested in this you will find your way!

Re:Greece is "across the Mediterranean"!? (0)

Suiggy (1544213) | 1 year,12 days | (#45635155)

I can't wait until our immigrants wipe all Greeks out. Open the floodgates of immigration into Greece. The more Greeks who starve and suffer, the better. Make sure not to join the Golden Dawn, that's anti-semitic.

Re:Greece is "across the Mediterranean"!? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#45635441)

I can't wait until our immigrants wipe all Greeks out. Open the floodgates of immigration into Greece. The more Greeks who starve and suffer, the better. Make sure not to join the Golden Dawn, that's anti-semitic.

I happen to strongly support Golden Dawn in my country - as every Democratic person should (you obviously know what is happening right now...) and every Western Civilization person should also ("floodgates of immigration" - i think we Greeks are needed once again to save the Western Civilization... the one we basicaly created!).
Now i must surrender to the athorities as a member of the bigest "criminal organization" EVER EXISTED (about 13% of Greek voters based on recent polls - probably more than 25% in the upcoming elections for the European parliament!) and try to explain how our Greek NAtional-ZIosalists at the time of WW2 were protecting our Greek Jews and were close allies with England and the rest of the good guys and in war with Italy and Germany.
Fuck... i am already in Hell(as)!

Re:Greece is "across the Mediterranean"!? (1)

Suiggy (1544213) | 1 year,12 days | (#45636163)

Good to hear. Just for the record, I was channeling Diogenes of Sinope (albiet poorly), being sarcastic in my previous posts. Although I'm sure you picked that up.

Stay steadfast, hopefully the current trials and tribulations forced upon the Greek people and Golden Dawn in particular turn out to garner even more support for your cause.

Hail victory!

Re:Greece is "across the Mediterranean"!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#45636625)

Well, you are not Diogenes, but your cynical sarcasm was good enough!
Yes, i "picked it up" because those issues (both illegal immigrants and Golden Dawn - and few others) made most Greeks expressing themselves in the same way currently.
Just for the record (although i know that you already know/understand):
a) ethnic Greeks -almost 90% of current population- are responsible for only 15% of serious crime in Greece, with illegal immigrants and rest non-ethnic Greeks citizens (e.g., Gypsies) -just 10% of population- responcible for the rest 85% of crime...
b) Golden Dawn is suppressed (with all the rest political parties agreing, and for that reason many Greeks start to realize who is who) just for their ideology (the accusations about being a "criminal organization" are rediculus and have been made a joke in Greece) - and their ideology is mostly nationalist plus a litle sosialist (so you can call them NaZi - but NaZi -nationalist/sosialist- was also the Greek regime that fought against German and Italy in WW2), with just a little sympathy to Hitler from some of their supporters because he fought against communism and for the national-sosialistic ideology (developed long before Hitler was even born).
c) i am a Greek that strogly supports the austerity imposed from our EU partners because we deserve to suffer - but in reality no Greek suffers, despite what we like to present abroad!

Hail Victory ("Zito i Niki" in Greek - something that the imprisoned Golden Dawn polticians say and our soldiers said when they were going to fight against Germany and Italy in WW2, saluting the Greek NaZi leader Metaxa in the same way -an ancient Greco-Roman way- as Germans and Italians saluted their leaders...)

Actually... No. (4, Interesting)

gwolf (26339) | 1 year,12 days | (#45635399)

Canaanites are known to come from Sumerian-Accadian roots (just as Hebrews, later turned Jews). You can look, as an example, as their cosmology. Summerian goddess Inanna (and the whole pantheon around her, being she not the only but a very important goddess — And yes, I know the word pantheon _is_ Greek) is replicated in Canaan. Some Canaanite tribes were known to also worship trees as gods (and that's why the names for many trees in Hebrew include the particle "El" — Ilan, alon, ela, etc.), and that's why the old testament specifically forbids making altars to (the only, Israelite) God "under big trees and in high places".

As for Philistines, there might be some link to Greeks: After all, the main Philistine god was "the lord of the flies" (Baal Zvuv — One of the names of the devil, "Belcebu" stems from it). From the composed name, "Baal" means basically "the lord, and Zvuv has an ethimological closeness to "Zeus". The theology is, however, quite different.

Re:Actually... No. (2)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | 1 year,12 days | (#45635507)

ok, you seem to know what you're talking about. let me ask you this: how does the gatekeeper and keymaster figure into all of this?

Re:Actually... No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#45635583)

I already -in another post- admited that it was my mistake to state that Canaanites were only Philistines and i had to specify that i was refering to the Philistines located in Canaa at the time of this ancient cellar created - as for Philistines i think they were surely Greeks -probably from Crete-, at least in the early time of their setlement (later, and since they were very few and they were mixed with locals, their Greek culture changed drasticly).

Re:Greece is "across the Mediterranean"!? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#45636637)

Oy vey, this is anti-semitic.

If you like that post you'll love the showers at the new Final Solution resort
being built in the southwestern US.

Re:Greece is "across the Mediterranean"!? (3, Interesting)

Dahamma (304068) | 1 year,13 days | (#45634965)

Grapes were first domesticated and wine first produced in the Near East (modern day Syria, Israel, Turkey, Iran etc) and the Caucasus. Just as the article said, it later spread to Egypt and across the Mediterranean into Greece.

Though 3700 years ago (aka 1700 BCE) isn't very far back in terms of these ancient civilizations (just in terms of Greek Civilization, maybe). The Near East had been making wine for thousands of years before that.

Re:Greece is "across the Mediterranean"!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#45634983)

Grapes were first domesticated in the Near East but (probably) wine first produced in the Caucasus ("Pontos" area as we Greeks call it) by... (probably) Greeks - modern day Turkey was also -partly- Greece back then.

Re:Greece is "across the Mediterranean"!? (2)

TheSeatOfMyPants (2645007) | 1 year,12 days | (#45637579)

The evidence goes a whole lot further back than a few thousand years ago -- just from a glance at Wikipedia's limited information, the earliest shards of pottery stained with wine were (using modern names, as my ancient geography sucks) in Georgia in 6000 BC, then Iran by 5000 BC, and Grecian Macedonia by 4500 BC. (Iran's evidence comes along with the earliest signs of painting the inside of the vessel with turpentine to introduce a common modern flavor, and Grecian Macedonia's case also involves the oldest recovered crushed wine grapes.)

As a side note, 1,700 BC isn't all that "ancient" from Greece's standpoint: people were already living in Northern Greece (Macedonia)by 270,000 BC, and their civilizations trace back at least to the Early Bronze Age in 3200 BC. (I'm not clear on exactly how it is that the first traces are 3200 BC, yet they've found crushed grapes -- which seem like a pretty clear sign of civilization to me -- that are 700 years older. Then again, I've never been very good at history.)

Sophisticated? (5, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | 1 year,13 days | (#45634891)

Do you add 'honey, mint, cedar, tree resins and cinnamon bark' to your wine because your technique is "sophisticated" or because you are trying to restore some semblance of drinkability to the result of a really dreadful fermentation process?

Re:Sophisticated? (2)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | 1 year,13 days | (#45634913)

It reminded me of the brew that the Roman soldiers drank: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posca [wikipedia.org]

Take bad wine and vinegar, and then spice and sweeten it up to make an ancient version of Coke.

Re:Sophisticated? (3, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | 1 year,13 days | (#45634963)

That sounds like it would be good for bolstering legionary morale: if the alternative is drinking it, fighting to the death against whatever enemies are available starts to sound substantially more attractive...

Re:Sophisticated? (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | 1 year,12 days | (#45635515)

I don't know- that doesn't sound like a Real Thing to me.

Re:Sophisticated? (2)

TheSeatOfMyPants (2645007) | 1 year,12 days | (#45637635)

How fitting that it's one letter off from my great-aunt's first name -- Aunt Tosca always seemed nice at first, but the bitter hints of spiteful jealousy were impossible to ignore before long!

Re:Sophisticated? (2)

KingOfBLASH (620432) | 1 year,13 days | (#45634969)

Not like any modern cultures do anything similar...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mulled_wine [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sangria [wikipedia.org]

Re:Sophisticated? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | 1 year,12 days | (#45635061)

True, though (while truly ghastly results have been substantially reduced by sanitary handling equipment and standardized yeast strains) those are exactly the sort of things frequently made from deeply undistinguished jug or box wines.

On the plus side, they don't seem to have invented wine coolers or 'flavored fortified wines' so they can count themselves blessed on those counts.

Re:Sophisticated? (1)

Alomex (148003) | 1 year,12 days | (#45635123)

those are exactly the sort of things frequently made from deeply undistinguished jug or box wines.

Try making sangria once from a $20 bottle of rioja, orange juice, lime juice and a touch of brandy. You'd be surprised how much you can tell the difference, even if you are not a regular wine drinker.

Re:Sophisticated? (0)

KingOfBLASH (620432) | 1 year,12 days | (#45635249)

True, though (while truly ghastly results have been substantially reduced by sanitary handling equipment and standardized yeast strains) those are exactly the sort of things frequently made from deeply undistinguished jug or box wines.

On the plus side, they don't seem to have invented wine coolers or 'flavored fortified wines' so they can count themselves blessed on those counts.

Sorry I forgot most of the audience here was American.

Come to Europe. Over here wine doesn't come in boxes. And Glühwein (the word for mulled wine) is made with high quality wine, and sometimes a touch of Amaretto. In fact you would be hard pressed to find a ghastly wine. In the grocery store a 5 EUR bottle of wine will compare with $20-$30 over there.

Re:Sophisticated? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#45635337)

"Glühwein (the word for mulled wine) "

Jesus Christ. OK, look, I've lived years in Germany, I've spent the last week drinking a lot of Gluehwein, but saying that "Gluehwein" is "the word for mulled wine" just makes you look like a cretin. Is "Gluehwein" what we call mulled wine in Britain? No. Is Britain part of Europe? Yes. We call it, err, mulled wine. It even tastes slightly different from Gluehwein, and I say that as a man who has lived many years in Britain and many years in Germany. So let's go north, to Scandinavia. Do they drink Gluehwein in Scandinavia? OH FUCK NO THEY DON'T DRINK ANY GLUEHWEIN. They drink gløgg in Norway, which last time I looked was in Europe, gløgg in Denmark which last time I looked was in Europe *and* the EU (holy shit!), and glögg in Sweden which, oh my God, is in Europe and the EU.

OK, so let's go away from Scandinavia and into France. Surely they must drink Gluehwein, right? Right? Surely! I mean, France is central to the EU, right? Right? Oh, fuck. Gluehwein is a German word. The French don't drink Gluehwein. They drink vin chaud. Shit.

OK, Spain! Come on, Spain! You can prove KingOfBLASH right and not a cretin! What do you drink, Spain? Gluehwein! Gluehwein! Gluehwein! Oh. No. You drink vino caliente. Cunts.

Italy. You're one of our last hopes. We've lost Britain, we've lost Scandinavia and we've lost France. Come on, Italy! You drink... oh god you drink vin brulé. How could you?

I knwo for a fact I'll be modded to oblivion for mocking you on this point, but honestly, try and say something serious rather than talking out of your arse. Gluehwein is very clearly not "the word" for "mulled wine" in Europe. Fuck's sake, Ireland both speaks English and uses the euro, and they call it fucking "mulled wine".

Re:Sophisticated? (2)

KingOfBLASH (620432) | 1 year,12 days | (#45638311)

I'm a cretin? Is that an attack ad hominem? Where does all of this anger come from?

You would be correct that grammatically I should have said "a word for mulled wine" instead of "the word for mulled wine." But that doesn't really warrant such an insane reaction.

Some of the countries you forgot to mention like Austria, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Switzerland (and probably a few others) use the term Glühwein to describe some sort of warm wine drink flavored with different ingredients.

In other countries you did mention, if you go to a typical Christmas market you will see many places advertising "Glühwein." If you go to cafes in winter you may also see Glühwein on the menu. Usually it's advertised in big letters, alongside whatever the local equivalent is (e.g. Vin Chaud in France). I've seen this in France and Sweden, but I'd imagine it extends to other countries as well. Most people over here understand what Glühwein is, and if you go into a cafe and ask for it there's a good chance they'll understand what you want.

Re:Sophisticated? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#45635397)

As for "Over here, wine doesn't come in boxes", fucking HELL.

Yes, it does. You may not personally buy it in boxes, but that doesn't mean that it can't be bought in boxes or even that hte majority don't buy it in boxes. Spend some time in the North. Alcohol taxes are so absurd in Scandinavia that most people actually do buy wine in boxes unless they're really raking in the dough. It's the only way of pulling it down to a cost that is even vaguely sane (though it takes quite a bit of wine to even think that level is sane). )

There are other reasons to buy wine in boxes, and they include that three litres of wine in a box is a damn sight lighter than three litres of wine in bottles, which is an advantage that covers every nation in Europe where running a car is getting increasingly expensive...

Re:Sophisticated? (2)

HornWumpus (783565) | 1 year,12 days | (#45635695)

French producers of 'vin ordinair' were threatening to go on strike because American/Australian box wine is putting them out of business.

The frogs never quite got the 'on strike' thing. You can't go 'on strike' because nobody is buying your product. French drunks prefer box wine.

They could start buy getting their flies/bottle average down to 1.

Re:Sophisticated? (1)

manu0601 (2221348) | 1 year,12 days | (#45636059)

You can't go 'on strike' because nobody is buying your product.

French are used to have a strong state that has some economical involvment. They often go on strike to call for state action, which would here be protectionism and/or subventions. Of course within today's EU, state cannot do much, and this is a reason why people are increasingly rejecting EU.

Re:Sophisticated? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | 1 year,12 days | (#45636415)

EU agricultural policy strongly reflects French agricultural interests. The tricky bit has been trying to figure out what sort of special-pleading magic can be employed to continue policy designed to subsidize French farmers without getting stuck applying it to the (much poorer; but of less interest to France) farmers in some of the new EU members to the east...

Re:Sophisticated? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | 1 year,12 days | (#45636603)

French producers of 'vin ordinair' were threatening to go on strike because American/Australian box wine is putting them out of business.

Wines from California are also winning awards competing against French wines. And now wine country is moving North; as aquifers are tapped out here in California, and as global warming enables production to move to formerly-colder climes, it's heading towards Oregon.

Re:Sophisticated? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#45640281)

Oh for chrissake what a load of fucking bullshit

Re:Sophisticated? (1)

CAPSLOCK2000 (27149) | 1 year,12 days | (#45635747)

I don't now anything about Scandinavian taxes but over here in the Netherlands the excise tax is based on the amount of alcohol, not the untaxed price of the beverage. This makes cheap booze relatively more expensive. It's about 45 cents for a liter of wine.
For a 5 euro bottle of wine the tax would be 10% of the total, while the price of 50 euro bottle only includes 1% of tax.

(Note that there are other taxes involved besides the excise and one has to pay tax on the alcohol-tax).

Re:Sophisticated? (3, Insightful)

Majkow (604785) | 1 year,12 days | (#45635793)

you forgot after you finish the boxed wine (commonly called goon in australia) you can blow up the bladder to use a pillow and have a nap. or play wheel of goon arrange people around a rotary clothes line, attach 1 goon bag (boxed wine) and spin. who ever ends up with the bag of goon above them has to drink. add more bags as desired.

Re:Sophisticated? (1)

KingOfBLASH (620432) | 1 year,12 days | (#45638321)

While it may be possible to find, I've never seen it. I've lived in Netherlands and Switzerland, and I've visited most of western europe. I've been to scandinavia, but usually I don't drink if I go visit since alcohol prices are insane.

Re:Sophisticated? (1)

Dr_Terminus (1222504) | 1 year,12 days | (#45640463)

Wine in Europe does indeed come in boxes. You can find many French wine producers selling their wine in boxes. The difference between the boxed French wine and boxed American wine is that the boxed American wine tends to be crap, whereas in France you can find some excellent wines in boxes. In some cases its better to go with the box, since the wine tends to last longer once opened due to the lack of aeration of the wine.

Re:Sophisticated? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | 1 year,12 days | (#45636599)

Do you add 'honey, mint, cedar, tree resins and cinnamon bark' to your wine because your technique is "sophisticated" or because you are trying to restore some semblance of drinkability to the result of a really dreadful fermentation process?

There are over sixty additives commonly added to wines at various stages of the fermentation process today, none of which are required to be denoted on the label in any way. Now, in light of some knowledge, ask that question again.

As an aside, wine also requires fungus only spread by wasps to reach its full potential. It's complex stuff.

Re:Sophisticated? (1)

Inda (580031) | 1 year,12 days | (#45638337)

I'm going with sophisticated, because the fermentation process is too easy to get wrong.

Adding honey is called back-sweetening, and the vast majority of us brewers do it - mainly with artificial sweeteners these days. After a week, all the sugar has been converted to alcohol and the drink tastes very dry without some sort of sweetening.

I'm currently brewing an orange and white grape mix (1 part pure orange, 1 part white grape, 1 part water). Apart from removing the pectin with an enzyme, the process I use is the same as it was 4,000 years ago. It's a very drinkable drink of 10% ABV strength.

Miraculous! (2)

O'Bunny (325700) | 1 year,13 days | (#45634943)

Only the residue left? So you could add it to water and turn it into wine?

Re:Miraculous! (4, Informative)

DarkOx (621550) | 1 year,13 days | (#45634967)

So you could add it to water and turn it into wine?

No probably just some nasty brownish sludge. All of the volatiles including the alcohol will be gone. The rest of the what was once there will probably be heavily oxidized and taste pretty nasty too. Its not instant coffee ( which is generally pretty bad itself).

Re:Miraculous! (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | 1 year,12 days | (#45635419)

The alcohol would've evaporated before the water did. And what's been left behind has rotted to hell and gone by now. By now, there's nothing even remotely fit for human consumption.

About that... (1)

Voyager529 (1363959) | 1 year,12 days | (#45636247)

Only the residue left? So you could add it to water and turn it into wine?

Given the nature of the sludge that was likely found, I'd wager that turning this into wine would involve a similarly miraculous feat as cutting the middleman and turning the water into wine directly.

Re:Miraculous! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#45636813)

Only the residue left? So you could add it to water and turn it into wine?

It's a good trick, but you need to come up with something new, Jesus.

Re:Miraculous! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#45639719)

Sounds like "Jesus' Magic Kit"!

Cue Dogfishhead (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | 1 year,12 days | (#45635065)

Excited to try the brew they come up with to recreate this.

Re:Cue Dogfishhead (1)

TripleE78 (883800) | 1 year,12 days | (#45639979)

That is EXACTLY what I was thinking.

Although it sounds a lot like Midas Touch already.

Nice spices (1)

jones_supa (887896) | 1 year,12 days | (#45635229)

The good stuff contains a blend of ingredients that may have included honey, mint, cedar, tree resins and cinnamon bark.

Often when I hear about ancient alcoholic beverages, all sorts of fun flavors like honey, mint, juniper and whatnot, have been brewed into the mix. Why is this not done to a larger extent today? Most of the booze you can get today is quite au naturel.

Re:Nice spices (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | 1 year,12 days | (#45635429)

As another poster has pointed out, one of the reasons they added all this gunk was that the wine itself was often crap. People who really enjoy wine today generally want to just taste the wine--provided it's a *good* wine, of course.

Re:Nice spices (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#45636103)

And we know this how? Maybe they preferred their wine that way and still would. The Illyad is full of mentions of 'sweet wine'. Maybe you're the one with perculiar tastes in wine. Maybe the ancients would find the idea of an 'acquired taste' to be ridiculous?

Re:Nice spices (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#45637801)

There's plenty of excellent sweet wines around.

Re:Nice spices (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | 1 year,12 days | (#45635711)

The Greeks still make some vile wine befouled with pine resin. Retsina IIRC. Avoid it.

Re:Nice spices (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | 1 year,12 days | (#45636609)

Most of the booze you can get today is quite au naturel.

Who told you that? There's tons of alcohols with all kinds of adulterants. Besides the 60 or so assorted additives used in winemaking, people put pretty much any spices you might imagine into craft beers, and there's all kinds of herbal and herbal-infused alcohols. Jaegermeister is the best-known, but a pretty fair cocktail of herbs is used to make Bombay Sapphire Gin, and an even broader palette is used to create Hendrick's.

Much Ado (1)

some old guy (674482) | 1 year,12 days | (#45635387)

Are they certain it's not just a bomb-proof Mogen David warehouse?

What's "whatnot"? (1)

AndyKron (937105) | 1 year,12 days | (#45635741)

What's "whatnot"? Animal, vegetable, or mineral?

A much better source for the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#45635821)

http://www.livescience.com/41418-oldest-palace-wine-cellar.html

What I want to know is: (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#45636997)

*Does it contain a cask of Amontillado?*

hmm empty (1)

PC_THE_GREAT (893738) | 1 year,12 days | (#45637471)

bloody scientists drank all probably

This is more like (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#45638335)

week old news for nerds.

Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#45640751)

Call me when they find their stash.

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