Wine: From Neolithic Times to the 21st Century

Wine: From Neolithic Times to the 21st Century

Stefan K. Estreicher

Language: English

Pages: 200

ISBN: 0875864767

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The story of wine, one of the foundations of Western civilization, is the story of religion, medicine, science, war, discovery and dream. The essential historical background and the key developments in the history of wine through the ages are outlined in this compact, engaging, easy-to-read and well-illustrated text, with lists of top vintages. For thousands of years wine mixed with water was the safe drink. It was a key ingredient of medications. The antiseptic properties of the alcohol it contains saved lives. Wine was associated with many religious rituals, some of which survive today. The story of wine involves scientists like Hippocrates of Kos, Zaccharia Razi, Isaac Newton (albeit indirectly), Louis Pasteur, and many others. It also involves colorful people such as Gregory of Tours and Eleanor of Aquitaine. Vines made their way to the Americas with the Conquistadores. Then wines almost disappeared in the late 1800s as Phylloxera spread throughout the world. This scourge was followed by World War I, the Great Depression, Prohibition, and World War II. Today, winemaking has enjoyed a renaissance and many excellent and affordable wines are produced throughout the world. This book provides a quick introduction to wine through history, geography, chemistry, and taste. Useful for all who enjoy wine, the book is also designed to be a possible foundation for a one-semester course on the history of wine. Many books discuss today s wines without much historical information. Others overwhelm potential readers by their sheer size. This book provides a quick introduction to wine through history, geography, chemistry, and taste, and is useful for all who enjoy wine.

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trade increases the awareness and reputation of Burgundy wines throughout Europe. Champagne wines play a minor role in the late Middle Ages. In the mid 1300s, Champagne is as far north as wine can still be cultivated. The summers are short, late spring and early fall freezes common. The grapes have enough sugar to make wine with sufficient alcohol content only in the warmest summers. 57 Wine: from Neolithic Times to the 21st Century Further, the alcoholic fermentation is rarely finished in the

chain reaction. In a typical year, as many as one-third to one-half of the bottles explode in the spring! Even when the process is successful, the secondary fermentation in the bottle leaves unsightly26 lees which render the wine cloudy. Producing “modern” champagne is a lot of work. The standard champagne bottle, with a cork tied to its necks, is introduced in 1735, but the use of bottles really picks up after 1750. In 1780, De Maizière discovers that blending wines from different Champagne

It is found in the notes of Basin de Bezuns, intendant of Louis XIV. A 1770 ranking by Lawton is refined in 1787 by none other than Thomas Jefferson, recognized in the US and in France as a real wine connoisseur. Jefferson’s travel notes include a ranking of the red wines from Bordeaux. His four top red wines, Châteaux Haut-Brion, Latour, Lafite, and Margaux, are also the top-classified wines in 1855. Jefferson also notes that old vines produce better wines than young ones. In 1855, Napoleon III

in Chile encourages a military coup in 1973, during which Salvador Allende dies. The commander of the army, Augusto Pinochet (1915-) takes power. The constitution is suspended and Congress dissolved. Pinochet stays in power until 1990. His dictatorship proves hazardous to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and free enterprise. The domestic demand for wine drops under his rule and nearly half the vineyards are abandoned. In the late 1980s, the closed-doors policies are reversed. The Spaniard

for a given wine. Some records dated back as much as a century. This approach has been extended by Orley Ashenfelter. He developed new and objective rankings using records from wine auctions held throughout the world. The classification below was published in Liquid Assets (Dec. 1997, reproduced with permission). It is based on over 10,000 transactions in London for the period May 1994 to December 1996, and excludes the wines less than 10 years old when purchased. The reference wine is Château

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