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Aristotle on Grape Thinking

Posts Tagged ‘Aristotle’

The Beginning

Thursday, February 1st, 2007

Let us take a walk down memory expressway and find ourselves a thousand years or so before Christ. Right now I’m thinking of the time of the Greeks, when the Mediterranean was the intellectual capital of the world and Persia was a super-power filled with successful Sultans, a bustling metropolis of village markets and traders from afar. America as we know it was not even a glint in civilization’s eye, and what is currently thought of as the ‘middle-east’ was not east of anything, because it was the centre of the civilized universe.

Referring to this time brings me to an interesting point: the first traces of grape cultivation and -making are found in Persia. And before anyone has the intention of going to check their map for Persia, or perhaps looking for an inside sticker or a return-to address on their Persian-carpets, Persia is what is today known as Iran. Who would have thought! Ha, how the world changes can boggle the mind.

The wine of the ancient world was undoubtedly drunk by figures like Plato, Aristotle, Heraclitus and Pythagoras. In this way, we owe it to wine for geometry and the modern thought which raises us above being mere beasts. There can be no doubt that wine was celebrated by Sultans, nobles and traders of the time. So many of the philosophers, poets, politicians, warriors, lovers and artists one finds in the studies of classic civilizations were no doubt occasionally inspired by wine from Persia. As wine became engrained in ancient culture the vines spread into what is now Iran to Lebanon, Crete, Cyprus and finally into Rome, Portugal, Spain and France.

The wine that all men share dates back to a time when many of the religions we know today weren’t even cults. Dionysian bacchanalias pre-dated any beliefs of turning wine into blood and drinking it every Sunday. Before certain Arabic civilizations knew of Islam and drinking was not allowed; in the time when Jewish and Arab people were all Semites and fervent pointless blood-feuds did not exist, we all drank from the same cup, and shared in the harvest of the same vines. If wine can be said to be analogous with a place, then remember that no matter whether you are Jewish, Arabic or whatever other complex cultural mix there was a time when all of our skins were dark; we all spoke a similar dialects of the same tongue; racism was yet to be practiced; war was honourable and noble and importantly, all men shared a passion for the same wine.

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