libations that have helped shape our world
Wine may be as old or older than beer—though
no one can be certain.
Paleolithic humans probably sampled the
first "wine" as the juice of naturally
fermented wild grapes. But producing and
storing wine proved difficult for early
To make wine you have to have fresh grapest.
For beer you can just store grain and add
water to process it at any time.
Making wine also demanded pottery that could
preserve the precious liquid.
Wine may be easier to make [than beer], but
it's harder to store. For most ancient
cultures it would have been hard to catch
[fermenting grape juice] as wine on its way
to [becoming] vinegar.
Such caveats and the expense of producing
wine helped the beverage quickly gain more
cachet than beer. Wine was originally
associated with social elites and religious
Wine snobbery may be nearly as old as wine
itself. Greeks and Romans produced many
grades of wine for various social classes.
The quest for quality became an economic
engine and later drove cultural expansion.
Once you had regions [like Greece and Rome]
that could distinguish themselves as making
good stuff, it gave them an economic boost.
Beer just wasn't as special.