Bottoms Up! The Story of Wine, Its Rituals &
This new, light-hearted talk examines
the history of wine, an elixir that has sustained much
of humanity for almost 10,000 years. Essentially
little more than fermented grape juice, this
extraordinary and contradictory liquid has caused wars
and riots, has helped to broker peace and most
commonly, served as an aphrodisiac. It has been
personified in the form of Gods and been the principal
catalyst in civilised entertaining and dining rituals.
Wine is based on ethanol, a potent alcoholic poison and
depressant. Yet, when consumed in moderation, its effects
are liberating, euphoric and positively beneficial to our
physical health. What do we do when we drink too much and
feel bad the following morning? Swallow another glass of it
to make us feel better!
traces the story of wine: from its
humble beginnings in rotting grapes before the Bronze Age
to the present when single bottles can change hands
thousands, even tens of thousands of pounds. It examines
the extraordinary diversity of paintings and artefacts,
including drinking vessels, that have been created by
history’s greatest artists and craftsmen to enhance the
pleasure of wine, and to impress guests.
The talk visits the ancient societies of Egypt, Greece and
Rome, travels through the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and
18th century Britain. It culminates in the present day,
when more wine is being consumed than ever before, with its
world market now worth over £100 billion.