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οἶνος). From the earliest times wine was the usual drink of the Greeks, and was made in every Hellenic country. The best was produced on the coasts and islands of the Aegean, such as Thasos, Rhodes, Cyprus, and, above all, Chios and Lesbos. The Greeks noted three colours in wines: (a) red (μέλας); (b) white or strawcoloured (λευκός); and brown or amber-coloured (κιρρός). The processes of making wine were substantially the same among both Greeks and Romans; but the more detailed information given by the ancient writers relates to the wines produced in Italy.

The cultivation of the vine was common in Lower Italy before its colonization by the Greeks, and the Romans had vineyards in very early times. In fact, one of the early names of Italy was Oenotria, or “land of the vine-pole.” Wine was, however, long regarded as an article of luxury, and was limited in its use. The regular production of wine (the method of which was imported from Greece, together with the finer varieties of vines) first came in with the decline of the cultivation of cereals. The home-grown wines were of little esteem, as compared with the Greek, and especially the highly prized island wines, until the first century B.C. After this date the careful treatment of a number of Italian, and more particularly of Campanian, brands (such as the Falernian, Caecuban, and Massic) gained for them the reputation of being the first wines of the world. They formed an important article of export, not merely to the collective provinces of the Roman Empire, Greece herself not excepted, but also beyond the Roman frontier, so that even in India they were known (Arrian, Peripl. 6, 49). It was to protect the Italian wine-growers that, in the western provinces, down to the third century A.D., the cultivation of the vine was subject to certain limitations. No new vineyards could be added to those already existing, and the Italian vines could not be introduced, although Gaul produced many varieties of wine. Under the Empire, wine was the main article of produce and of trade in Italy, Greece, and Asia; and the wine merchants of Rome, who had, from the commencement of the second century, formed two corporations, one for the eastern and another for the western trade, held an important position. In the first century there were already eighty famous brands in the Roman market, of which number Italy supplied two-thirds. The finest wine made in Italy was the Setine (vinum Setinum), the chosen drink of Augustus, and made at Setia, near the Pontine Marshes. Next comes the Falernian, which required ten years to mature; then the Alban, both sweet and dry; the Massic, often mentioned by Horace; the Surrentine, which was not at its best until kept for twenty-five years; the Calene, a light wine; the Veliternian, and the Signine. The Mamertine, a light, sweet wine, was the favourite drink of Iulius Caesar (Mart.xiii. 117). Etruscan wines were generally bad, and so were the wines of Gaul, these being often “doctored” with aloes and other drugs. Good wine was imported from Asia Minor, especially from parts of Pontus, Paphlagonia, Bithynia, and Phœnicia. The Mareotic wine of Egypt was also much esteemed. It was a white wine, sweet and light, and with a delightful bouquet. Even more popular was the vinum Taenioticum from the Egyptian Delta.

The vine was grown partly on poles or espaliers, partly on trees, especially on elms, which, if the ground between were still used for agriculture, were planted at a distance of forty, sometimes of twenty, feet apart. The grapes intended for manufacture into wine were trodden with naked feet and then brought under the press. The must was then immediately poured into large pitched earthenware jars (πίθος, dolium). These were placed under ground in a wine-cellar, facing the north to keep them cool, and kept uncovered for a year in order to ferment thoroughly. The inferior wines which were of no great age were drunk immediately from the jar (Brutus, 228). The better kinds, which were meant for preservation, were poured into amphorae. (See Amphora.) These were closed with stone stoppers, sealed with pitch, clay, or gypsum, marked with a brand, furnished with a label (tessera or nota) giving their year and measure, and placed in the apotheca. This was a room in the upper story, built by preference over the bath-room in order to catch the smoke from the furnace, and thus to make the wine more mellow. Wine was also “improved” or its process of mellowing hastened by exposing the amphorae to the full glow of the sunlight, and sometimes by the use of chemicals. Sometimes, again, the vessels containing the must were sunk in the sea, the wine being then styled thalassites (Pliny , Pliny H. N. xiv. 78). By the Greeks, at least in the early period, wines were drunk mixed with various substances, as grated cheese and flour ( Il. xi. 638), barley-meal and honey ( Od. x. 234).

The most famous vintage year in Roman history was the year B.C. 121, when L. Opimius was consul. Great quantities of this year's wine were stored up, and some was in existence in Pliny 's time, about two hundred years later (Pliny H. N. xiv. 55Pliny H. N., 94). It was known as vinum Opimianum, and is often mentioned in literature.

One method of improving the wine which was used in the East and in Greece was to keep the wine in goat-skins (ἀσκοί, utres), because the leather tended to cause evaporation of the water. In Italy the wine-skins appear to have been only used in transport. To produce flavour, strength, and bouquet, various means were employed, such as adding gypsum, clay, chalk, marble, resin, pitch, and even sea water, the last being especially in use in Greece and Asia Minor. Bad wines were improved by being mixed with fine brands and good lees; adulteration was extremely common. The number of artificial wines was very large; e. g. honey wine (mulsum), raisin wine (passum), and boiled must (the beverage of the common people and slaves), a poor drink prepared by pouring water on the remains of the pressed grapes, and called θάμνα, lora.

The place of our liqueurs was taken by flavoured wines, of which more than fifty kinds are mentioned. These were simply extracted from herbs, flowers, or sweet-smelling woods (thyme, myrtle, sweet rush, rose, heart's-ease, pine-cones and pinewood, cypress, etc.), or mixed with oils, such as nard or myrrh. There were also wines made from fruits, such as apples, pomegranates, pears, dates, figs, or mulberries. In respect of colour three sorts of wine were distinguished: the black or dark red (color sanguineus and niger) which was considered the strongest; the white (albus), which was thought thin and weak; and the brown or amber-coloured (fulvus), which was considered particularly serviceable for promoting digestion. As in its ordinary treatment the wine often retained much sediment, it had to be made clear before it was drunk. This was done either with yolk of eggs or by straining the wine through a cloth or sieve, which was filled with snow to make it cool. Greeks and Romans alike generally drank their wine liberally mixed with water; and to drink it unmixed (merum, ἄκρατον) was regarded as a sign of great intemperance. See Cena; Diaetetica; and cf. Symposium.

For particulars regarding the production and use of wine by the ancients, the reader is referred to the following works: Barry, The Wines of the Ancients (London, 1775); Henderson, History of Ancient and Modern Wines (London, 1824); BeckerGöll, Charikles, ii. pp. 337-352; id. Gallus, iii. pp. 412-442; Marquardt, Röm. Privatalterthümer, ii. 54- 84; and Mew and Astion, The Drinks of the World (London, 1892). For beer, see Cervesia.

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