CHAP. 16. (14.)—SOME REMARKABLE FACTS CONNECTED WITH WINE-LOFTS. THE OPIMIAN WINE.
The fact of the existence of the Opimian wine gives undoubted proof that there were wine-lofts,1
and that wine was
racked off in the year of Rome 633, Italy being already alive
to the blessings she enjoyed. Still, however, the several
varieties that are now so celebrated were not so in those days;
and hence it is that all the wines that were grown at that
period have only the one general name of "Opimian" wines,
from the then consul Opimius. So, too, for a long time afterwards, and, indeed, so late as the times of our grandfathers, the
wines from beyond sea were held in the highest esteem, even
though Falernian was already known, a fact which we learn
from the line of the Comic writer,2
"I shall draw five cups of
Thasian and two of Falernian."
P. Licinius Crassus, and L. Julius Cæsar, who were Censors in the year from the Building of the City 665, issued an
edict forbidding the sale of either Greek or Aminean wine at
a higher price than eight asses the quadrantal3
—for such, in
fact, are the exact words of the edict. Indeed, the Greek
wines were so highly valued, that not more than a single cup
was served to a guest during the repast.