In vino veritas
In vino veritas is a Latin phrase that means “In wine, there is truth”, suggesting a person under the influence of alcohol is more likely to speak with authenticity. Herodotus, an ancient Greek historian who was born in the Persian empire asserted that if the Persians decided something while drunk, they made a rule to reconsider it when sober. Authors after Herodotus have added that if the Persians made a decision while sober, they made a rule to reconsider it when they were drunk. The Roman historian Tacitus described how the Germanic people kept counsel at feasts, where they believed that drunkenness prevented the participants from dissembling.
The history of the grape dates back 15 million years. But the first country where wine became an important part of social life was Mesopotamia, the land on the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates in modern-day Iran. This region is often referred to as the cradle of civilization, but it is no less the cradle of wine culture. Could it be that civilization started with wine?
Wine has been produced for thousands of years, with evidence of ancient wine production in Georgia dating as far back as 6,000 years before Christ, in China, 7,000 years BC but also in Armenia, Iran and Sicily. Wine production and consumption increased, burgeoning from the 15th century onwards as part of European expansion.
Despite the devastating 1887 phylloxera louse infestation, modern science and technology adapted and industrial wine production and wine consumption now occur throughout the world. Nowadays, the 10 most important wine-producing countries are Italy, Spain, France, the United States (mostly California and Oregon), China, Argentina, Chile, Australia, South Africa and Germany.