It’s hard to think about gastronomy and culinary arts without including the appreciation for beverages. When looking at the history of cuisine, there is a stand out companion among all the beverage options: WINE!
The history of wine is nothing short of amazing. The earliest evidence of wine production and consumption dates back to 7000 BC. The Hunan province in China was known to produce wines made from fruit, honey and rice. From 1100-4000 BC there are many recordings of wine production in Mesopotamia, Greece, Sicily, Iran, Ancient Israel, Georgia and other countries. The archeological finds of assorted storage vessels made mostly of clay shed light on the subject. In about 900 BC, Europeans began the process of storing and aging wines in wood barrels. In 77 AD, Pliny the Elder wrote Naturalis Historia; a 37-book piece of work that documents the times of the Ancient Roman empire. He coined the phrase “vino veritas” or “In wine there is truth.” Moving ahead in time, it was the European nations of France, Italy, Germany, Spain, and Portugal that honed the modern winemaking process. And of course, as we know it today, wine is a globally produced beverage that is imbibed on its own, but most appreciated when paired with food.
So, what does the future hold for wine? Climate change is probably the biggest unknown for the future of wine production and the areas in which grapes have been and are currently grown. There have been major global freezes and fires, floods as well as droughts. Will traditional growing areas become too cold or too hot, or too wet or too dry? Will previously unfavorable growing areas begin to emerge as potential new hotbeds for vineyards? Time will tell. Cork is also a limited resource that will most likely not play a part in the wine of the future. Could this lead to the extinction of the corkscrew?
A plight faced by many industries also challenges the wine industry: labor. Is it possible that grapes will be harvested by machines or even robots? If robots can cook, I’m sure they can pick and prune! Maybe wines will be engineered in labs without the need to grow grapes at all. For now, rest assured that there is plenty of wine out there. It has been grown by farmers, made by vintners, and still tastes delicious with your meal. Cheers!
by GABRIEL CALIENDO
LAZY DOG RESTAURANT & BAR
VP of Research & Development, Corporate Executive Chef
HOW LONG PAIRING FOOD & BEVERAGE 27 years.
BEER Sculpin IPA.
WINE Inkblot Petite Verdot.
COCKTAIL Lemon Verbena & crushed Oranges with Vodka.