Everything You Need To Know About The Wine In the Roman Era

The Greek settlers introduced the concept of viticulture to Italy and France, but the Romans fully embraced wine as part of their everyday life and culture. Many believe Roman wines were inferior to today’s premium wines, but recent archaeological excavations have found that they[1] were on par with today’s best vintages!

Wine Was Not Popular in the Beginning

Of the numerous contributions the Romans made to the world, maybe the most enduring was the craft of wine production. Wild grapes grew plentifully through the Mediterranean region and were developed vigorously throughout the district. The Greeks and Etruscans were the transcendent wine purchasers in Italy before the ascent of Rome. However, wine was a significant piece of the Roman eating routine. It didn’t become the general public’s social symbol from the beginning. The Carthaginians ruled Mediterranean business before the arrival of the Romans. They were the wine authorities of that period, and the oldest references preceding Latin were introduced using the Punic language.

Spread of the Empire

As Rome extended and, in the end, crushed Carthage during the second century BC well, Roman grape plantations started to jump up decisively all through Italy. As of now, not predominantly committed to the specialty of fighting in Italy, nearby ranches had the option to thrive. If we talk about wild grapes, they once shaped the fundamental wine culture. They were developed and cultivated in overflow.

The nation had an agrarian culture dependent transcendently upon food cultivation. Yet, as ventures into prolific grounds, for example, Africa and Sicily, happened, the entryway was opened for agricultural pursuits. Grape and wine creation in Italy took off in the second century BC. Huge slave-run grape plantations dabbed the shores. Wine creation supplanted traditional food cultivation. Emperor Domitian had to obliterate a few grape plantations in 92 AD. They set up a boycott on the development of new plants.

Wine Production In Roman Culture

A few antiquated creators devoted extensive pieces of work to the creation, financial matters, and social worth of winemaking. Cato, the Censor, gave the principal Latin work, including the Roman wine. Varro gave a somewhat careless audit of wine creation in a more prominent work on by and large cultivating in the matter of ‘Res Rusticae.’ Maybe the best illustration of all Roman sources on wine creation comes from one of the most un-realized Latin sources.

Well, we have drawn out an example. We are referring to Columella, who, in his own ‘De Re Rusticae’ (On Country Matters), gave an exceptionally nitty gritty glance at the Roman specialty of grape developing, wine creation, and utilization. Pliny, including his extraordinary creation, Historia Naturalis, mentioned that wine creation in Italy during the mid-second century BC outperformed some other spots on the planet. The development of grapes and wine was denied basically by Roman ranchers.

Well, wine turned into an extraordinary product. While wine would stay a cherished item of Roman day-to-day existence, its product worth would reduce as the reign extended. As Hispania and Gaul went under the Roman impact, gigantic grape plantations were laid out in these regions, and Italy ultimately turned into a significant import place for common wines.

Wine Became A Popular Drink

The Romans used to drink wine as a staple of their eating regimen. Indeed, the nature of drinking other drinks, such as water, was with the end goal that the typical wine was an ordinary beverage at any moment of the day. Unlike today, antiquated wine was often drunk and blended with water. Talking about the old wines, they were more grounded, both in liquor content and maybe in flavor.

In this manner, not exclusively was the life span of the method of serving became secured. However, the alcoholic impacts likewise eased back. They appreciated wines of numerous assortments and flavors. After that, they blended the first grape item with a thorough rundown of flavor-evolving properties.

To be sure, the idea of drinking water was with the ultimate objective that wine was a customary refreshment at whatever point in the day. In any case, not in any manner like today, old-fashioned wine was regularly inebriated and mixed in with tremendous paces of water. The old wines were more grounded, both in alcohol content and perhaps in flavor, making the watering down of their refreshments crucial. As such, not only was the life expectancy of a serving got, but the alcoholic effects similarly moved back. They liked wines of various varieties and flavors and mixed the principal grape thing in with different types of evolving properties.

How Roman Wine Was Produced

Wine creation fluctuated, obviously, depending upon the item’s nature. To make any kind of wine, grapes were [2] accumulated and trampled with feet, yet by and large, shipped off a press to add[3] refinement. Talking about the Torculum, it could now and then be refined machine-driven parts. However, it was most ordinarily a weighty wooden pillar.

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The extracts were commonly stressed through Colum to isolate any tough qualities or other unwanted items. They were filled amphorae or comparative pots known as dolia in differing conditions to age. Some were covered in sand, others in soil, and some were permitted to place in waterways. A few juices were bubbled before being filled with amphorae for aging. Top-notch rare wines were left for the extensive lengths of time in this capacity cycle.

Want to read more? Try these books!

Vinum- The Story of Roman Wine Ancient Wine- The Search for the Origins of Viniculture (Princeton Science Library, 66)


[1] H. Johnson Vintage: The Story of Wine pg 290 Simon and Schuster 1989 ISBN 0-671-68702-6

2 H. Johnson Vintage: The Story of Wine pg 68–74 Simon and Schuster 1989 ISBN 0-671-68702-6

3 J. Robinson (ed) “The Oxford Companion to Wine” Third Edition pg 533 Oxford University Press 2006 ISBN 0-19-860990-6

4 Pliny, Natural History 14.141.

5 Quintilian, Institutio Oratoria 10.1.95.

6Wesley. 2021. “What Wine Did the Romans Drink: A Glimpse into History.” Wesley’s Wine Tips. January 18, 2021. https://wesleywinetips.com/what-wine-did-the-romans-drink/.


Categories: This Day in Wine History | ArticlesTags: , , , By Published On: October 31, 2022Last Updated: February 27, 2024

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