Inextricable Connection Between India and Wine

The history of wine production in India dates back millennia, with archaeological evidence suggesting that ancient Indians cultivated grapes as early as 7000 BC, along with rice and barley. Today, the country has thousands of acres dedicated to grape cultivation, and it plays an essential role in its economy by producing some of the world’s most famous wines. The connection between wine production and India has been robust over the past century. Here, we will introduce you to the inextricable link between India and wine.

Wine in Ancient India

Wine production has been a part of the culture and history of India for centuries. Ancient Indian texts mention Ayurvedic medicine, which uses fermented grape juice for its restorative properties. Additionally, wine in India was seen as a sacred libation used in Hindu religious ceremonies. Further evidence of wine production can be found in the Indus Valley Civilization, the earliest known civilization on the Indian subcontinent.

Blog Body: Archaeologists have discovered distillation vessels from this ancient civilization that suggest they practiced both fermentation and distillation. This indicates that these individuals were familiar with producing alcoholic beverages from starchy and sweet materials. It is likely that wine was among the beverages produced by these early inhabitants of India.

The Mughal Empire lasted from 1526 to 1857 and played an important role in India’s wine production history. During this time, wine was produced mainly for religious purposes and ceremonies, but it was also consumed for medicinal purposes and recreational enjoyment. One particular type of wine called “sherbet” became popular during this era due to its sweet flavor and low alcohol content. This beverage was believed to have medicinal properties as well as providing a pleasant taste when consumed.

Conclusion: Today, wine production is still an important part of Indian culture and history. With its long history spanning back centuries ago to ancient times, it is clear that Indians have always valued wine for both its taste and health benefits. As we continue to learn more about the development and evolution of winemaking in India, we can gain valuable insight into the cultures that shaped our world today.

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In addition, we must share an interesting fact. Well, humanity’s first experience with liquor products likely happened as a mishap. It was a kind of fermented fruit. Patrick McGovern, a famous archaeologist, believes that when they knew about the impact, they relentlessly preserved it in their quest for successive inebriation.

Did you know? The earliest recorded reference to grape-based wine can be found in the writings of Chanakya, a chief minister of Emperor Chandragupta Maurya, who lived in the 4th century BC. In his writings, Chanakya speaks out against the use of alcohol, yet he also mentions the regular consumption of a type of grape wine called Madhu by the emperor and his court.

Wine and Indian Religion

India’s rich history with wine dates back thousands of years. Like any other culture, Indians have developed their unique customs, traditions, and celebrations surrounding wine. Let’s examine the connection between wine and the Indian religion.

  • Indra: According to Rigveda, one of the most established Indian sacred texts, Indra was addicted to alcohol. He was the King of Aryan Gods. After being defeated by the Asuras, he was no more adored and started consuming liquor. Indrani, Indra’s wife, insulted him for being stout and alcoholic. She scolded him to get up and grab his spot as lord of Gods, or else she would leave him for another God.
  • Wine in Ramayana: The Khatri royalty prohibited drinking alcoholic drinks made of grains. They appreciated Maitreya, a wine made using flowers and fruits. According to Ramayana, this was the same drink that was proposed to Sita by Rama. Sita offers 1,000 pots of the cocktail Sura alongside meat cooked with rice to the extraordinary stream goddess Ganga upon their protected re-visitation of Ayodhya after the exile.
  • Wine In Mahabharata: we get several relevant references in Mahabharata as well. For instance, Draupadi camouflages herself as Sairandhri in Virata Parva. She was requested to bring wine by sovereign Sudheshna from the castle of her sibling.

Wine In Modern Day India

While alcohol is still illegal in some states in India, many Indians consume wine without judgment from others. Hindu religion doesn’t prohibit its followers from drinking wine or other alcoholic beverages. Even today, several types of wines are produced throughout India, such as pinot noir, shiraz, muscat, and so on. While these wines are slowly gaining worldwide popularity, they still have to hit mainstream international markets on a large scale.

Indian Wine Day

As we are discussing the connection between wine and India, we must highlight the importance of Indian Wine Day, which is observed every year on the 16th of November. It was started in 2017 with the idea of promoting wines in India. Subhash Arora, an international judge and Delhi-based advocate for wine, created this fantastic event.

Indian Wine Day is a significant event committed to Indian wine mindfulness. It needs several hashtags to push the idea of ‘Be Indian and Buy Indian’ for the youthful wine industry in India.

Thus, we conclude that there has always been an everlasting connection between wine and India, and it will surely grow in the future.

Read: Are Italians healthier because they drink Red wine?

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Categories: This Day in Wine History | ArticlesTags: , , , , By Published On: August 30, 2022Last Updated: March 6, 2023

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