1. In ancient Greece, it was customary for the host of a gathering to drink the first cup of wine…to ensure his guests he did not poison them…
2. Today, bumping glasses with a “cheers” is meant to express good wishes before drinking. In ancient Rome, however, a “cheers” was meant to bump glasses to make the wine spill from one glass into the other. Why? To ensure that no one was trying to poison the other. (I’m totally going to start participating in more “cheers” for this specific reason.)
3. Like “cheers,” “toasting” also started for a reason other than to wish each other well. Romans began this tradition by soaking a toasted piece of bread in each glass of wine to get rid of any bad tastes or high acidity.
4. The first ever known illustration of consuming wine is on a 5,000-year-old Sumerian panel called the “Standard of Ur.”
5. Ancient Egyptian kings did not drink much red wine, as they believed it was the blood of men who tried to fight the gods and failed.
6. A law from 1800 B.C. called The Code of Hammurabi stated that a fraudulent wine seller must be drowned in a river. I mean that makes sense.
7. Early Roman women were forbidden to drink wine, and a husband who found his wife drinking was at liberty to kill her.
8. The ancient Greeks had a wine glass called the “Pythagorean cup” to ensure the drinker’s moderation. If wine was poured above a certain level, the cup spilled its entire contents out of the bottom. What kind of MONSTER would let that be a thing???
9. Bubbles in wine have been observed since ancient Greece and were attributed to the phases of the moon and evil spirits.
10. In 1988, Italian women started one of the first female organizations devoted to wine, the Le Donne del Vino. Its goal is to encourage and promote women’s role in the Italian wine industry.