Imagine how you’d impress your friends if you could serve a wine from its origins on the island of Crete more than 2,000 years ago. Interesting? Yes, but for taste, we recommend something a bit more modern. As written by Homer, the ancient Greeks traded their wines throughout the world inside sealed amphorae. As each city-state used a different style of amphorae, the largest wine centers in ancient Greece can be determined today from these archaeological remnants.
The islands of Chios, Lemnos, Lesvos, Rhodes and Crete, as well as Thrace and Macedonia on the mainland appear to have been the most active wine trading centers. Trade in wine was one way that the Greeks spread their culture to distant parts of the ancient world. Homer even referred to the Aegean Sea as the “Wine-dark Sea”. Out of this active trade from different regions came the first appellation system that is so common today to ensure regional authenticity.
Wine making techniques were introduced by the Greeks to Italy and Northern Europe as amphorae from this period have been found in central France, Switzerland and Italy. Greek wine making techniques spread rapidly and the tradition of wine adding intellectual clarity and spiritual awareness to meals and gatherings remains popular today. It gives us all a good reason to praise the Greek god of wine, Dionyssus.
For more information: The history of Greek wine