Six libations that have helped shape our world

Wine

Wine may be as old or older than beer—though no one can be certain.
Paleolithic humans probably sampled the first "wine" as the juice of naturally fermented wild grapes. But producing and storing wine proved difficult for early cultures.

To make wine you have to have fresh grapest. For beer you can just store grain and add water to process it at any time.


Making wine also demanded pottery that could preserve the precious liquid.

Wine may be easier to make [than beer], but it's harder to store. For most ancient cultures it would have been hard to catch [fermenting grape juice] as wine on its way to [becoming] vinegar.

Such caveats and the expense of producing wine helped the beverage quickly gain more cachet than beer. Wine was originally associated with social elites and religious activities.

Wine snobbery may be nearly as old as wine itself. Greeks and Romans produced many grades of wine for various social classes.

The quest for quality became an economic engine and later drove cultural expansion.

Once you had regions [like Greece and Rome] that could distinguish themselves as making good stuff, it gave them an economic boost. Beer just wasn't as special.
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