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Ancient and Modern Wine
#16
I´ve heard a traditional Spanish recipe:
Put a dead cat in the wine, (hanging from the tail) Confusedhock: and leave it there until it dissolves. Confusedhock: Confusedhock: Then,clear the wine with egg white.
No joke! It must be truth!!! I´ve heard from too many places...But seems in the modern winerys is not a custom...
But I don´t remember the reason for this (Bacteria? Taste?Druidical magic potion?).
-This new learning amazes me, Sir Bedevere. Explain again how
sheep´s bladders may be employed to prevent earthquakes.
[Image: escudocopia.jpg]Iagoba Ferreira Benito, member of Cohors Prima Gallica
and current Medieval Martial Arts teacher of Comilitium Sacrae Ensis, fencing club.
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#17
Quote:I´ve heard a traditional Spanish recipe:
Put a dead cat in the wine, (hanging from the tail) Confusedhock: and leave it there until it dissolves. Confusedhock: Confusedhock: Then,clear the wine with egg white.
No joke! It must be truth!!! I´ve heard from too many places...But seems in the modern winerys is not a custom...
But I don´t remember the reason for this (Bacteria? Taste?Druidical magic potion?).

Eeeew! That is disgusting! I'll never bring my cat to Spain! Confusedhock:
Sara T.
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Courage is found in unlikely places. [size=75:2xx5no0x] ~J.R.R Tolkien[/size]
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#18
Hadn't heard the cat one. But have heard you should hang a dead rat in your Scrumpy vat. Big Grin
Jon R.
There are no real truths, just stories. (Zuni)
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#19
That sounds just as distasteful. :o
Maybe I should skip the Newcastle ale next time. :lol:
Sara T.
Moderator
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Courage is found in unlikely places. [size=75:2xx5no0x] ~J.R.R Tolkien[/size]
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#20
Quote:In the Balkans some people usually mix white wine with water when drinking large amounts, sometimes with soda water, then it is called spritzer.

I've only ever been able to drink wine diluted down with water or soda as neat wine gives me terrible heartburn, from the most expensive fine wine, to cheap plonk. My mother is exactly the same. We don't drink beer so we are a right pair of 'lightweights' :oops:
You can still get roaring drunk on dilute wine (if you really wanted to)but it takes ages and you are constantly going to the toilet :lol:

I don't think the Romans all got heartburn from drinking wine, so that's probably not the main reason they watered it down.
Memmia AKA Joanne Wenlock.
Friends of Letocetum
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#21
Okay, silly question: How much is the wine watered? To taste, or is there a typical ratio that was favored? I can't seem to find any reference that says it was a little water or even as much as half-n-half. Any thoughts?
Lugorix

aka: Jeff Scharp
Kelticos.org
TexasCoritani.com
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#22
Quote:Okay, silly question: How much is the wine watered? To taste, or is there a typical ratio that was favored? I can't seem to find any reference that says it was a little water or even as much as half-n-half. Any thoughts?

I will quote from Mark Grant, author of Roman Cookery: Ancient Recipes for Modern Kitchens, one of my favourite interpreter of ancient recipes. He says,

"The Romans and Greeks watered their wine, not because it was any more alcoholic... but because it was not right for a sensible citizen to be seen drunk. In Classical Greece the proportions of water to wine ranged from three to one, five to three and three to two, all of which were harmonic balances in Greek music. The Greeks held wine to be at the same time both dangerous and beneficial: it could act as a drug, reveal the truth and temporarily suppress the misery of the human condition. The Romans do not appear to have imbued wine with such religiosity--it was something to enjoy at meals or serve with sauces."

Patrick Faas's very well researched Around the Roman Table devotes several pages to wine, describing the role of the magister bibendi, master of the revels:

"Because he was in charge of alcohol consumption, the magister... had overall responsibility for the carousal....[his] most important task was to decide the correct proportion of water to wine. His options ranged between pure wine and wine diluted with six parts water. Usually, the mixture was two or thee parts water to one part wine, but one to one was not uncommon."

I hope this helps answer your question!
Iulia Sempronia (Sara Urdahl)
Officium ante Proprium Bonum
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#23
Hi Julilla,
What a great response! I never knew they were watering it down so much. This has been very helpful.

Since were on the subject, I've seen some objects used for mixing the wine. Since these had strainers in them, my guess is that they were infusing(?) the drink with other things just prior to serving. If so, what could it be? Or is the strainer to catch any bits of pitch that get poured out?

Thanks.
Lugorix

aka: Jeff Scharp
Kelticos.org
TexasCoritani.com
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#24
That's what a Celt's mustache was for. Strains the wine on the way in Tongue
---AH Mervla, aka Joel Boynton
Legio XIIII, Gemina Martia Victrix
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#25
Quote:Hi Julilla,
Since were on the subject, I've seen some objects used for mixing the wine. Since these had strainers in them, my guess is that they were infusing(?) the drink with other things just prior to serving. If so, what could it be? Or is the strainer to catch any bits of pitch that get poured out?

Yes sir, you are on the right track! Did you know that Romans had over 300 names for all the wine vessels, pots, beakers and other vessels for wine? :!:

The wine was usually carried in for large drinking parties, or commissatio, in 26-litre amphorae. After it was opened, the wine was scooped out with a long spoon called a trulla. (Here's a link to a picture of one). The wine was then filtred through a sieve, or column, both to catch the sediments and other impurities from the amphora, and also possibly to add flavour, or even perfume: myrtle oil was popular.

Here are a couple of recipes for flavouring your wine:

Absinthe
Take spices for Camerinian wine, if you have no wormwood. Otherwise, 27g cleaned and chopped wormwood, 1 date, 7 g mastic, 7 g aromatic leaves, 7 g costum, 3g saffron, 10 litres good wine. Charcoal against bitterness is not required.
-- Apicius, 3

Rose Wine

Rose wine is made like this: lace rose petals, with the white part removed, on a thread and immerse in wine for seven days. Then remove the petals from the wine and put in new rose petals in, laced in the same manner. Do the same thing a third time and remove the petals. Sieve the wine and when you want to drink it, add honey to get rose wine. Be sure to use only the best roses and ensure they are free from dew. You can make violet wine in a similar way. Again, flavour with honey.
--Apicius 4

For those concerned about using wormwood, there's an interesting set of FAQS from the Wormwood Society.
Iulia Sempronia (Sara Urdahl)
Officium ante Proprium Bonum
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#26
Ancient peoples ( I know medieval for sure) didnt really water their wines, they "wined their water" lol. Though the Romans and all other ancient people didnt know why, they understood that drinking strait river water made them sick. They didnt seem to make the connection that dumping sewage into the river was a bit nasty in the water.
Alchohol has been used as an antiseptic then and now, and some brialliant guy made the connection that putting wine with your water help reduce the chances of getting the runs :lol:
Would water help make stout wine taste a bit more light and tollerable, of course, but this other reasoning should be considered as well.
Nomen:Jared AKA "Nihon" AKA "Nihonius" AKA "Hey You"

Now with Anti-Varus protection! If your legion is lost for any reason, we will give it back! Guaranteed!

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#27
Paul wrote to Timothy to "take a little wine for your stomach's sake, and for your many ailments". It was evidently known in 1st Cent Judea that wine had that medicinal quality, too.
M. Demetrius Abicio
(David Wills)

Saepe veritas est dura.
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#28
Yep, the superstitious people back then likely thought that if it stung you on the wound, it probably hurt the evil spirit infecting you. That would be a resonable explanation back then. I personnally dont know what the prevailing explanation was back then, but im sure infection was likely seen as some kind of evil spirit trying to inhabit your flesh.
Nomen:Jared AKA "Nihon" AKA "Nihonius" AKA "Hey You"

Now with Anti-Varus protection! If your legion is lost for any reason, we will give it back! Guaranteed!

Carpe Dium
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