Ancient Greek Wine: An Inquiry

rosé cocktail

As anyone with knowledge of wine history will tell you, the wine we drink today is a lot different than the wine people drank hundreds or thousands of years ago. Back in ancient days, people were a lot less discerning about grape varietals, and even grape color. Red grapes and white grapes were often mashed up together to create a single, pinkish wine rather than the wide spectrum of colors we have today. Another key difference, at least in Ancient Greece, is that wine was customarily diluted with water to create a much less potent mixture. In fact, when the Greeks encountered cultured who drank undiluted wine, they often recoiled in horror. But what does Ancient Greek wine taste like? Is it any good? Lets find out.

How Are You Making Ancient Greek Wine?

To approximate Ancient Greek wine, I purchased a cheap red blend and an equally cheap pinot grigio and, in an act that hopefully will not get me kicked out of the Society of Venerable Wine Bloggers, poured an ounce of each into a water glass, and then another ounce of each into a wine glass. From there I took the water glass and filled it up the rest of the way with water. This way I have, hopefully both an undiluted approximation of ancient wine and the kind that people usually drank.

The Straight Wine

First up, I tried the undiluted stuff. How did it taste? Fine. It wasn’t disgusting, but neither was it very memorable or complex. It tasted like a bad rosé. Could this be because both bottles of wine I used in the combination were less than 5 dollars? It’s possible! Someone willing to try this experiment with higher quality wine might yield better results, but it would probably safer to just buy a nice rosé.

The Watered Down Stuff

Next, it’s time to try the real Ancient Greek wine. What sorts of mysterious flavors inspired Socrates? What did Alexander the Great drink after a long day of being The Great? Will this wine experience unlock new levels of the human experience for me?

Nope! It tastes bad. It tastes like flat wine flavored seltzer. Again, perhaps higher quality wine might yield a better result, but if you have higher quality wine I sincerely doubt that adding water will improve it. I guess because the alcohol content is lower you can drink more of this than regular wine, but why in god’s name would you want to?

Add to cart