The Art Of
The refinement of Bordeaux seeps into all aspects of its culture, history and lifestyle. Our series of articles is intended to inspire and entertain.
Photo: Philippe Roy
The “gift of Dionysus,” a liquid legacy with profound cultural and historical roots, piques curiosity and stirs passions. Though today it is widely consumed across cultures and classes, that was not always so, by any means. Join us for a quick trip back in time to understand how humans have imbibed this precious beverage since the first grape was crushed.
Let us begin at the beginning and take a great leap backward to antiquity. In this era, wine already had a central role in mythologies. According to Egyptian mythology, for example, wine was brought to earth by the god Ra, creator of the world. Thus promoted as a product of the gods and living liquid lore, it was, in those days, primarily consumed by rich and noble families.
Time passed, yet wine endured. It became the property of monarchs, who afforded it a great deal of attention and jealous protectiveness. This was certainly the case with Bordeaux wines, which were very popular in the 13th century, particularly appreciated by King Francis I, who imported grape varieties up to his Fontainebleau property so as to create his own vineyard. Branded a luxury at the time, its intake remained tied to social status.
But how could a beverage placed on a pedestal as the sacred drink of gods and monarchs break through these walls of worship and find a place in all social strata?
The first factor to be considered is the undeniable advancements in transportation. With the construction and development of railways and waterways, wine trading and the wine market expanded considerably, making it possible for wine to be shipped and consumed in France and abroad. Wine packaging is the second major factor. After the terracotta amphora, leather wineskins, and wooden casks, the glass bottle at last became the container of choice. Wine marketing and storage were thereby simplified, gradually – and greatly –contributing to the democratization of wine and wine drinking.
Though our wines today are still noble, high-quality products, they are so diverse, and their products available in such a broad spectrum of choices, that everyone can satisfy his or her tastes. A wine can therefore be both a sophisticated addition to a festive meal and an easy-going complement to a family dinner.
In Bordeaux, we make it a point of honor to simultaneously ensure quality, variety, and affordability, which, in our world, are three words that are complementary, not contradictory.
Enjoy Bordeaux wines in moderation…and with pleasure.
- Wine drinking across the ages
- The world of Bordeaux
- Wines of Bordeaux, Wines of Châteaux
- Bordeaux: Camaraderie Born Of Warm Weather And Wine
- The Bordelaise from Bordeaux
- Wine bubbles
- Christmas and New Year’s around the world
- Wine is in fashion this year
- Drinking wine 2.0: Is wine becoming even more social?
- Wine: discourse, lore, and legend
- Wine and music gladden the heart
- Bordeaux: Blends of Grapes and Architecture
- White wine or rosé: how about a burger to go with it?
- Apero attitude: must-have accessories & wine
- Oysters: Fact and Fiction
- Montaigne's Art of Living
- Chocolate in South West France
- Goya and Bordeaux