[Luxus Magazine] The origins of wine in Rome

The central beverage of Roman society, from slaves to patricians, wine – and above all its taste – has remained a mystery to researchers. A recent discovery published in the archaeological journal Antiquity may well shed light on its characteristics, based on its packaging.


“In Vino Veritas” (“In wine, the truth”), wrote Pliny the Elder.


However, until now, the dress, texture and, above all, taste of the wines consumed by the Romans 2,000 years before our era, had mainly come down to us through the accounts of ancient poets.


At the end of January, researchers Dimitri Van Limbergen of Ghent University (Belgium) and Paulina Kamar of Warsaw University (Poland) may have solved this impenetrable mystery.


To achieve this, the research duo came up with the unusual idea of resurrecting ancient vessels (dolia), replacing them with contemporary terracotta models that most closely resemble their shape. In their view, these containers have a decisive impact on the character of wine.

Dolium in the domus?

Archaeologists tell us that wine cellars, housing earthenware vessels, were particularly widespread in the late Republican and early Roman Empire (between the 3rd and 2nd centuries AD and the 3rd or 4th century).


Among them was the dolium (plural dolia), a large earthenware jar (can hold over 2000 liters) used for fermentation, storage and transportation of products such as wine.


To recreate the taste of Roman wine, researchers had the idea of replacing these ancient containers from archaeological digs with qvevris, traditional ovoid jars narrower than the body, still used in Georgia for wine production and storage.


Click here to read the entire article on Luxus Magazine.


Featured Photo: Ancient Roman fresco of the “House of Menander” in Pompeii

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Victor Gosselin
Victor Gosselin is a journalist specializing in luxury, HR, tech, retail, and editorial consulting. A graduate of EIML Paris, he has been working in the luxury industry for 9 years. Fond of fashion, Asia, history, and long format, this ex-Welcome To The Jungle and Time To Disrupt likes to analyze the news from a sociological and cultural angle.

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