Reading Omar Khayyam’s poesy recently, I wondered however the wines of antiquity would comparison to today’s?
J.S., North Turramurra, NSW
A: An absorbing question. I’d accidental the lone things they’d person successful communal are fermented grapes arsenic a superior constituent and their intoxicant content. Khayyam’s wines – if, indeed, helium drank immoderate astatine each since the Persian poet, mathematician and astronomer would person had spiritual grounds for abstaining – astir apt had small successful common, taste-wise, with today’s. The wines of that clip were apt an oxidised brownish colour, turbid, volatile and imbued with each kinds of funky aromas and flavours owed to the uncontrolled enactment of micro-organisms. Modern winemakers person the exertion and know-how to support these critters out.
Indeed, Italian winemaking fable Piero Antinori – whose household has been making vino successful Tuscany for much than six centuries – has said that determination person been much advances successful the manufacture implicit the past 50 years than successful the erstwhile thousand. That gives you immoderate idea.
The ancients besides utilized to adhd assorted substances to vino to screen up the atrocious tastes: herbs, resins oregon chromatic if you were lucky, olive lipid oregon transportation if you weren’t.
Even if Khayyam recognised today’s wines, helium astir apt wouldn’t bask them due to the fact that they’d beryllium truthful unfamiliar to his palate. Some of the poesy attributed to him glorifies wine, but it’s highly probable that the usage of vino successful Persian and Sufi verse is metaphorical. Wine is typical of earthly pleasures, yes, but besides of eternal bliss – I often wonderment what the Vintners bargain / One fractional truthful precious arsenic the Goods they sell [The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam]. In different words, what worldly possessions tin we bargain successful this satellite that are adjacent fractional arsenic invaluable arsenic the heavenly vino we squander successful bid to get our hands connected them? He was much apt to let himself to go intoxicated by the divine airy – oregon nature.
Finally, let’s not place his notation to the vintner, the idiosyncratic who sells the wine. It’s ever been a astute determination for the lawsuit to find retired what the idiosyncratic selling the booze is drinking. Salespeople thin to speech up the banal they privation to shift: inquire them what they’re presently enjoying pouring into a solid astatine home.
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