ATG Quirkies: Why Ancient Greeks Mixed Wine With Seawater

by | Jun 16, 2021 | 0 comments

Why Ancient Greeks Mixed Wine With Seawater is written by Philip Chrysopoulos and appears in The Greek Reporter

“Mixing Greek wine and seawater may sound unappealing today, but it is a winemaking practice that goes back to Ancient Greece, later to be copied by the Romans.

Seawater gives the wine a curious salinity which mixes with the sweetness of the grape and produces a delicate taste, while at the same time preserving the wine longer.

Ancient Greece had a long tradition of wine making, wine drinking and wine selling, thanks to its ideal sunny climate, the rocky terrain and its history of maritime trade.

“Ancient Greeks drank wine by mixing it with water, usually in a ratio of 1:3 (one part wine to three parts water). They had special containers for mixing and for cooling the libation.

Drinking wine that was not mixed with water (άκρατος οίνος) was considered barbaric. Such wine without water was used only as medicine for the sick or during travel, as a tonic.

“According to writings found, ancient Greeks made wine by mixing 50 parts of must with one part of seawater…”

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