The Greek physician Hippocrates born in 460 BC had an astounding grasp of the functions of the human body and discovered the healing properties of wine prescribing it for difficult childbirth, to decrease lethargy and to cool fevers, wine is a wonderful thing, in health and in illness, he stated.
Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food
The concept drinking in moderation can be good for your body and great for your soul dates back to ancient Greece. The drink we know as vermouth was actually created by Hippocrates. A mixture of wine, honey, spices, and herbs was fashioned strictly with medicinal purposes in mind. Hippocrates believed in the healing properties of food and drink and noted: “Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.”
In ancient Greece, the birth of the new wines was celebrated in spring, with yearly festivals called Dionysia, when citizens, poor artisans and ex-slaves, and representatives from Athenian colonies marched to the Theatre of Dionysus on the southern slope of the Acropolis, carrying the wooden statue of Dionysus. The main event called the Pompe had singing and dancing contests and the opportunity to let out inhibitions through emotional tragedies and irreverent comedies, offering an opportunity for lower-class citizens to ridicule the upper classes, and a chance for women to insult their male partners or relatives, known as aischrologia.
As one of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world Greece molded the wine culture of Europe by introducing vines in their colonies in Italy, Sicily, southern France and Spain. Two thousand years of foreign occupation took a toll but Greece’s rich in viticultural resources remain intact. Today, Greek wine presents exciting new and ancient possibilities for wine lovers around the world.
Nick Cobb, started a wonderful website called Greekwinemakers.com, designed to help fill the void created by the absence of a generic export promotions program for the Greek wine industry. The site is intended to be a source of information about Greek wines for the American consumer, the wine trade and the wine media.
Source: Wikipedia and “A hippocratic toast” – by John Fanning
Painting: © Yannis Tsarouchis 1972 – Dionysus drunk