Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Is Wine an Appropriate Holiday Gift?

Is giving wine for the Holidays or as a gift an appropriate gesture? First off, before we reach deep into the facts, let me say that most people would agree that history tends to repeat itself, especially when the results are good. This is how relationships go from good to great and how fortunes have been made. There is no doubt at the majority of all key client or family dinners over history have been at a table with a fine glass of wine in hand. So off we go, beginning with the facts...

History of Wine (6000 B.C to Present)

The history of wine spans thousands of years (as early as 6000 B.C) and is closely intertwined with the history of agriculture, cuisine, civilization and humanity itself. It was about this time that the amphorea, a massive jug, was invented to facilitate the transportation of wine across the Mediterranean or long journeys. Evidence suggest that the first designs of amphorea were actually invented by the Chinese, but no patent system existed and the West seized the opportunity...

The Greek Empire (1500AD - 1100AD) thought it helped make the good times even better so they even gave wine its own God - Dionysus.  If you didn't have a glass in hand, you were not cool.

The Romans (27BC - 400AD) In ancient Rome, vineyard management was beginning to be take shape as Roman Emperors used wine as a thank you gift to their governors who collected taxes and wine's growing popularity resulted in the creation of their own wine god, so Bacchus was born. 

In 1308 A.D. Pope Clement V moved the Papacy to Avignon in the Rhone Valley of France where he set up shop and had his monks teach viticulture to the locals, producing superb blends of wines including Chateauneuf du Pape and Gigondas (syrah, grenache blends). 

Fast forward a few hundred years lets look at the Temperance Movement of the 1870's - 1920's in the United States and other Countries. Big business owners and Industrialists (yes, the grand 1%) felt as if alcohol may be the root cause of all evil. They viewed any alcoholic beverage as the cause of tardiness, laziness, malnutrition and would lead to the downfall of mankind. The end result: Prohibition, which lead to the temporary downfall of society in the United States with the origination of the Federal Income Tax System, a 78% increase in homicide and the rapid development of the Organized Crime System. Last but not least, the eventual outcome was the Great Depression... Fifty years of walking backwards seemed to have erased 7950 years of forward movement.

So the question that everyone has been waiting for... is wine an appropriate gift? Absolutely. Don't take my word on it. We hit the streets to get a few opinions and we hit 5 for 5...

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