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Myths And Legends Involving Alcohol

For centuries alcohol has played a significant role in several cultures and religions across the world, giving rise to many myths and legends.
Here we have a short list of some of the commonly known legends and Gods marking the importance of alcohol in some of the ancient cultures.

Bacchus – The Party God

In the rich Greek mythology, Bacchus the son of Jupiter and Semele, is the God of harvest, winemaking and fertility. As the legend goes, upon growing up Bacchus learned about the vines and winemaking. He later travelled around the world on his divine mission to educate people about the art of winemaking.

Many secret rituals were practised by women in ancient Rome to worship him. Even in modern times, a celebration is held in his honour each year in October.

Carrying the legacy of his name forward, there are theme parties and drinking events in the present day. His name also features in the ‘drinking song’ by Longfellow. Bacchus is indeed one famous party God!

Cleopatra and The Pearl

In a rather riveting tale about legendary Egyptian queen Cleopatra and her magnificent pearl, wine finds a short but an important role to play. According to the legend, Cleopatra in a lavish display of her wealth & power had a bet with the Roman leader Marc Anthony that she could spend a fortune (10 million sesterces) on one meal. To win this bet, the queen then plucked one of the pearls from her earrings, dissolved it in the goblet of wine and gulped it!

Tenenet
In ancient Egypt, Tenenet was a multitasker Goddess, who was associated with childbirth and brewing beer! It is also believed that she derived her name from the word ‘tenemu’, which means beer.

Silenus
Silenus is not only the God of beer but also a drinking companion in ancient Greek mythology! He often features as the jovial old man with a big beer belly and is said to be usually drunk. It is also believed that in his state of drunkenness, he is often carried by donkeys or satyrs.

Osiris – The God of Beer & Wine
Osiris was the God of beer & wine who was responsible for the farming by the river Nile. It is believed that he educated the Egyptians about wine-making & brewing beer. He is also known as the God of the afterlife & resurrection, and the families of those who passed on offered alcohol to Osiris to please him.

Bes

The patron of those brewing beer and associated with music, dance & humour, Bes was believed to be the jolly good leprechaun who assisted pharaoh’s army in winning wars and protected their homes. He was portrayed drinking beer. It is believed that the soldiers drank to their victory before going to battle, from ‘Bes-shaped’ mugs.

Shezmu – The Multi-Tasker God of Wine

Shezmu, the Egyptian multi-tasker God is believed to be a maker of perfume, wine & precious oils, and he was also known as the ‘Lord of blood & great slaughter’. According to the great Egyptian mythology, people believed that Shezmu produced grape juice for pharaoh’s wine, and he also crushed the heads of his enemies in that wine press.

Yasigi
In African culture, Yasigi is believed to be the beer Goddess, who is also associated with dance and masks.

Radegast

According to the Czech legend, Radegast was believed to be the God of hospitality and mutuality. He was also associated with the  creation of beer.

Disclaimer: The above-mentioned legends and myths from ancient cultures & religions are purely for informative and entertainment purpose for our readers.

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Classification Of Wines

If you’re new to the wonderful world of wines, you may often find yourself wondering, ‘how to differentiate between the types of wines’? One quick run down the alcobev shop is enough to leave any newbie confused especially since there are numerous choices of wines to pick from.

It is important to have your groundwork figured out in order to avoid being in a fix.

And, this article intends to do just that as we bring you a brief overview that helps you to understand the classification of wines.

Read on to find out more…

Wines are commonly classified on the following basis –

Place of Origin or Appellation

‘Appellation’ of wine is defined as the legally marked geographic location where a particular wine originates, or from where the raw materials are sourced as the basis of differentiating characteristics. This system of classification aims at protecting the unique character & quality of the wine.
Commonest examples for wine appellation are ‘champagne’ and ‘Chianti’. The strict European regulations require only the wine made from the grapes produced in the Champagne region of France can be labelled as ‘champagne’. Similarly, Chianti is any wine produced in the Chianti region of central Tuscany in Italy.

Vinification Method & Style

Vinification of wine refers to the winemaking process which includes the selection of grapes, the fermentation process leading to alcohol, and bottling of wine.

Based on the wine-making method, wines are classified into the following categories, namely –

Table Wines;

Sparkling Wines & Champagne;

Semi-Sparkling or Still Wines;

Fortified Wines & Dessert Wines.

The process of vinification for still wines differs from that of effervescent sparkling wines which have carbon dioxide naturally produced during fermentation. Table wines or natural wines are consumed with food; sparkling wines & champagne are consumed mostly during celebrations and, fortified wines or dessert wines are consumed after the meal. These are also used for cooking purposes.

Taste (Sweetness)

The taste defines the character of wine which can range from sweet to dry and bitter. The level of sweetness in wine is attributed to the factors which control sweetness, such as acidity, tannin, alcohol levels, carbon dioxide, etc.

Tannins are found in the grape skins. They are natural polyphenols, which add to the bitterness, astringency and complexity in wines.

An increased level of alcohol can the sweetness in the wine, whereas, high acidity levels can make wine taste dry. Red wines have tannin which makes them less sweet as compared to white wines which have high acidity.

Vintage or Variety

When it comes to the classification of wines, vintage refers to the wines are made from the grapes grown & harvested during a specific single year.

Variety classification refers to the variety of grapes grown and used in the winemaking process such as Merlot, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, etc. Varietal wines are made using a dominant grape variety. For a wine to be labelled so, it must have a minimum of 75% of the dominant grape variety used in vinification.

With the above-mentioned information, we hope that this article has helped you to establish the correct basics.

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Drinking Etiquette Around The World

Alcohol also finds a place in celebrations & traditions around the world and drinking is an enjoyable part in the lives of many people. The ones who enjoy drinks & love to travel would agree that no holiday is complete without high spirits. It gives them the opportunity to explore the local cuisine & drinks.

However, as you go about planning your next vacation to a different country, it is important to revisit few a basics here. Remember to be mindful of the local laws and customs. Also, know your limits when you go out drinking in foreign lands, you wouldn’t want to be caught in a messy situation that ruins your trip.

To make things easier, with this article we intend to bring you a list of drinking to-do’s as you plan your next sojourn around the world.

Denmark & Germany

The drinking culture is quite strong in Germany and the people sure do love their beer. A common thing between the Germans & the Danish is the way they toast while drinking. They like to maintain eye contact while toasting, it is symbolic of ‘trust’, and the person is considered untrustworthy if they fail to abide by it.

Czech Republic

The Czechs, like the Danish & Germans, make eye contact while toasting, it is considered rude if you don’t look people in the eye while clinking your glass. Also, make a mental note not to cross your arms as you clink.

France

The French are polite & they like to take it slow! You never fill your glass of wine more than halfway, pour a little and take it slow, don’t gulp it down like a shot!

Russia

The Russians consider it rude if you put your glass of vodka shot down without finishing it, it has to be downed in one go. Remember not to leave your glass on the table once you’re done, place it on the floor instead.

Hungary

Clinking glasses when drinking beer is a big no-no in Hungarian culture. The aversion is rooted in the revolution against the Habsburgs dating back to 1849 when the Austrian soldiers drank beer & clinked glasses while the Hungarian martyrs were hanged.

Spain

When in Spain, ‘always’ toast like the Spanish, and we’ll tell you why. So it goes like this, the Spaniards believe that you experience seven years of bad sex if you toast with a glass of water!

Japan 

In a social gathering in the Japanese culture, the elders are served first, and people ensure that no one’s glass is empty. Pouring a drink for yourself is considered outright rude, and as a part of extended camaraderie, people pour a glass of drink for each other.

And…Here’s a quick parting tip for you, when in doubt, always take the lead of the local. It not only helps you in enjoying the customs of the place you’re visiting but, it also helps you in making friends with the locals. Besides it is advantageous to learn to toast like the natives, it might earn you additional brownie points with your new friends!

Disclaimer: Excessive alcohol consumption is harmful. Whether it is to celebrate or to unwind, it goes without a doubt that one must be a responsible drinker.

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