We basically drink the same wine as ancient Romans. Researchers found grape growers managed to keep modern grape DNA extremely consistent and similar to ancient varieties. While this kept flavors consistent, researchers worry grapes are genetically at-risk to environmental changes.

We Drink Basically The Same Wine Varietals As Ancient Romans, And That’s Not So Great

With wine, older can often mean better. “Vintage,” our word for “classily aged,” comes from the winemaking process. Wines from decades ago can fetch far higher prices than freshly made ones. Wine itself is woven throughout ancient history, from ancient Judeo-Christian rites (hello, Last Supper!) to Egyptian ceremonies to Roman orgies. And the grape varieties we like tend to have lengthy pasts: For instance, chardonnay grapes from France’s Champagne region have been made into white wine since the Middle Ages.

But until now, nobody knew just how ancient the wine varietals we’ve been drinking are. According to a new study in Nature Plants published Monday, many of the most popular wine varietals sold today are extremely genetically similar… Continue Reading (4 minute read)

14 thoughts on “We basically drink the same wine as ancient Romans. Researchers found grape growers managed to keep modern grape DNA extremely consistent and similar to ancient varieties. While this kept flavors consistent, researchers worry grapes are genetically at-risk to environmental changes.”

  1. TheSecretNothingness

    The Romans and the Greeks diluted their wine to about 1:10 water, reserved the full strength stuff for special occasions, and even “poured one out for the homies,” called libations!

  2. mjc500

    I worked with wine for years and promise you there is much more complexity to the subject than this headline would have you believe. Wine doesn’t even taste the way it did in the 1970s. Producers are constantly tweaking how their vineyards are managed, how their grape varietals are blended, and countless wine making techniques….

    Not to mention the Romans and Greeks watered down their wine, added spices, they easily could have blended different varietals and vintages and we would have no idea by just analyzing the storage amphoras….

    Even some of the old wine regions of France have changed their flavor profiles in recent generations. Bordeaux from 2005 was significantly drier than the 2019s I’ve tasted. Burgundy used to import grapes from Algeria (or Algerian wine was mislabeled as Burgundy, depending on who you ask ((which was a major wine producing region until Islamic independence from colonialism))…

    And that’s not even touching on some of the more complex laboratory analysis

  3. schnozzberryflop

    Mmm, no. Same grapes maybe, but ancient wine was not much like modern wine because of the manufacturing methods were not very clean, bottles were leaky, etc.

  4. eggsssssssss

    There is a LOT more to making wine than the grape’s DNA, this title is absurd.

  5. DrawFluent

    Great article. The world’s oldest bottle of wine is over 1600 years old and can be found at a museum in Germany.

  6. PickledCastigator

    They probably infused the wine with a lot more psychoactive plants than our culture does.

  7. 7_Metanoia_7

    NOPE WE DO NOT. I watched an entire video on this recently, so I’m basically an expert in alcoholic beverage archaeology. The Romans used lots of spices and other additives (tree sap, honey) in their wine, which was already strong, then watered it down. Judeans likely did not water their wine, as it was considered bad.

    [Source](https://youtu.be/X6FVh-etEtw)

  8. I_might_be_weasel

    I think ours has less lead.

  9. OptimisticPlatypus

    You want to make people more active in climate change initiatives? Take away their wine.

  10. BigAssWhipSpider

    We don’t drink the same wine as Romans because they put lead in their wine to make it taste more sweet.

  11. I-suck-at-golf

    They also used to spike wine with other drugs.

  12. s0ciety_a5under

    I’m getting strong banana plague vibes. Like this could wipe out grapes easily.

  13. tennisdrums

    Whoever came up with that title is part of the reason science journalism drives me bonkers. It’s so obviously false on its face, and it even directly contradicts information *within the article*.

    As soon as I read the title of the post I thought “There are a million things that go into making wine than just the type of grapes used.” And, the article even points out that techniques and other factors such as yeast have changed significantly since Ancient Rome.

  14. chidoOne707

    But I was told their wine wasn’t as strong and they had to drink tremendous amounts to get really wasted.

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