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Wine: The juice of Gods

Zubin Dsouza

The world is at war with itself and its denizens are at war with each other. There is intolerance and prejudice and xenophobia that threatens to engulf us all.

One of the best ways to end all controversies would be to have uniformity in everything.

This means uniformity in beliefs, uniformity in technology and methodology and probably an agreed uniformity in religious observances.

Since most of our fights seem to stem from which God we deem the most powerful, it would be great if we all decided to adopt and follow one single God and a single religion that would apply to the entire planet.

Imagine, the world elects you to choose the God that would be worshipped by everyone on the planet, what would you choose?

Would you go with the God of your upbringing or would you choose another?

Would you choose a strict God or would you choose someone more chilled out, someone more fun to be around?

As far as I am concerned, when posed with this question, the answer is a foregone conclusion. I would go for the fun dude and there is no one higher up on that list than Bacchus the Roman God of fun, winemaking, vineyards, ritualistic psychotic episodes and the patron God of all the misfits in the world.

He is the dude who supposedly taught winemaking to the world after showing people how to plant vineyards and tend to grapes.

Wine being the topic that it is cannot really be condensed into a single article and hence we are going to read it in a series.

The first in the series will deal with the mythology and history behind wine; in the second will look at the process of making wine and in the third will look at differentiating, appreciating, pairing and serving wines.

So anyway Dionysus being the original name of the original Greek God before he was adopted by the Romans and christened as Bacchus actually had a really large following.

I am not surprised since the rituals often included the doling out of large amounts of wine.

Anyhow, plodding along, he was the son of Zeus who was the king of the Greek Gods and a mortal woman called Semele. The original myths are full of salacious stories and this one is no different.

Zeus being the unfaithful husband that he always was portrayed to be seduced Semele.

Hera who was Zeus’s cuckolded wife found out about the affair when Semele was already pregnant. Still hurting, she tried to eke her revenge in a rather unique way.

She knew that any mortal who gazed upon a God in all their glory would perish immediately and so she planted doubts in Semele’s head with respect to the divinity of the father of her unborn child.

Semele pestered Zeus to show her his true form until he relented and appeared before her in his God-like finery which proved to be too much for her and she burst into flames. Zeus realising that the life of his yet unborn child was at stake performed an emergency C-section and sewed the foetus inside his thigh and carried the baby to full term.

Now an awesome story like this could only be made up after a drink or two!

And what could possibly be a better drink than wine to help you work on the finer details of the story?

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