Tag Archives: grapes for new year

Bon Appetit Wednesday! Celebrate New Year’s With the Bountiful Grape—Here’s to Luck, Liberty and a Long Life to All

800px-Hungarian_red_grape_IsabelleThe sweet, succulent grape. It’s a fruit that has found its way into cultures around the world. Its cultivation goes all the way back to the Neolithic era (6,000-6500 BCE). Over the next centuries its production spread from the Caucasians to Asia Minor and to the Nile Delta through the Fertile Crescent. It became an important product for consumption, sale and trade in ancient times, as evidenced by the Code of Hammurabi (c. 1700 BCE), which decreed how wine was to be sold in Mesopotamia.[1] (Interestingly, women were allowed to own property and sell wine, so much of the code refers to female vendors.) The Greeks, Phoenicians and Romans extolled the glories of the grape in action, song and verse throughout the known world. By the fall of the Roman Empire the grape was firmly entrenched and the rise of the Christian church allowed a new stream of wine production through thousands of monasteries. As the centuries unfolded wine became a mainstay for cultural and religious reasons and as well in places and times where potable water was absent. Today wine production is a worldwide industry with oenophiles and simple indulgers offered a vast array of tastes, aromas and textures. Moreover, according to the Mediterranean Diet, the grape, particularly as distilled in wine, provides various health benefits, particularly through resveratrol, which is a compound that provides antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. Some, in fact, tout its heart-healthy properties as natural life extenders. Continue reading