Wine is commonly taken when one wants to relax, to lift their moods, to become happy and to lighten life. This goes to show that the uses of wine took a turn considering that wine was only used for religious purposes in earlier civilizations. Let’s take a look at the transition that took place.
In the early societies, vineyards and winemaking were controlled by rulers and priests. As for the Greek society, the wine was commercial, and so the process was under the commercial-based society. The commercial society was of great importance to the Ancient Greece society. However, this took a turn for the better.
The inhabitants of northern Greece made an invasion into the southern Mycenaean Civilization at around 1200 BCE. This Mycenaean society was similar to the Egyptians and Sumerians in that it was ruled by a monarchy and aristocracy. Following the war between the southern Mycenaeans and the northern Greeks, the land became devastated, and this led the everyday people to seek refuge in the invader-occupied fortresses to escape ruin and misery and also for protection. In the following two centuries, the invaders tried to unify the people by granting the ordinary people more privileges. This undermined the rule of their former aristocracy and kings who had disputed their rights. The new Greek society was thus birthed in these fortresses. They grew into democratic city-states that had a mercantile class and was vigorous in commerce.
This is how consuming wine and vine growing was handed to a new set of people who were at liberty to own vineyards, produce and drink their own wine. Wine eventually became a business. Consumption of wine then fused into the common language with several references defining the practice. ‘Symposium’ was a term that referred to the occasion of drinking wine and conversing after meals. Literature like The Odyssey also indicated wine in ancient Greece. In the poem, Ulysses notes that his father took care of a vineyard where for each type of vine, there were 50 different furrows. Hippocrates also had vine-growing guides and prescribed various wines as medical prescriptions to heal various diseases.
However, the Greek society did not cease from using wine for religious purposes. For example, Dionysus, an eastern god, was made the god of wine. His festivals were mostly an excuse to take wine from the fermented casks during spring. However, these festivals were banned by Alexander the Great, though they were conducted underground up to the Middle Ages.