October 24, 2014
History of Seasonal Beverages
Last week on the Coravin blog, we wrote a post about the best wines to drink in the fall. It was inspired by the fact that it seems that no matter where we look, everything in influenced by the changing seasons, and pumpkin spice can't be avoided.
It appears as though Grape Collective noticed as well, because they recently published an article about the history of seasonal beverages. As it turns out, this is not a new fad. In fact, the concept of "seasonal" beverages dates all the way back to Ancient Rome!
In their article, Grape Collective's Emily Kate explainss:
Much like we search for chilled whites and roses from June until August, the streets of Ancient Rome were filled with urbanites looking for a way to cool down in the sweltering heat of summer. An enterprising few worked all year to take advantage of this desperate market. Atop the mountains around the city, holes were dug and filled with snow and ice, then covered over with branches. The ice was then carted down into the city during the summer months to make wine-slushies for the overheated consumers.
And when the days got shorter and the temperature dropped, Ancient drinkers forewent the chilled wines and began consuming their fall beverages. The Roman convivium was a rather diverse affair. This diversity affected more than just the seating arrangements as people from different social strata had different tastes in wine. While mixing wine and water was still de rigeur, everyone in attendance drinking the same water to wine ratio out of a krater, an ancient serving bowl — as the Greek did as their symposium — was no longer feasible. Each guest needed to be able to mix their own wine to taste and with this individualization came the mainstay of any convivium table set: the authepsa... Read the rest.
So it looks like even though the Ancient Romans weren't drinking Pumpin Spice Lattes in the fall and shandy in the summer, they had the right idea. Of course, their seasonal substitution of beverages choices stemmed from necessity...but then again, they do say that necessity is the mother of invention!