The Wine of Life
As we know, the existence of wine dates back at least 8,000 years to Neolithic times. Fermented grape juice residue has been found in ceramic jars in Shulaveri in present-day Georgia (from about 6000 BCE) and Tepe in the Zagros Mountains of present-day Iran (5400–5000 BCE). Isn’t it curious that as humanity was evolving from nomadic Neanderthals to communal Homo sapiens cultivating food and developing social culture, wine was there! It is as if we were meant to evolve together.
Wine has been with us through every step of our human evolution. Ancient cultures devoted gods to it, monarchies presided over it, religions formed sacraments around it, and now critics and creators struggle for dominion over it. Wine even relates to us physically: Like humans, grapes have flesh, skin, veins that carry nutrients and juice that is the essence of their life force. When the time comes to make the wine, the skin, flesh and veins are left behind. All that is taken is the juice, which transforms into wine—still breathing and evolving as the grapes once did on the vine.
Our relationship continues when we drink the wine. Its energy commingles with ours. Our union becomes an expansion of consciousness. We are more sensitive to our connection to the ecosystem of life and it feels good to be part of a greater whole. Awakened, we can hear, even envision, the life of the vine. We are touched and perhaps changed because in that moment we have surrendered to being part of nature and remember what it means to be alive. The juice of life became the wine of life, and if we listen, with our senses, maybe we will be changed too.