Viticulture and Venus: A History of Wine and Love: Part III
Part III: 1632 A.D. – 2015 A.D.
“To take wine into our mouths is to savor a droplet of human history.” — Clifton Fadiman
Flowing through the middle ages and into modern times, viticulture has become increasingly widespread, complex and as always — influenced by romance and love. Thankfully, at least as far as the written record shows, viticulture is not a contributing economic factor to modern war, and rather, serves as a sanctuary from the horrors of such. Coursing through the 21st Century, it is abundantly clear that viticulture and Venus shall remain eternally linked, ensuring that wherever there is wine, love is not far away.
Agra, India – 1632 A.D.
Viticulture was introduced to northern India at the beginning of the 14th century A.D. by invaders from Persia. Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan was a descendant of these conquerors and he, like his predecessors Akbar and Jahangir, embraced the enjoyment of wine in their court and throughout their kingdom. To this day, grape cultivation is a major factor in the Indian economy and in the mid 17th century viticulture was surely a contributing factor in financing the construction of a massive mausoleum of white marble — the Taj Mahal. Shah Jahan was inspired to build the Taj by an all-consuming desire to honor his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, who died during childbirth. The Emperor was inconsolable, and only through this immense undertaking could he channel his grief and mitigate his undoing from the burden of sorrow. Aside from the breathtaking Taj Mahal, a hand-sized relic embodying the dynamics of this era also remains. The wine cup of Shah Jahan was carved from white nephrite jade with a handle detailed into the head of a ram. The pedestal is in the form of a lotus flower and across the gourd-shaped cup the Persian words are inscribed “Second Lord of the Conjunction.” One can’t help image a wistful Shah Jahan, whilst gazing upon his achievement to honor his love, sipping fine wine from this cup in a bittersweet toast.
Modern Toasting Suggestion: Chateau Diana She Razz Shiraz, Merlot and Petite Syrah
Lisbon, Portugal – 1807 A.D.
Love and War
Napoleon and his military might had established dominance over most of continental Europe by the beginning of 1807. This left the British Isles and the Iberian peninsula as the only territories within his grasp that were not under his thumb. Although he controlled the territorial puppet strings, as it were, ten years prior his heart strings were yanked asunder — never to be restored to their previously humane assembly. His great love, Josephine, did not reciprocate his affections and while Napoleon was galavanting about the hemisphere she was taking big gulps from the cup of life in the way of repeated wanton adulterous carousing. News of this devastated the French leader to the point of hysteria. History offers plenty of evidence of how this betrayal could have been what permanently blackened his heart, making the attainment of power through ruthless military campaigns his only repose. Alas, he set his sights on the occupation of Portugal via cooperation with Spain. In November of 1807, Napoleon’s troops marched into Lisbon completely unchallenged, only to find that the royal family and their subjects had fled to Brazil in the entirety of the 15-ship Portuguese naval fleet. Stowed in the hull of one of these ships was the highly prized canon of regional viticulture, along with the seeds of every cherished grape used to render the various wines of the time. This move introduced winemaking to South America, which eventually led to the exquisite array of vintage perfection produced by the continent and enjoyed worldwide. Lovers of Chilean Carmenere or Argentinian Malbec can swirl their glass, absorb the splendor and thank Josephine.
Modern Toasting Suggestion: 2013 Naked on Roller Skates Shiraz and Mataro
Hollywood, California – 1957 A.D.
A Modern Fairy Tale
It’s a well known fact that writer William Faulkner was a connoisseur of wine, and he often observed the practice of drinking while he wrote. When three of his works were adapted into a screenplay called The Long, Hot Summer — two young actors named Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward were cast to play Ben Quick and Clara Varner, respectively. One year later they were married and remained happily so until Newman’s death in 2008 — just after their 50th anniversary. The couple was inseparable and became the high-profile poster duo for the idea that marriage can actually work with the right amounts of acceptance and humor. Newman and Woodward held large parties where they would personally prepare dinner for the guests. Paul used old wine bottles to store his homemade salad dressing, which was so popular that he decided to try and monetize it in the American grocery market. In 1982, when it became apparent that Newman’s Own could actually become a profitable brand, Paul famously said “Let’s give it all away.” The result: a line of products that all display the sub-heading “All Profits to Charity.” To this day the brand has donated over $350 million to charities worldwide by selling dog treats, popcorn, salsa, frozen pizza and even a few products of modern viticulture — a handsome array of wines.
Modern Toasting Suggestion: Naked Winery 2014 Sure Thing Symphony
Los Angeles, California – 2015 A.D.
The Ultimate Pairing
A young entrepreneur recognized a harmonious synergy within several niches of the adult retail world. Seeing that sexy wines, intimate toys, and adult books and games all shared the same types of open-minded, passionate and adventurous consumers, Vibe Wines™ was founded with the mission of answering this demand. The objective was to make it very easy for adults to find all of these things in one location, so Sexy Pairings™ were invented. These ideal gift sets streamlined the shopping process for weddings, anniversaries, bachelorette parties and sensual people in general into a fast, fun and exciting experience. Lovers of viticulture and Venus, wine and romance, deliciousness and sensuality celebrated, for they could finally find everything they needed for an exceptional gift or experience located in one convenient place. Cheers to wine and passion!
Modern Toasting Suggestion: 2013 Sexual Chocolate Syrah and Zinfandel and Petite Sirah
Vibe Wines™ specializes in the joys of viticulture and Venus by marketing sexy wines, adult accessories and intimate toys and games both individually and in gift sets called Sexy Pairings™. An online destination for helpful articles and instructional blog posts, Vibe Wines™ furnishes, educates and celebrates healthy sexual communication.
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