Written in Ink

Ancient Booze-Fest, Classy Edition

There is now rare, vintage Manischewitz. In case you are one of the uninitiated, Manischewitz is a sticky, cloyingly sweet red wine bought for Passover, one small sip of which is consumed before it is poured down the sink. This is repeated each year, as if the buyer has amnesia, out of a sense of guilt and tradition. Hey, looking for eggs behind bushes is a pretty weird thing to do too, so don't judge.

Manischewitz tastes like cough syrup without the soothing sleepy time aftereffects. Sometimes the manufacture throws in some corn syrup to make it extra viscous and sugar high inducing.


And now archeologists have discovered a 3,7000 year old vintage. Digging in modern day Tel Aviv, Israel reveled what may be the oldest known wine cellar.

Performing chemical analysis on the traces of wine left in the pores of the clay jars (science is amazing), archeologist found that ancient vintners preferred their wine like their women, strong and sweet.

They added plenty of honey for sweetness, as well as cinnamon, juniper berries and mint for a little kick.

Apparently this stuff was also being imported to other parts of the Fertile Crescent, showing up at swanky parties in Egypt and at the court of Hammurabi. Archeologists even have the recipe books to prove it.

"The components of the wine match the textual description of wine in Mesopotamia," said Dr. Cline.


Much like modern day Jews before the widespread distribution of lovely kosher wines from places like France, it seems the neighbors did not have much choice and bought the sticky sweet stuff from Canaan. They probably served it at extra-warm Middle Eastern room temperatures too.

In addition to being an amazing archeological find, there is more good news. Those not put off by wine that could be used to make lollipops can really look forward to Passover 2014:

Other researchers have been able to re-create ancient wines and beers from the dregs from long-ago tastings. Dr. Koh said the group expected to produce a reasonable facsimile of the Canaanite 1700 B.C. vintage.


I wonder what score Wine Enthusiast Magazine will give it?

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