Top 10 wine saints

1st August, 2012 by Rupert Millar

Throughout mankind’s early history peoples of various civilizations constantly sought to personify the world around them and the food and drink it provided.

Wine, beer, grapes and grain, as fruits of the land, were usually represented by deities connected to fertility or pleasure – sometimes both, with all the scurrilous ideas surrounding Dionysus and co that are now normally associated with worship of those old gods.

With the rise of Christianity, however, the role of gods as patrons was taken instead by the followers of the new religion who became spiritual heads of various trades due to their role in them during their lives and occasionally because of the way they died.

Thankfully none of the saints listed here died because of their dedication to making wine or beer – so we can still assume it be a relatively healthy profession – but several of them did become very literal martyrs for their faith.

What is more, it reveals that the church’s attachment to the drinks industry is deeper than just Dom Pérignon’s “invention” of Champagne and also stands as testament to the age and importance of the trade as part of Europe’s cultural and religious history.

3 Responses to “Top 10 wine saints”

  1. John Freeland says:

    Every January, St.Vincent celebrations take place in Warwick (twinned with Saumur) with the Commanderie du Taste Saumur Warwick chapter. If you would to attend please send me an e-mail.

    • Rupert Millar says:

      John

      Sounds wonderful and we’d love to receive any pictures from the next celebration to put online in our picture round-up.

      Rupert

  2. John Radford says:

    There are two stories (probably both apocryphal) about St Martin of Tours, patron saint of Vintners. The first is that, as Bishop of Tours, he eschewed the pomp of episcopal travel, and toured his diocese on a humble donkey. The story goes that he visited a particular monastery with extensive vineyards and, having partaken of the local produce with some enthusiasm, decided to stay the night there. The poor donkey, tied up in the vineyards and unfed, decided to snack on the vines themselves and munched on the sarments to assuage his hunger.

    The next morning the bishop was horrified to see how many shoots had been eaten, and apologised profusely to the brothers. The following spring, however, the damaged shoots burgeoned forth with unexpected vigour to the delight of the vigneron: the donkey had, inadvertently, discovered pruning.

    Martin is also the patron saint of drunkards: the other story concerns a short prayer muttered by inebriates as they staggered homewards “Ora pro me, beata Martin” (pray for me, blessèd Martin) which gave rise to the phrase amongst non-classicists “All my eye and Betty Martin” meaning a load of nonsense.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletters

Job vacancies

FINE WINE SALES ADMINISTRATOR

Davy's Wine Merchants
London, UK

Business Development Manager - On Trade

FINE+RARE
Central London, GB

Regional Sales Manager

Swallow Associates Ltd
Home Based: North-West England, UK

London Account Manager Role (Full Time)

LITTLE BIRD GIN
Home based with UK travel. , GB

Sales Operations Manager

Bibendum PLB
London, UK

Digital Marketing Executive (online content & community manager)

Corney & Barrow Limited
London E1W (near Tower Bridge), UK

Store Manager – Premium Drinks

Amathus Drinks PLC
London, UK

On-Trade Regional Sales Manager

Anthony Byrne Fine Wines
London and the South East, UK

Wine Sales – Northwest England

Gerrard Seel
North West England

Senior On-Trade Sales Manager – English Sparkling Wine Company

COREcruitment
London based with national travel, UK

National Account Manager – RTM – On Trade

COREcruitment
Home based with frequent UK travel

Sales Account Manager - Wine

COREcruitment
London, Devon, Manchester, Liverpool, Farnham, Cambridge, UK

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

Deadline : 14th June 2017

The Global Syrah Masters 2017

Deadline : 14th June 2017

The Global Malbec Masters 2017

Deadline : 14th June 2017

The Global Beer Masters 2017

Deadline : 1st August 2017

Click to view more

Global Chardonnay Masters 2016

Now in its fourth year, the competition will identify the best Chardonnay from all around the world in every price range.

The Asian Cabernet Sauvignon Masters 2017

the drinks business Hong Kong announces its first year of The Asian Cabernet Sauvignon Masters.

Rioja Masters 2016

Now in its fifth year, the competition will recognise and reward the finest Riojas on the world stage.

Fortified Masters 2016

Now in its third year, The Fortified Masters will reward the best fortified wines on offer.

Click to view more