11th January, 2013 by Rupert Millar
The true origins of viticulture and brewing, whether it was in Sumeria, the Lebanon, Georgia and so on, may never be known for sure.
Offering a libation to the gods
What is sure is that ever since he first created alcoholic drinks, man has usually ascribed to them divine properties.
As was pointed out in the Top 10 Wine Saints, Christianity merely replaced the old gods of wine, beer, grapes and grain, with new figureheads.
This often makes the identification of “wine gods” rather tricky and, aside from some of the more obvious standouts, ancient cultures and societies often venerated many figures connected to drink.
The Greeks in particular personified many things relating to wine, its effects and preparation, with minor deities.
There was Methe, the personification of drunkenness, Acratopotes, one of Dionysus’ companions and a drinker of unmixed wine, there was Ceraon who watched over the mixing of wine with water and Amphictyonis a goddess of wine and friendship between nations.
People would offer wine to their gods (sometimes known as a libation) and the gods themselves often liked to drink, in some stories it is they that taught man the secrets of fermentation.
Norse mythology meanwhile promised unending drinking in the afterlife, while a particularly grim fate awaited newly deceased wrongdoers in Ancient Egypt.
Wine and beer as liberators of the senses, a means of relaxation and the celebration of life appear as the most important themes here but so too is the darker side of uninhibited pleasure, as readers of The Bacchae will know.
If you have any other suggestions of any other gods and goddesses and drinking mythology to add to our pantheon then please leave a message below.