ANCIENT HISTORY - ARCHAEOLOGY - MYTHOLOGY - FANTASTIC WINESWelcome Berserkers and Wine Explorers! We’re the Ancient Wine Guys.

****UPDATE: Wow! Thank you Wine Berserkers for such an amazing response! As a thank you, we’re extending the offer until MIDNIGHT on Sunday 11/21/2021!
Additionally, we will be doing a Zoom tasting and discussion of Pack A with Wine Berserkers and Ancient Wines Club Members on December 2nd, 7-8PM PST, click here to see thread for details!

_Who are you guys?_****The Ancient Wine Guys (AWG) are a group of four wine industry veterans, professional historians, PhD archaeologists, and best friends dedicated to exploring and sharing the incredible wines and stories of the ancient world. We combine our collective array of professional, academic, and personal experience in archaeology, history, and education (plus a combined 25+ years of expertise in the world of wine) to curate the world’s only ancient history-archaeology-mythology-focused wine club: the Ancient Wines Club. In addition to the Club (see details below!), we also host a range of live and virtual wine dinners, tastings, seminars, and fundraisers. Check us out on Instagram @ancientwineguys, or on Facebook!

__****From top left, clockwise: Ryan Wihera, Dr. Jeff Pearson, Ti Ngo, Dr. Dana De Pietro

_Alright, what’s the offer?**_****For more than three years, AWG’s flagship product has been the bi-monthly Ancient Wines Club, a selection of three unique, delicious, small-production wines connected to a particular theme drawn from the history, archaeology, and mythology of the ancient world. With each shipment, members receive carefully-crafted, content-rich, full-color write-ups that thoroughly explore that club’s wines and theme. Our selections often feature hard-to-find wines, from unique regions, made from some of the world of wine’s most ancient, and historic varieties.

Our write-ups aim to meaningfully connect our wine selections to the places and stories that shape them. They are also designed to be fun, inspiring, engaging, and accessible to history buffs and wine enthusiasts of all levels, neophyte to expert. Our packs are a fantastic way to explore wine regions, varieties, and producers you may or may not be familiar with, all while getting a uniquely educational experience.

For WineBerserkers’ NewbiePalooza, we have selected four of our fan-favorite Ancient Wines Club packs, updated and revamped them for WineBerserkers, and are for the first time offering them as à la carte purchases with discounted shipping and a special WineBerserkers discount. That’s right, you’re not obligated to sign up for the club first - we simply want you to enjoy our wines and write-ups, and, of course, post about them on WineTalk! However, if you sign up, this exclusive 15% discount will carry forward to any Ancient Wines Club membership and other AWG wine purchases for all of 2022!

Whoa! OK, I love great wines, and I love exploring history! But first…How will I order?!** How to order the the individual Wine Berserkers Packs:Simply send us an email at info@ancientwineguys.com with your desired quantities of each pack, shipping address, and a phone number we can reach you at. We will follow up immediately with instructions and a link for completing your order!
Want to buy a pack as a gift? (Hint: these make awesome gifts for history and wine dorks alike!) Let us know!

How to sign up for the discounted Ancient Wines Club:Sign up here! At checkout, enter the discount code BerserkersAWG to receive your exclusive 15% discount on all 6 of our upcoming 2022 clubs. Additionally, if you sign up for the Ancient Wines Club before January 1, 2022, shipping for your first club installment, to be mailed in early January, will be free! Let us know if you’d like to combine your Packs with your club and we can accommodate as well!

_Cool. So… what’s in the packs?_

[Pack A: Original Price: $75 - Berserker Price: $63.75]**

Featuring: Pack A features three exceptional wines selected from some of the world’s oldest, and most important regions connected to the history and origins of our beloved beverage.

2019 Orgo Saperavi Classic, elegant Georgian teinturier red aged in traditional qvevri/amphora.
Kakheti, Republic of Georgia - 100% Saperavi

2019 Cremisan Hamdani/Jandali White Blend
Dry, versatile white blend of two unique grapes indigenous to the Levant.
Bethlehem, Palestine, Israel - 50% Hamdani, 50% Jandali

2014 Lucien Arkas Bağları “Antre” Red Blend
Compelling blend of two native Turkish red varieties, Boğazkere provides Nebbiolo-like structure, while Öküzgözü imparts aromatic complexity.
Southeast Anatolia, Turkey - 50% Öküzgözü, 50% Boğazkere

Write-up Topics: From Wild Grapes to the Cups of Kings. Wine’s Genesis. Archaeology and Anthropology of Wine. Wine in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia.
Starting from the earliest records of wine and its cultures, we journey back nearly 8,000 years to the cradles of civilization to examine the beginnings of wine as we know it today. Here we also discover some of the first emerging elements of wine commerce and culture, such as labels, tasting notes, importing, and even ratings!

[Pack B: Original Price: $75 - Berserker Price: $63.75]

Featuring: Pack B features three sensational reds from Sicily and Sardinia, each showcasing some of the most important sites and regions of the First Punic War.

2013 Palari Rosso Del Soprano Complex, balanced, and perfectly aged Sicilian red blend from within the famed Faro DOC.
Sicilia IGT, Italy - 50% Nerello Mascalese, 20% Nerello Cappuccio, 20% Nocera and 10% Cappuccio Tignolino, Acitana, Galatena, and Calabrese

2019 Valle dell Acate “Case Ibidini” Nero D’Avola
Fresh, vibrant, immensely drinkable Nero d’Avola from within the Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG.
Sicilia IGT, Italy - 100% Nero d’Avola

2016 Cantina Gallura “Templum” Cannonau di Sardegna DOC
Impressively structured Sardinian Cannonau/Grenache with both pairing and cellar potential.
Sardinia, Italy - 100% Cannonau

Write-up Topics: A Struggle for Power. Vicious Sea Battles. The Rise of Rome.
Kicking off in 264 BCE, the First Punic War would lay the groundwork for more than a century of bitter, bloody conflict between Rome and Carthage, the two greatest powers of the ancient western Mediterranean world. This dramatic clash - the first of three Punic Wars - would forever shape the politics, history, and peoples of the Mediterranean.

[Pack C: Original Price: $75 - Berserker Price: $63.75]

Featuring: Pack C features three divine wines - one from Turkey and two from Greece - each connected with the ancient worship and reverence of Demeter as a mother-goddess and goddess of agriculture.

2018 Sevilen “Nativus” Narince Textured, aromatic, and vibrant dry white from native Anatolian variety Narince.
Eastern Anatolia, Turkey - 100% Narince

2017 Anatolikos Vineyards Limnio
Deep, spice/earth-focused complex red produced from the historic Limnio grape, first popularized by Aristotle.
Thrace, Greece- 100% Limnio

2020 Markou Vineyards “eMeis”
Energetic, youthful, unique red blend produced via carbonic maceration.
Attika, Greece - 50% Agiorgitiko, 50% Mandilaria

Write-up Topics: Duality. Growth. Vengeance. Madness. Myth. Archaeological Origins of the Goddess Demeter.
The Greek goddess Demeter was arguably the most powerful deity in the entire pantheon, representing not only the abundance of the harvest, but also the ravages caused by its dearth. Join us as we explore the archaeological and mythological origins of this supremely important mythological figure, her connections to the world of wine, and her place at the center of one of the ancient world’s greatest mysteries!

[Pack D: Original Price: $75 - Berserker Price: $63.75]

Featuring: Pack D features three uniquely delicious wines from the Dalmatian coast, each sourced from regions formerly part of Diocletian’s Roman Empire. Though you may not be familiar with the varieties, you will feel right at home drinking these wines.

2020 Toreta PošipCrisp, lively, almost Albariño-like white from the very island where the grape originates.
Korçula, Croatia - 100% Pošip

2017 Milos Plavac Mali
Rustic, structured, and expressive take on an old-world relative of Zinfandel.
Peljesac, Croatia - 100% Plavac Mali

2017 Monastery Tvrdos Vranac
Bold, intensely fruited, aged in large, old Monastery oak barrels, produced from an obscure, lesser-known cousin of Zinfandel.
Herzegovina, Bosnia - 100% Vranac

Write-up Topics: Dramatic Coastlines. Ancient Cultures. A Roman Palace of Wonders. An Emperor’s Dedication to the Good Life.
Often overlooked by even well-traveled wine connoisseurs, the wines of Dalmatia are diverse, delicious, and endlessly fascinating, a fact well-known and well-enjoyed by the Roman emperor Diocletian, a native and resident of the region. Join us as we explore the historic coastal regions of Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina, which hold thousands of years of some of the most important places, people, and vineyards of European history.

Awesome packs! Now, tell me more about this sweet, sweet Club discount…?

If you sign up here for the Ancient Wines Club before January 1, 2022 using offer code: BerserkersAWG, you will receive a 15% discount off the regular bi-monthly club price of $75 for all of 2022. For next year, we are also offering existing Ancient Wines Club members a year-long 15% discount for any new member they refer to the club, meaning if you sign up a friend next year, you can lock in this discount for all of 2023, too!

Clubs are billed and shipped every other month. Shipping for your first club, which will be mailed out in January, is free! Ancient Wines Club Members also receive a 15% discount on all wine purchases as well as discounts to our live and virtual events! The Ancient Wines Guys have created twenty unique clubs over the past three and a half years, including “The Wines of Alexander the Great,” “The Wines of Orpheus: Musician of the Gods,” and “Beyond the Danube: The Wines of Ancient Dacia” (pictured). Many, many more exciting clubs and topics await in the coming years, and we invite you to join us on the journey!

And finally, what about shipping discounts, shipping details, and the fine print?****Want to combine your Packs order with your club subscription? No problem! We can hold your wines and combine them to save on future shipping!

AZ, CA, ID, NM, NV, OR, WA: $15 flat-rate shipping, FREE shipping on any 3 or 4 pack purchase!.

All Other states: $25 flat-rate for up to 2 Packs; $30 flat-rate for 3 or more Packs (no limit).*

Free shipping for new club members: you will see the charge on the invoice for shipping based on your delivery location when you sign up, but we will fully refund this charge for the first club upon signup!

As much as we would love everyone to get their wines ASAP, currently all wines will ship in the first two weeks of December, unless otherwise requested. If you are traveling, out of town, or need us to wait to ship your wines with your first Ancient Wines Club shipment in January, please let us know and we can hold your wines for you.

  • We currently do not ship to the following states: AK, AR, AL, DE, HI, IL, KY, MI, MS, RI, UT. However, if you are located in one of these states, please reach out to us with your order and we will see what we can do! Must be 21 or older to purchase. Inquire for any details.**


I love food and wine pairings, so I was thrilled to be chosen to taste these wines.
Here are tasting notes for the wines I received (WITH FOOD!!).
I will peek in on this thread (in between classes) throughout the day.
People with questions are welcome to PM.

2016 Milos Frano Plavac
Served with Dalmatian fish stew (but Lowcountry ingredients). Decanted for thirty minutes as advised by the importer. There is immediately an explosion of sweet cherry with purple flowers, wid herbs and dry tannins. As the bottle progressed the tannins became more and more assertive, eventually overwhelming the fading fruit. I would love to try a few bottles without decanting to see how they develop in the glass.

2016 Orgo Saperavi
Served with mixed mushroom Ragu over spinach risotto with Ajika. Decanted for thirty minutes as advised by the importer. Dry with red tart fruits (maybe cranberry with a hint of red currant). Lots of cinnamon and similar spices with a kick of earthy funk.

2913 Palari Terre Siciliane Rosso del Soprano
Served with garlic and fennel marinated chicken thighs grilled over charcoal and Pasta a la Norma. Lots of dark cherry, pleasantly assertive tannins, orange zest, and lots of spice.

2019 Valle dell’ Acate Siciliana Tenuta Ibidini
Served with wood fired pizza with venison, quick sautéed onion, shaved fennel, fresh tomato, Provolone, and Mozzarella. I often find Nero to be too gloopy and ripe for me but this one is restrained and balanced, with lots of spice, wet earth, and fruity dry tannins.

2016 Cantina di Gallura Cannonau Cannonau di Sardegna Templum
Served with Rigatoni pasta bake with white sauce and Pecorino. Dark concentrated Grenache flavors with leather/tobacco, menthol, and a big whiff of sea air. Case buy for sure if I could get a case buy.

2017 Anatolikos Vineyards Limnio
Served with rosemary/garlic grilled lamb, braised collard greens, and roasted potatoes. Lots of spice with bright red fruits, soft acid, with a lovely bitter finish. Tannins are reserved and balanced.

2020 Markau Vineyards eMeis
Served with grilled lamb and Orzo with Greek tomato sauce and a good Greek Feta. Chilled for thirty minutes as advised by the importer. Cherry bubblegum (thank you Carbonic Maceration) with sturdy tannins on the finish and a great dark licorice streak. Primary on first pour, it shows better depth and structure by the end of the bottle.

2020 Toreta Posip
Served with local shrimp in a rich lemony shellfish broth over soft polenta. I really like this wine a lot. Full mouthfeel, but still really crisp, with rich lemon curd, stony minerality, yellow stone fruits and acidic green apple. There is also a compelling wild herb/spice blend that keeps me coming back for more.


First off, how cool is this whole idea? Talk about old world! Forget Thomas Jefferson or Napoleon, how about Aristotle’s favorite wine? Wine from Bethlehem, Anatolia, Thrace? Presented in themed packs accompanied by slick info sheets with history and geography thrown in? A theme pack of wines from locations key to the Punic Wars, for example. This is a great concept for those of a certain ilk.

I received 8 sample wines (7 red, 1 white) selected from the 12 offered above. I tasted all 8, PnP, in two flights of 4, at a dinner Wednesday night with three other Berserkers. I hope they will chime in with their notes and observations as well. The wines were served double blind to them, single blind to me. Each of us named a favorite, or two wines tied for favorite. Not enough light in the restaurant to note color very well but we did our best otherwise.

We had about half of each bottle left, so I stuck the corks back in and put them in the cellar. I then had 4 of them again, non-blind, on Saturday and the other 4 on Sunday. The weekend notes are appended below after the “revisit” tag. I did not refer to my original notes during the revisit session - and sometimes they even match!

All of these wines were good and of appropriate quality for the price, and I don’t mean “good for wines from a country not famous for great wine,” I mean “good.” All were tasted with food both times, much to their benefit (and to the food’s benefit). They do of course vary in style and some will be better than others for any palate. Most (but not all) are noticeably “old world” in style, primarily from having more acidity than many new world reds, but of course that’s a good thing in my book. My first Croatian and Georgian wines, and my first Greek wines in a long time (and far better than those I had back in the day). Not to mention that I think all the non-Italian wines were my first ever made from their grape varieties. Very cool and quite educational!

Notes presented in the (random) order they were tasted at the original blind tasting. All of the reds are labeled as 13 or 13.5 ABV except where noted.

2016 Cantina di Gallura “Templum”
Cannonau di Sardegna DOC
Sardinia, Italy

(Note - Cannonau is the local name for Grenache)

Not giving much on the nose initially.
Good acidity, bright cherry fruit.
One taster said “reminds me of a Côtes du Rhône” – well done!

Ruby-Garnet color
Nose still less pronounced than others, but strawberry and cherry notes.
Palate very primary, sweet red fruits.
Juicy finish.

2019 Tenuta Ibidini
Nero d’Avola
Sicily, Italy

Expressive and unusual nose.
Juicy, tart cherry fruit.
Nice finish.
Tied for favorite of one taster.

Color ruby-garnet
Nose – cranberry
Palate primary. Tart fruit (more cranberry) compared to others. Bright acidity.
Juicy finish.

2020 Toreta
Korcula, Croatia

(our one white wine)

Strong, very expressive grapefruit nose.
Palate fruity with pronounced grapefruit note.

Pale gold color
Grapefruit on the nose
Palate neither too rich nor too acidic – nice balance there.

2017 Anatolikos Vineyards
Thrace, Greece

Oak notes? More ripeness than the others.
One taster said “California Bordeaux Blend.”
Tied for favorite of one taster.

Garnet color
Dark fruits and maybe some tar on the nose.
Palate is the most unusual of the 8. Sour cherry/plum? But a unique note that is hard to describe. AWG’s notes say “Angostura Bitters” – not anything I’d come up with, but not a bad descriptor. Bigger on the palate than on the nose.
No heat despite 14.5 ABV (highest of the 8).
Quite interesting overall.

2020 Markou “eMeis”
50/50 Agiorgitiko/Mandilaria blend
Attica, Greece

Strawberry on the nose. Fresh palate.

Ruby/Garnet color
Nose of raspberries
Sweet red fruits on the palate. Lighter in body, seems like one where a bit of a chill would help, like some Beaujolais.
Fruit turns a bit tart/cranberry on the finish.
11.5 ABV (lowest of the 8).

2013 Palari “Rosso del Soprano”
Blend of Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Capuccio, Nocera, Acitana, and Jacche
Sicily, Italy

Big nose, touch of heat.
Favorite of one, tied for favorite of two tasters.

Still Ruby-Garnet color, but slightly darker than the other two Italians.
Darker fruits on the nose.
Primary on the palate, but less concentration than the others tasted with it.
Shorter and less juicy finish than the others, with the tannins poking out a touch.

2019 Orgo
Kakheti, Georgia

Ripe, a bity oaky?
Darker fruited, still nice acidity.
Slightly tart on finish.
Would like to follow over time in the cellar.
Tied for favorite of one taster.

Dark garnet/purple color
A bit more of a “new world” (ripe?)/black fruit nose than the others
Juicy plum/blackberry palate which isn’t as “new world” seeming as the nose. Darkest fruits/ripest/most concentrated palate of the group.
Juicy finish.
Would love to try this with age.

Note - Made using the traditional “qvevri” method in buried jars!

2017 Miloš
Plavac Mali
Pelješac, Croatia

Most tannic of all 8. Needs time or just too tannic for me? A bit of tar and roses.
Tied for favorite of one taster.

Garnet-purple color
Spicy ripe dark fruits on the big, grapey nose. Some torrefaction notes?
Big, ripe, rich palate – a bruiser
Very tannic on the palate and finish.
Maybe one for the “big bold flavor” NYC tasting group?


Good morning Berserkers!! I’d first like to thank Dave & Scott, our adventurous sample tasters for giving their awesome reviews of the Ancient Wine Guys’ first foray into WineBerserkers!

Coffee is on here and all four of us (myself, Ti, Dana, & Jeff) are excited to be here! champagne.gif

Let me also take this time to remind you that you have TWO REAL-LIFE PHD ARCHAEOLOGISTS IN THE THREAD!

If you’ve ever wondered things like: what did the ancient Egyptians drink, which Greek deity was the most petty, or, what’s it really like to excavate ancient sites in the Middle East, now’s your chance!

Drs. Dana & Jeff didn’t go through a hell of a lot of time spent digging in the dirt and teaching mythology to undergrads not to be excited for your wine + ancient history related questions!!

Email sent!


Good morning, everyone! Just weighing in here with a special bonus offer…something I’ve been saving for a rainy day!

Post what you’ve ordered in this thread and at the end of the day we’ll choose one lucky thread-posting Berserker who signed up for the club or ordered at least one Pack to receive this extra bonus thank-you gift of a very special wine in their shipment!

2008 Palari Faro DOC, Sicily, Italy - This unique red blend of Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio, Nocera, Cappuccio Tignolino, Acitana, Galatena and Calabrese is the “big sibling” to the 2013 Palari Rosso del Soprano in Pack B. Faro DOC has the unique distinction of being one of Julius Caesar’s favorite wine producing regions, and is written about by Pliny the Elder. It’s hard to find a more soulful, compelling, historic, and delicious red in all of Sicily! Not to mention, it’s aged to perfection!

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Thanks Brian! We’ve got you down! [cheers.gif]

Damn Jeff! Pulling out some wines from the personal cellar to throw down or what?! Love it!

I have a couple of questions…

  1. If I sign up for the wine club, will the packs be different in 2022?
  2. If I really like a particular wine, can I order more, i.e. add a bottle to a future shipment?
  3. Do you hold for hot/cold weather? In the Midwest it is more feasible to do 2 shipments/year.

Hey Patrick! Thanks for the questions!

  1. The packs are always different! We’re constantly tasting and discovering new wines, and picking new topics of history/mythology/archaeology to delve into. We have some wild ideas on the drawing board for future clubs that we’re extremely excited to explore - 2022 will be a full year’s worth of unique, never-before-seen clubs + new selections of wines!

  2. Absolutely! Unless it’s sold out, of course, but we often get folks who get their club shipment, taste, and go “oh damn I need more of this!” and re-order with us of their favorite – which they get at the club member 15% discount.

  3. We’re more than happy to hold for hot/cold weather, this isn’t an issue for us at all, and we’re definitely able to accommodate different weather needs. We could hold for 2 pre-set times, or, if you just wanted to wait until the weather’s good for your area we’ll ship whenever you tell us to.

What are the major differences (geographic source, winemaking techniques, drinking vessels, cutting wine with water, etc.) between the “best” wines (i.e., the ones that the Kings, Emperors, and wealthiest citizens drank or the ones that fetched the highest prices) favored in Athens, Rome, and Constantinople at the respective height of each capital’s prominence?

Did peasants drink wine in those days as the main source of water, only for festivals and religious occasions, or never? How did what they drank differ from the best stuff gobbled up by the elites?

The Ancient Wine Guys are friends and folks I respect highly in their various disciplines. The way they bring together history, archaeology, culture and wine in a narrative will forever illuminate the way you see wine.

Put simply, you will never again be satisfied with stories of rigorous blending sessions and a passion for terroir. These guys take the art of storytelling and discovery in wine to a new level.

I’m a happy member of the club and I look forward to seeing all the other Berserkers at the Ancient Wine Guys online events.


Thanks J, for those very kind words about what we do - we wouldn’t be here without your support!

By the way, if you’re reading this and haven’t checked out Jason’s Stereophonic Wines, you’re missing out – some of the most exciting, soulful CA wines we’ve tasted in a long time.

Once I got into wine, the “I am the vine, you are the branches” Bible verse took on a whole new meaning. Has anyone written an article on wine and the Bible? I don’t mean a “does the Bible say it’s ok to drink” article, but rather an article that takes the above verse and then describes ancient pruning techniques.

Thanks so much Jason for your support! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the club. We have such a blast putting together the history and finding the wines to connect to these stories.

And to all you Berserkers out there. Check out the wines Jason is making at Stereophonic Wines. These are honestly some of the most unique and thoughtful wines being made in California at the moment with a person who has an impeccable taste in wine. They make you think about how wines connects you to sensory experiences from music to film to literature. Awesome stuff.

I had the opportunity to taste these wines with Dave, which was an amazing experience.

This was one of my first double blind tastings, and I’m no expert - but loved the challenge.

Knowing that the samples were send by a vendor for BeserkerDay NewbiePalooza, I went into the tasting with the assumption that these were likely new world wines, but I noticed that Tom, Brian, and myself all said these all seemed to be old world. Our palates were correct here for the location (new vs. old world), but any guesses I had for varietals were not. I should have dropped my bias earlier on.

My notes in the same order as Dave:

2016 Cantina di Gallura “Templum”
Cannonau di Sardegna DOC
Sardinia, Italy

Dark red fruit / stone fruit, pepper
Dry and tannic
Per the note of “tastes like a Cote du Rhone” – the Grenache really shined here.

2019 Tenuta Ibidini
Nero d’Avola
Sicily, Italy

Tied for one of my favorites for the night.
Red jello, fruity, some undergrowth, mushroom, cherry,
Bright acidity, medium tannins
May have reminded me of a Beaujolais.

2020 Toreta
Korcula, Croatia

Citrus, limoncello, bison grass, minerals
Grapefruit, butter

2017 Anatolikos Vineyards
Thrace, Greece

High acid, cranberry
Thin, low acid
Some type of spice I couldn’t place on the nose. Very interesting.

2020 Markou “eMeis”
50/50 Agiorgitiko/Mandilaria blend
Attica, Greece

Strawberry, fruity, green pepper
Low tannin
Light body and finish.

2013 Palari “Rosso del Soprano”
Blend of Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Capuccio, Nocera, Acitana, and Jacche
Sicily, Italy

Tied for one of my favorites for the night.
Funky, earth
Cassis, plum
Great nose on this one – I like some funk with my wine.

2019 Orgo
Kakheti, Georgia

Raspberry, pepper, leather
Lavendar / soap.
Probably one of the shortest finishes of the wines we tasted. This was my first Georgian wine, and probably my first Qvevri wine. I’d be interested in revisiting this.

2017 Miloš
Plavac Mali
Pelješac, Croatia

High alcohol, oak, mushroom
Red apple, raspberry
Very High tannins – may need to let this one open up more than we were able to.
This was very good. A bold wine.

Every one of these wines was interesting, and I think they really appealed to our group as we seem to be more old world guys. As a bit of a history geek, this type of variety pack is interesting to me, and I like a good story behind my wine, and am always up for an adventure.

Seems like a good value for some wines that are outside my typical palate and selections. I’ll probably be looking to pick up a few packs or a membership.


2020 Toreta
Korcula, Croatia

Citrus, limoncello, bison grass, minerals
Grapefruit, butter

Nailed it. This wine was actually what introduced me to one of my dearest friends. He had vague memories of a lascivious Croatian island adventure that included a local wine named Posip. As a retailer, it took months to locate one and it was this! The quest ended up becoming the beginning of a great friendship. The wine tastes great, too. I have a bottle in the fridge right now actually and I use it in the way I’d enjoy a white from friuli or a richer Vermentino.

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Awesome notes Daniel! Thanks so much for sharing! I know we threw you guys a bit of a blind tasting curve ball with these, but I’m really glad they showed well for you! [highfive.gif]

The Milos is definitely a big one, and opens up really nicely over the course of a day or two, and could age for a looooonng time.

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Great questions, Dave! Definitely some major differences in terms of what wines people were drinking, how they were drinking them, and what they were drinking them out of! Here’s a short version, but happy to share more!

The practice of mixing wine varied across the Mediterranean. The Athenians invariable cut their wines with a percentage of water, viewing anyone who did not as uncivilized and barbaric. Greek myth is filled with countless examples of things going badly when wine isn’t properly diluted with water. At symposia, Greek dinner and conversation parties, there was always a symposiarch, whose job it was to manage these percentages and to make sure everyone drank just enough to have a good time, but not so much that they would start breaking furniture! The Romans also usually mixed their wine with water, although they often didn’t show the same restraint at their convivia (their version of symposia), at least if Petronius Satyricon is any guide!

In terms of what folks of different means were drinking…geography and what we would call appellation definitely mattered. The Greeks specialized in discovering and exploiting great wine-growing areas, which often became famous for the varieties they featured. The Limnio in our offering was originally grown on the island of Lemnos, which produced some of the most famous wines in the Mediterranean. For the Romans who could afford it, imported Greek wine was always a go-to status symbol until the latter part of the 2nd century BCE. What changed? In 121 BCE, a vintage of Falernian wine from Campania was so great that it changed elite Romans’ minds about their own wines (think Judgment of Paris!). Named the Opimian Vintage after one of the consuls that year, it became so famous that it (or forgeries of it!) were still being sold at auction more than 200 years later. After that, the Romans invested much more heavily in their own wine industry, both in Italy and further afield (Sicily, Spain, France, etc.).

Both Greeks and Romans usually added other flavors to their wine, probably to mask often-shoddy wine-making and sanitation during the process. Lots of different spices, often seawater, sometimes even sawdust(!) were added. This was even more the case for the lower classes. Roman soldiers and peasants drank posca, which was basically just vinegar (or at least really terrible wine) mixed with a variety of herbs and spices.


Hey Patrick! ( Dr. Dana De Pietro chiming in here!)

Great question- and the answer is YES! This is a topic near and dear to our hearts- Jeff and I actually cut our teeth as archaeologists digging in “The Holy Land” and we all also run a non-profit that brings Israeli and Palestinian youth together on excavations every summer! (www.archshare.org)

This is a super interesting topic from multiple angles, but I think the more “boots on the ground” aspects you’re looking for were addressed by Asaph Goor here:

Asaph Goor. “The History of the Grape-Vine in the Holy Land.” Economic Botany, vol. 20, no. 1, New York Botanical Garden Press, 1966, pp. 46–64, http://www.jstor.org/stable/4252702.

If you can’t access the article online, send us an e-mail, and we’ll be glad to send you a copy!




This sort of stuff is right up my alley. I wish they shipped to KY.

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