Sunday, November 13, 2005

The toast of Tutankhamen

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/magazine/story/0,11913,1639503,00.html
The identification of red wine in the tomb of Tutankhamun really gripped the media's imagination, and stories have still been trickling through about it, all repeating the same basic information. This short piece, by well known wine authoritiy Tim Atkin, asks what the wine actually tasted like: "The frustrating thing is we don't know which grape varieties they cultivated or what the resulting wines tasted like. One thing we can be sure of is that, in the absence of sulphur dioxide, the wine would have deteriorated very rapidly in a hot climate. Even the chief vintner Khaa, who appears to have been the leading consultant oenologist of his time, would have struggled to make the kind of wine we drink today. A salt papyrus in the British Museum records the production of Shedeh, a legendary Egyptian wine, and mentions that it was heated twice. It's possible that it tasted a bit like Madeira, although it would not have been fortified, as distillation was invented at a much later date. My guess is that most of what the Egyptians drank was oxidised".
For the full story see The Observer website, above.

3 comments:

Tigerlily said...

This is fascinating! Do you mind if I include a link to it in the next History carnival?

Andie said...

Hi - please do link to it if it will be useful.

All the best
Andie

Andie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.