The most fascinating books, for me, seem to be those that explore the past. It took me years to appreciate the history of anything, but Puritans and the Catholic Church. Perhaps it was because of my high school, history classes. Miss Murphy was about 100-years old (I thought), and she always mumbled her way through whatever we were supposed to be learning. But, perhaps it was she who really inspired me (in the opposite way) to be the best teacher I could possibly be, as a result… That would be someone who would guarantee that no-one would fall asleep (as I had) in any of the classes I was teaching. Infused with humor and initialized words created from a list of words that made memorizing very easy, also with the use of expressive body language, I was told that I ins[pired students, but the student, repetitively. (Very satisfying.) No one ever fell asleep in any class I taught… And, at first, I was just 19 years old, teaching anatomy and physiology. Not exactly the most exciting class to take, until they entered mine. That’s how I feel about Arthur George as a writer.
It was getting into the wine industry that really began to make me curious, about where and how all of this wine stuff actually did begin. Scholars of ancient wine activities would probably disagree with my hypothesis of “the first profession wasn’t prostitution, it was a guy who kept wine grapes long enough for them to ferment; and, for his female partners it was, ‘I’ll give you this, if you give me that.'”
I bring this up because in this latest book I’ve reviewed, I found a Biblical reference to Noah being the first winemaker… Well, in this hypothesis, I did get the guy part right. All the while, I’ve been thinking it was a caveman, now Noah is competently competing for the title.
The Mythology of Wine, by Arthur George
Who is Arthur George? Back book cover: ARTHUR GEORGE is a mythologist, cultural historian, and author who writes, teaches, lectures, and blogs about mythology, why it is important in our modern world, and how it can enrich our lives. He is also a home winemaker with his own vineyard. Arthur has previously authored The Mythology of Eden and The Mythology of America’s Seasonal Holidays; so now, The Mythology of Wine. Full bio below:
I am a cultural historian, mythologist, and author. I grew up in the Northeast and in Colorado, studied and worked in Europe for many years, and now live near Chicago. I almost became a history professor, but ended up working as an international lawyer for over 30 years and traveling the world, and all that time also pursued my scholarly interests and learned the ancient languages relevant to my research. I’m now retired (young) from the law and follow my bliss full-time. So far I’ve written two major books (listed below) in addition to many articles and papers, and I also like to give talks and lectures both formal scholarly contexts and informal settings to the public. I am passionate about deepening my and my audience’s understanding of the interrelationship between cultural history, mythology, religion, and depth psychology in a way that will enrich and benefit our society and our personal knowledge and spirituality. When I’m not pursuing my above interests, I enjoy downhill skiing, running, dancing, films, reading, world travel, cooking, and wine.
The Mythology of Wine
The Mythology of Wine is one delightfully serious body of work. You must pay attention, as it’s fast-moving over the last 6,000 years, yet very well documented, with listed sources, while very mindful of then and now. It’s also a divinely, engaging read, as it goes through history, with a relevant “now” comment from Arthur George.
It’s a valuable resource for anyone studying, enjoying wine culture, and wanting more enrichment; or, even for writers, scribing their own journeys and needing solid, fascinating resources. It also belongs in a wine section in any library… Great for those of us where we have a dedicated wine section in our own book libraries. In this enological, history is the guiding path to a bright future for enjoying even more about wine, than its acid, pH, alcohol levels, and what of the hundreds of flavors does wine have, for the exact same compounds as other fruit. Nothing wrong with that, seriously; now add the sunshine, the music, and the skill of who, what, when, and where, in bringing forth “why?” This book is loaded with whys and hows.
In the world’s history, is there anything else with as much history and intrigue as wine? For the curious, there are more facts in this one book, to keep you occupied and inspired for a very long time. The depths of storytelling is so intricate and so well researched. Personal moment, it made me shake my head, when I read “King Scorpion I,” from around 3150 BCE.” Who knew? Certainly not me, at this point in time, until now. Not sure I’d even want to meet King Scorpion I.
Lots of Bible references, the greatest mythology handed down from generation to generation with some revised edits, like King James’ version, for instance. Arthur George also brings in silently brilliant points and humor. I like his style. So much, so much, so much… You’ve just got to read it to believe it, and be prepared to take notes; if, you’re a student of wine. You will never forget it.