According to an ancient Persian fable a Princess, having lost favor with her father the King, and feeling that her life was intolerable, attempted to poison herself by eating some table grapes that had “spoiled” (fermented) in a jar. After eating these grapes she became intoxicated and fell asleep. When she woke, she found that the stresses that had made her want to end her life had dispersed. She continued to eat the “spoiled” grapes and soon her behavior changed so dramatically that she regained favor with the King. Upon learning the reason behind his daughter’s improved behavior, the King soon decreed that there was to be an increase in the production of “spoiled” grapes.

Fermented beverages, including wine, have been preferred over water throughout the ages: they are safer, are mind and mood enhancers, and are more nutritious. Some have even said alcohol was the main catalyst for the development of Western civilization, since more healthy persons (even if inebriated much of the time) lived longer and had greater reproductive success. When humans became “civilized,” fermented beverages were right at the top of the list for other reasons as well: as a way to display wealth or income, (the earliest Neolithic wine, which might be dubbed “Chateau Hajji Firuz,” was like showing off a bottle of Pétrus today); a way to feel more comfortable in social settings, (early cities were even more congested than those of today); economy (the grapevine and wine tend to take over cultures, whether Greece, Italy, Spain, or California); trade and cross-cultural interactions (wine-drinking ceremonies and drinking vessels became the platform for a greater exchange of ideas and technologies between cultures); and religion (wine is right at the center of Christianity and Judaism; Islam also had its “Bacchic” poets like Omar Khayyam).

Whatever the reason, we continue to live out our past civilization by drinking wine made from a plant that has its origins in the ancient Near East. Your next bottle may not be a 7000 year old vintage from Hajji Firuz, but the grape remains ever popular—cloned over and over again from those ancient beginnings.

Here at 287 Craft Spirits our large selection includes wines from around the globe with something for every taste, occasion, and budget.