“Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards; there it enters the roots of the vines, to be changed into wine; a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy.” – Benjamin Franklin, 1779.Wine is one of the best pleasures left when you can't go out and have to stay separate from people. Drinking wine in moderation has made a lot of people just a little happier, me included. And wine has been a human pleasure for thousands of years -- the earliest being in China 9000 years ago. Thinking about wine, I decided to find a few images depicting wine in medieval times, beginning with a favorite tapestry showing wine making and wine drinking.
|"Les Vendanges" (the wine harvest) -- 16th Century Belgian Tapestry from the collection of the Cluny Museum, Paris.|
|From "Les Vendanges" -- crushing the grapes.|
|From "Les Vendanges"|
|One of the Cluny Unicorn Tapestries.|
"Les Vendanges" is a very large weaving almost 5 meters in length and 2.5 meters high. I'm fascinated by the details of winemaking, storage, and wine drinking from the past, illustrated in its imagery. Of course I know that harvested grapes are no longer put in large vats where strong men trample them with bare feet to extract the juice; nevertheless, seeing the details of this method of making wine 500 years ago enriches my experience drinking wine: which I love to do!
|Illustration of winemaking from "Tacuinum Sanitatis,"|
a medieval work on health based on an Arab medical book.
|Wine conservation from The Medieval Cookbook.|
|October wine harvest, from "Le Grand Calendrier," Troyes, 1541.|
|"Vendanges au Chateau" from Tournais in Belgium, a tapestry woven in 1520.|
At the moment French winegrowers are having a very rough time, while in our own shops, the French wines that we prefer are becoming hard to find. I read this in the New York Times: "The economic crisis brought on by the coronavirus, combined with the Trump administration’s 25 percent tax on French wines in the trade war dispute with Europe, has collapsed the [French] wine market." So I hope our happy enjoyment of French wine isn't disrupted.
I'm sharing these wine images from 500 years ago with Altered Book Lover and her "T is for Tuesday" blog event, where many other bloggers share images of drinks with one another.
Images of "Les Vendanges" and "Lady and the Unicorn from Cluny Museum website. Other images from WikiArt.
Blog post © 2020 mae sander for mae food dot blog spot dot com.