Grape – Fruit of the Vine
The grape plant is a woody vine, which may reach a length of 17 meters or more. Grapes come in many colors – green, yellow, red, purple, or black. Leaves are large and rounded with tooth-shaped edges. Flowers are small and green and appear in clusters. There are about 60 different grape plants, as well as thousands of varieties.
Some grapes are eaten fresh while others are dried out to make raisins. But most are squeezed for their juice.
Grapes refers to the most ancient cultivated plants. Numerous archaeological finds indicate that grape growing and winemaking were known 7,000-5,000 years ago in the states of the ancient East – Egypt, Assyria, Babylon.
Grapes are a good source of minerals and vitamin A.
Wine is known to people since ancient times. For its long history it was valued both as an alcoholic beverage, and as a healing elixir, and even as a sacrifice to the gods. However, in addition to all the known qualities of wine, its magical properties were respected.
In ancient Egypt, the patron saint of wine makers was the mysterious Shesemu, who protected the souls of the dead in the afterlife. Apparently, therefore, beverages were an important attribute in the funeral rite – they were brought as a gift to Osiris, the ruler of the realm of the dead, and were also placed in the tombs of the deceased nobility. Thus, in the funeral chamber of Tutankhamun 26 huge wine jugs were found.
According to legend, Ometochtli, ancient Aztec god, invented tequila, so popular nowadays. And a few centuries ago this gift of a generous god was allowed to be used only four times a year on major religious holidays.
But the most famous “wine” god in the whole world is, of course, the Greek Dionysus, called Bacchus by the Romans. Myths say that it was he who first began to produce moisture, giving joy, from grapes and gave his knowledge to people.
In the Bible a drink made of grapes is mentioned 450 times. The vine became the first plant planted in Noah’s land after the flood, and Jesus Christ called red wine his “blood” during the Last Supper.
In the Middle Ages, the antibacterial properties of the wine were also appreciated. In the XIV century in Austria during the plague, it was observed that people who abused alcohol suffered least from this disease.
However, even today, some “wine” recipes do not lose their relevance. So, half a glass of dry wine before bedtime reduces nervousness, drives away anxiety and insomnia, thereby reduces the threat of a nervous breakdown. And a little red wine with a pinch of pepper heals colds.
Grapes are a symbol of Armenia.