Blood and Wine 血液与葡萄酒

Author/作者: Isabell

Chinese Translator/中文母语翻译: 杜小雯 (Xiao)

眼睛累了不想看屏幕?在路上不方便阅读?您可以来听作者们为您朗读的这个博客喔!Don’t feel like reading? You don’t have to! Tune in to listen to our authors read you this blog.

English – 英文原声 – Isabell (伊莎)

Chinese – 中文原声 – 杜小雯 (Xiao)

The kinship shared between blood and wine spans back millennia, it is the bond that aids in the characterisation of wine’s ethereal quality. Where it was forged we cannot know, but at some point this drink became linked with life’s essence, the beating heart of man’s quality, the soul of personality and kind. Blood and man are synonymous, and mankind and wine holds a bond that is arguably just as strong. The link between humanity and wine can be found in several important instances throughout history; down to this very day.  Wine as a means to fortify the bonds between people; wine as a means to provide sustenance; wine as a means to ritual, in written stories and in actual events. 


A painting of an ancient Greek Symposium / 一幅古希腊研讨会的画

During the ancient Greek and Roman era, the Symposium was a well-loved custom. A drinking party where entire evenings would be taken up with philosophical debate and sometimes debauchery. This gathering of minds and friends would not have been anything without the wine served. The Symposiarch, usually the owner of the home, would be in charge of mixing the wine with water to dilute it -so as to keep his guests from becoming too drunk- this was the civilised way. The wine (red wine) had symbolic meaning, it looked like blood, a tie between the gods and men, it was the nectar handed down by Bacchus, and it was in turn gifted back to their deities in offerings on most occasions – so its importance was not lost on them. Each person in attendance at Symposia would take turns with the Krater (or cup) to drink and say his piece. The bonds created between the people that were in attendance are legendary, the topics discussed even filled books, such as Plato’s Philosophical ideas on love. The point is, the wine was the keystone of the celebration, the agent that cemented relationships, a tie that could be viewed as sacred.

A Symposium scene from ancient Greece, depicted on pottery / 陶器上描绘的古希腊研讨会场景


Plato, the philosopher who wrote his works on Love based on his conversations at Symposiums. / 柏拉图,这位哲学家根据他在座谈会上的谈话写下了他关于爱情的作品。

Wine holding equal footing with blood –“life’s force”, if you will- was just as important in epics and stories from ancient Greece and Rome. Examples exist in almost every major work. One such instance can be found in the Aeneid, written by Virgil between 29 – 19 B.C. It tells of the legendary story of Aeneas, a Trojan who came to Italy after a long journey; the ancestor of the Romans. In book V, there was a ritual performed by Aeneas, as he declared the games in Sicily. The wine and blood are clearly seen as holding equal importance.

在古希腊和古罗马的史诗和故事中,葡萄酒与血液同等重要——如果你愿意的话,“生命的力量”。几乎每一部主要作品中都有例子。一个这样的例子可以在公元前29 – 19年维吉尔写的《埃涅阿斯纪》中找到。它讲述了埃涅阿斯的传奇故事,埃涅阿斯是一个经过长途旅行来到意大利的特洛伊人;罗马人的祖先。在第五卷中,有一个由埃涅阿斯表演的仪式,他在西西里宣布了比赛。葡萄酒和血液显然被视为同等重要。

“Here with due offering he poured two bowls of pure wine

onto the ground, two of fresh milk, two of sacrificial blood,

and, scattering bright petals, he spoke as follows…”




Epics aside, real life accounts of the ritual use of blood and wine also exist. For example, when honouring a deity with a sacrifice, first the priest would pour wine and incense into a fire at the altar to honour the god (“preface” or praefatio). This symbolised the immortality and superiority of the gods. Thereafter, the animal sacrifice was consecrated –this was called the immolation- where salted flour was sprinkled on the animal’s back, and wine poured on its forehead. Then the sacrificial knife was run along the animal’s back. These steps symbolised the transfer of the animal from human possession to the god’s possession. The animal was then sacrificed.

A scene depicting animal sacrifice in ancient Rome. This would have included pouring wine on the animal and into the fire. / 描绘古罗马动物祭祀的场景。这包括将酒倒在动物身上并倒入火中。


The God of wine, Bacchus. A fountain bronze Statue from France. / 酒神巴克斯。法国的喷泉青铜雕像。

Lastly, and likely the most obvious link between blood and wine comes from the Christian notion of Christ and his connection to humanity. It is the most well-known of the ties since every Sunday, up to present day, millions gather around the world to attend Mass. Here the body of Christ is offered up in the form of a wafer, and the blood of Christ is taken in the form of wine. Thus, the importance the Christian church has placed on wine is enormous and this weighty responsibility goes back thousands of years. 

The very well-known symbol of Christ on the cross / 十字架上众所周知的基督象征


The well-known representation of the body and blood of Christ, through bread and wine. / 这就是广为人知的通过面包和葡萄酒来表现基督的身体和血液。

The Churches ties with wine have been well established, and it is a well-known fact that when there were slumps in the wine trade, or vineyard abandonment due to economic perils during the dark ages circa 400-1000 AD and well beyond, the church would step in and maintain wine production in Europe. Their efforts often resulting in the renaissance of many vine varieties and wine making techniques. The wines produced for common man was often more than just a means to maintain religious sacrament, often over the centuries, wine was consumed for extra calories when times saw a shortage of food or water was unfit to drink due to bacterial contamination. 

Monks tending to the vineyard. / 看守葡萄园的僧侣。


A common depiction of Benedictine monks in the cellar, they were well-known for their wine producing. / 这是对地窖中的本笃会僧侣的常见描绘,他们以酿造葡萄酒而闻名。

Published by 小Vino

B. Sc. Viticulture & Enology; Vinifera EuroMaster M.Sc. Viticulture, Enology & Wine Marketing; IWA; WSET Diploma Holder 🔛 ------------------------------- 👣 WSET Diploma candidate, lifelong wine education continues; 👣 VIA (Vinitaly International Academy) certified Italian Wine Ambassador; 👣 3.5 + years work experience in marketing & promotion for 🇮🇹🍷, with a specialty of Wine Social Media Advertising; 👣 6 years of academic training in Viticulture, Enology and Wine Marketing at top-tier universities both in China 🇨🇳 and Europe (🇫🇷 & 🇮🇹); 👣 2 harvest as a trainee winemaker in Bordeaux, France 🇫🇷 (2014) and Sonoma Coast, USA 🇺🇸(2016); 👣 many wine exhibition experiences as an exhibitor, promoter, and interpreter

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