Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Wine Tasting (degustazione di vini)

I was thinking of going to a wine tasting soon and came across a suitably neo-classical legend.

Apparently, Romans believed that drinking from a cup made of amethyst (amethustos) prevents innebriation. Aristotle wrote it was the name of a nymph that Diana was protecting from Dionysus. Unexpectedly, as is the case with most mythological stories, she was changed into a gem to enact the said protection. So then Dionysus changes the gem color to purple in rememberance, thereby making it the antidote to the bad effects of drunkeness, or maybe hangovers? I have some great amethyst slabs for the mosaics, so maybe I could pour some wine off those and deflect into the mouth? If only I had a piece large enough to hollow out a damned shot glass!

Besides amethyst, another material I'm looking for is Blue John as in the Crawford Cup in London. Apparently they sculpted this, and it was among the most prized drinking vessels of the emperors.

Speaking of Dionysus, I think I'll re-read Euripides translated account of the Bacchantes to get into the wine tasting mood.

What do you all think of this mosaic design for a table on the schedule? It would probably use lots of amethyst...

Per Italiana:
Stavo pensando di andare a una degustazione di vino e leggere una leggenda neo-classica ottimo.I romani credevano che bere da una tazza fatta di ametista (amethustos) impedisce innebriation. Aristotele è stato scritto il nome di una ninfa che Diana era la protezione da Dioniso. Inaspettatamente, come avviene con la maggior parte delle storie mitologiche, fu trasformato in un gioiello a costruire il protezione. Allora Dioniso cambia il colore al gioiello a viola in memoria de lei, così da rendere l'antidoto al male di drunkeness effetti, o forse dei postumi della sbornia?

Ho una tegola ametista grande per i mosaici, forse ho decantare versare un po 'di vino e coloro deviare in bocca? Se solo avessi un pezzo abbastanza grande da intagliare un biccierine! :)


  1. Nothing like a boor at the party, but the legend was originally Greek (which is why Aristotle wrote of it), and when Amethystos was changed into a stone, she was changed into a colorless crystal (like pure quartz--or that's how I always interpreted it, since amethyst is a type of quartz). Then, according to different stories, Dionysus either poured wine over the stone or when he saw what happened to such a beautiful maiden, he cried tears of wine. Either way, the stone was colored purple, the color of wine, and therefore was thought to protect against drunkenness.

    And then there's also the less-exciting story of how Rhea presented an amethyst to Dionysus just to protect the binge drinkers. Booooo-ring.

    As it so often occurred, the Romans stole the story from the Greeks and applied it to their own culture.

  2. Crumbs, you and mjenks.

    All I know is I like wine, especially Rioja or St Emil., and I like the mosaic.

    Oh, if I were you I would just drink from a nice glass.

  3. Mjenks, you are right of course, but I had to employ certain leitmotifs and sundry literary elements to move my story along and to tie in the Bacchantes reference WITHOUT SOUNDING LIKE AN ENCYCLOPEDIA!!! Just kidding, I appreciated the Rhea angle (hadn't heard that one).

    Mo, yes, I bore myself sometimes... Where is the fun in just a regular glass when you can go over the top with a priceless artifact?

  4. Some of us prefer the spelling "encyclopaedia", thank you. :-P

  5. Ok, now you are just living up to your name...

  6. Well who the hell wants to drink and NOT get inebriated??? Pft!

    I love the mosaic ... and I thought you told the legend well :) I hadn't ever read about any of that, so really interesting!

    Hope you're having a good day? The sun has returned to us here :P

  7. Oh right, I guess that was a bad plan then (I was secretly hoping that the hangover avoidance part would work).

    And thanks, I was concerned that the legend might have read as poorly as mjenks made it seem.

    Things are good, but fog in the morning (WTF)??? Glad to hear that you didn't jinx the weather yesterday there with a capital 'J'...

  8. Oooh ... well if it allows you to get plastered but not get a hangover the next morning then I'm all fot it!!!! :P

    Not at all :)

    Yick @ fog ... drive safely Eric x

  9. I can never read the last few paragraph's of your blog posts...I think yo uare spelling all of the words wrong. ;o)

    Have you ever done one of those week long vacations where you go to different winery's in your state to sample? SO MANY people at my work do that around here...I am not a fan of wine, so I never have.

  10. Hey Lopez, where have you been girl? Yep, when I get really excited and typing, I mess up a few words. :) Texas doesn't have all that many good ones, the only tours I have taken were in South France.

    Hi G.I.

  11. 'the only tours i have taken were in South France'


    I've been on my deathbed for the past couple of days...hope I'm not the first case of swine flu in OK!!! In fact, i'm about to go home and sleep through the rest of the day...i feel THAT terrible.

  12. :)
    *Joe Swanson* Now you be sure you get better soon Lopez...

    Seriously, take care...

  13. Eric and MJenkie - Nice geek fight. Are you going to steal each other's pocket protectors next?

  14. Now now, TishTash, there wasn't any actual fight. A bit of academic tension is bound to occur in such a hotly debated area as the Dionysian mysteries and associated mythology. In fact, I'm fairly sure that because it's such a new field, most of these arguments will not be resolved in the immediate future.