JULIUS CAESAR INVENTED CHAMPAGNE.
“IT has been a long trip,” said the Time-and-Space Traveler. Her voice was deep, enticing. “Magnificent: the places; the people; the wines. Please,” she gestured, “join us?”
The famous wine “nose” did look weary, and her odd clothes, road-worn. But, perhaps I …?
She saw me noting, as I accepted and sat down.
Then she continued in a tired voice. “The god Dionysos is an old god; some say the oldest. And, being synonymous with his vine, is often depicted as slightly, umm, hermaphroditic. While virile and powerful, he is tender too, as the night. Understand, there is only One Vine. No father and mother vines in the Eden where Dionysos first appeared: away in the mountainous East, today’s Western China, and more than nine thousand years B.C. All the way there I have journeyed. So, sit, pour yourself your favorite wine,” she gestured at an enormity of vineyards represented , “and jump on this magical ship to Dionysos. Many were his acolytes, such devotees as Pharaoh Narmer of Egypt, and King Nestor of Pylos, all paving the often dangerous road to high civilization by transplanting Dionysos’s highly mutable vine from China to Egypt to Pylos to Durocortorum-Reims to you.
“Durocortorum: there, the conqueror of Gaul, Caius Julius Caesar, who was also responsible for the plantation of the single greatest vineyard this planet still knows, there he captured the gas of life and, on bubbles forged an empire.” As she spoke she grew younger and her blonde curls regained their bounce, and she began the tale of how she met Julius Caesar and how he invented Champagne.
Read the history of Dionysos and the story of wine in JULIUS CAESAR INVENTED CHAMPAGNE. Included is a Companion with Glossary and Notes to give interested readers more information about people, places and historic events.