Wine has been an integral part of agriculture, cuisine, and social occasions for thousands of years. Exactly how we make, store, and use wine has changed and developed through the years.
There is archeological evidence that dates the oldest winery back to 3000 BC. But basic wine production may have been occurring as far back as 4500 BC in Greece. Wine was part of recorded history in early Egypt. Wine was usually red, although there is evidence of white wine being used in Egyptian culture. The mythology surrounding wine in Egypt sometimes involved fear and death. Some Egyptians believed that red wine was the blood of former warriors and was the reason people acted irrational when drinking too much of it. There are many references to wine in the Bible and it was used as part of Jewish culture. Wine that was kosher was made under a rabbi's supervision with only certain Jewish men able to have contact with the grapes. Kosher wine is still produced in many parts of the world.
During the Roman Empire wine making changed dramatically. New cultivation techniques were adapted and wine presses were improved. Wine was a part of the Roman's regular diet. It was also big business. Legend has it that those in the upper classes would dissolve their pearls in a glass of wine for health purposes. After the Roman Empire fell wine making technology was preserved through the Catholic Church. Monasteries throughout Europe developed and maintained some of the best wineries. In the Middle Ages wine was routinely drank in the upper as well as the lower classes. Since many people did not have access to clean drinking water wine was used as a general beverage as well as a way to kill the germs from whatever water or food they ingested.
During the 17th and 18th century wine making in general changed because of improved glass making and the use of the cork. During the last 100 years wine making has changed dramatically due to the use of refrigeration. Wineries now can control the temperature of the fermentation process. Wines can also be stored and served at a variety of temperatures independent of the climate. France, Spain, Italy, and the United States are currently the countries producing the largest amounts of wine in the world.