Roman wine tasted slightly ‘spicy’, according to a new study - Hindustan Times
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Roman wine tasted slightly ‘spicy’, according to a new study

Jan 28, 2024 07:58 PM IST

They suggest that the wines produced by the Romans were more complex and flavorful than we previously thought.

A new study has found that Roman wine tasted spicy due to the vessels it was stored in. The study, published in the journal Antiquity, explained that Roman clay vessels called ‘dolia’ resulted in a peculiar flavour. Archaeologists Dr Dimitri Van Limbergen from Ghent University and Dr. Paulina Komar from the University of Warsaw compared the clay vessels with modern-day winemaking utensils, especially the stainless steel tanks that are popularly used in the current production process.

It also provides a new perspective on the role of spices in the ancient world as they were not only used to add flavour to food, but also to enhance the flavour of wine.
It also provides a new perspective on the role of spices in the ancient world as they were not only used to add flavour to food, but also to enhance the flavour of wine.

“The value of identifying, often unexpected, parallels between modern and ancient winemaking lies in both debunking the alleged amateurish nature of Roman winemaking and uncovering common traits in millennia-old vinification procedures,” Dr Van Limbergen said in the study.

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“By burying the dolia in the ground, temperature and pH could be controlled, encouraging the formation of surface yeasts and a chemical compound called sotolon,” the study reveals. “This gives wine a slightly spicy flavour with aromas of toasted bread and walnuts.”

They suggest that the wines produced by the Romans were more complex and flavorful than we previously thought. It also provides a new perspective on the role of spices in the ancient world as they were not only used to add flavour to food, but also to enhance the flavour of wine.

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