Wine represents one of the most important and influential alcoholic beverages that mankind ever produced. Since its creation in ancient Armenia and Georgia, wine traveled together with the rise of human civilization on a journey that lasted over 8 thousand years. During that journey, wine became infused in many religions and was celebrated trough many ancient deities, especially in ancient Greece ( Dionysus, god of winemaking, theatre, ritual madness and ecstasy) and Rome (cheerful Bacchus). As those civilizations fell, wine became one of the integral points of Christianity. References of wine in Holy Bible passed the number of 500, and one of the integral points for the salvation of wine during the dark times of Middle Ages was the reference of Jesus Christ who commanded his followers during Last Supper to remember him and his sacrifice trough wine.
Commitment and hard work carried on by the Catholic monks enabled the European vineyard regions left by the Romans to live through centuries of warfare and hunger, finally reaching the point when wine became one of the most popular alcoholic beverages of the Europe. The lack of clean water, and advancements in medicine gave significant boost to the production of wine, making it integral part of a European diet. As centuries went, ancient wine regions in Italy, France and Spain became more and more focused on creating new varieties of wine. People all around the world acknowledged their effort, and many European wines and vineyards today represent one of the greatest historical treasures of our civilization.
Expansion of European civilization to the all for corners of the earth brought another boost to the production and popularity of wine. Many newly established vineyards proved to be very successful (US California, South Africa, Australia, etc), with several of them even managing to eclipse European wines for their quality. After the worldwide population of grapes survived deadly blight of Phylloxera, advancements in technology enabled it to reach every country in the world.
New automated processes for harvesting, fermenting, storing and delivering wine greatly increased worldwide production of wine, to a dismay of some who claim that current winemakers focus more on quantity and not quality. With all that things considered, popularity of wine continues to grow witch each year. Over 10 thousand wine types continue to be produced all around the world, bringing countless flavors and smells to the consumers. The art of wine tasting continues to be refined, and international tasting tournaments puts product of every major winemaker in the world to the close scrutiny of armies of professional and amateur wine tasters.
Advancements in the process of making wine, ease of worldwide trade, old traditions and countless innovative new wine flavors have created perfect environment for the wine to continue to rise in popularity (in 2006, over 8 million tons of wine was produced just for the international export, with over half coming from old wine countries - Italy, France and Spain).
Incredible variety of wine types, their flavors, close relationship with religions and relative ease of manufacture have insured its future. It will remain together with us forever.