In vino veritas

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In Roman times, wine making was a simple affair. The grapes were crushed and stored in large clay amphoras where the fermentation occurred naturally. The skins, seeds, and stems were stirred. Then, the pomace fell to the bottom of the amphora, acting as a filter so that the wine, extracted through a spigot, ran clear.

Wine makers in Alentejo are using old amphoras, too large to be made in modern ovens, to revive these ancient ways of making wine.

We’ve been looking forward to trying these wines. After our recent visit to Esporão, we finally got our chance—we brought home a bottle of their amphora-made Moreto wine.

Drinking it was a grand occasion. After all, this was the kind of wine with which Caesar celebrated the conquest of Gaul, the wines with which Mark Anthony wooed Cleopatra. We closed our eyes and sipped the precious liquid. It tasted pure and clean. Suddenly, the Romans adage ‘in vino veritas,’ in wine truth, had a new meaning.

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7 thoughts on “In vino veritas

  1. Is that what you meant?

    In vino veritas is a Latin phrase that means “in wine, truth”, suggesting a person under the influence of alcohol is more likely to speak their hidden thoughts and desires. The phrase is sometimes continued as, “In vino veritas, in aqua sanitas”, i.e., “In wine there is truth, in water there is health.” Similar phrases exist across cultures and languages.

    1. We loved it! It was red and dry. There is no wood and so you taste much more the fruit. The wine is surprisingly smooth. There is a purity to the taste that we never before experienced. You have to try it!

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