Amphorae are those funny-looking jars with pointy bottoms that were the almost universal container in the ancient world.
Amphorae are making a comeback as vessels for making wine, which should not come as a surprise because they have been so ubiquitous in history. A discovery off the coast of Greece underscores this. Archeologists estimate more than 6,000 amphorae went down with a Roman ship in the Ionian Sea around the time of Christ—2,000 years ago.
Each amphora contained about six-and-one-half gallons, so the load could have amounted to some 40,000 gallons of goods, or 17,000 cases of wine. The Roman ship was equivalent to today’s container cargo ship. And 17,000 cases is an impressive production for a wide number of modern wineries today.
Amphorae were used to hold wine, olive oil, nuts and cereals. More research must be done to determine what was in those 6,000 amphorae, but the discovery is yet another proof that our ancient forebears were sophisticated and wine was a big, international business.
When you drink wine, you drink history.
• Simple Life Winery Rosé, California 2017: Tasty, somewhat delicate; nice strawberry and watermelon flavors. $13 Link to my review
• McBride Sisters Collection Red Blend Central Coast, California 2015: Fruity easy drinker. Simple, straightforward weekday pizza wine. $12-14 Link to my review
• Kalfu Kuda Pinot Noir Leyda Valley, Chile 2017: Dense, dark, meaty fruits. Easy drinker, especially after some air in glass. $15-19 Link to my review
• San Simeon Estate Reserve Chardonnay, Monterey 2017: Rich, soft in the mouth, with ripe tropical fruit in addition to traditional yellow apple flavors. $17-24 Link to my review
• Il Borro Lamelle Chardonnay Toscana 2018: Light, easy with nice, tart citrus elements. Crisp, drinks like French chablis. $24-28 Link to my review
• Castoro Cellars Whale Rock Vineyard Falanghina 2017: Delightful, fruit-forward wine; rare grape. Balanced with honeydew, peach, guava flavors. $30 Link to my review
• Tablas Creek Vineyard Picpoul Blanc 2018: Exceptionally smooth easy drinker that simultaneously delivers excellent acidity, brightness, salinity—especially on the finish. $30-32 Link to my review
• Adobe Road RedLine Red Wine Blend 2016: Mammothly fruit-forward; archetypal Sonoma-Napa red. $35-40 Link to my review
• Ramey Syrah, Sonoma Coast 2016: Made in Northern Rhône style with ripe, vivid, cool climate Sonoma fruit the leading element. Well structured with inviting freshness. $39-45 Link to my review
• Eberle Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles 2016: Be patient in your glass, or—better yet—decant to open up layers of the black fruit flavors. $42-45 Link to my review
Last round: Sure, love may be great. But a bottle of wine never broke my heart.