Athens.- Did the ancient Greeks and Gauls have a foretaste of cabernet wine 2,000 years ago?
In “Desert Island Wine,” wine expert Miles Lambert-Gocs outlines his theory that the balisca wine, which Pliny identified as Greek in the 1st century AD, had a key role in the evolution of grapes in southwest France, including Bordeaux, and is the oldest specifiable source of cabernet.
According to a Wine Appreciation Guild announcement, Pliny wrote that the balisca was already present in Rome’s Spanish provinces in his time. “It is likely,” says Lambert-Gocs, “that the balisca began crossing over the Pyrenees into southwestern France as early as that, since its quality was already recognized.” Pliny paid attention to the balisca and became knowledgeable about it precisely because of its quality, which was also noted by the first-century Roman writer and agriculturist Columella.
Lambert-Gocs is a long-time researcher on Greek wine history. His previous books are ʽThe Wines of Greeceʼ (1990) and ʽGreek Salad: A Dionysian Travelogueʼ (2004).