I’m sure that Saint Ambrose, one of the four original Doctors of the Church (everybody knows that, right?), wouldn’t mind my misquoting his famous saying. Whilst as a Christian of the 4th century living in Milan he would have abhorred the drunken excesses of the Roman orgies that had gone before him, he would nevertheless surely have supped a cup on Sundays. Wine was a part of the sacrament, and therefore an integral part of Church lore. Ok, it’s a little obscure, I admit – but let me enlighten you. I’m talking amphorae, here! As you’ll no doubt know, the Romans made, kept (when it wasn’t orgy season, of course) and transported their wines in earthenware pots – amphorae.
(My Greek friend Thannasis, whom I met at IWINETC 2016 – see recent article www.colinharknessonwine.com click Articles – tells me they are a Greek invention, but then he tells me everything came from Greece originally, including most words in the English language – allegedly!).
If you are having difficulty picturing amphorae, and are of a certain age and probably male, think back to ‘The Dandy’ or ‘The Beano’ comics of our youth. Remember Ali Baba and the forty thieves? Well, that’s what they used to hide inside! Clay pots for hiding treasure as well as food, olive oil and, of course, wine.