On Wine


The Bible's First Vintner
What Grape Did Noah Use?


by Fred McMillin


Noah, according to the Book of Genesis, was the first winegrower.

Vintage, by Hugh Johnson

The international symposium on "The Origins... of Wine" was held at the Robert Mondavi Winery during the week of April 30, 1991.

The Origins and Ancient
History of Wine

by Dr. P.E. McGovern
University of Pennsylvania


I was fortunate enough to be invited to the 1991 symposium. Because the literature doesn't answer the question about Noah's grape, I asked a number of experts. The consensus was that it was one of the MUSCAT family of grapes.

So, if you wish to sip a distant decendant of Noah's grape, here are the best we've tasted from Europe and the USA in my S.F. City College (Ft. Mason campus ) classes. The highest-rated bottle is listed last.

On Wine: Rankings
Muscat Wines
12th Muscat Canelli Los Pinos Winery, Texas, 2004, $11
11th Orange Muscat St. James Winery, Missouri, NV, $10
10th Dry Muscat VINI Wines, Bulgaria, 2002, $8
9th Dry Muscat Bonny Doon Winery, California, 2006, $15
8th Muscat d' Orange Ventana, California, 2003, $18
7th D'Asti Moscato Batasido, Italy, 2006, $16
6th Orange Muscat Sobon, California, NV, $17
5th Electra Red Muscat Quady, California, 2004, $10
4th Orange Muscat Sobon, California, 2004, $16
3rd Orange Muscat Port Deaver, California, NV, $17
2nd Elysium Black Muscat Quady, California, 2002, $15
1st Orange Muscat Quady, California, 2002, $15


While most of these winning muscats are dessert wines, there are some dry ones suitable for fish or foul dishes.


A Final Wine Smile

Now let's fast forward from Noah to some other vintners, Christian monks. Where in Rome were the first Christian monks (Greek, mones, "solitary man") located? Answer: NOWHERE! They were in Egypt. They were south of Alexandria, and supported themselves by sending wine and produce down the Nile River for sale in the big city (c.300 AD).

Speaking of the Nile, the most colorful mariner was Abbot Paphnut, "who when he wished to cross a canal would hail a passing crocodile as if it were a taxi and order it to ferry him over on its back..."

From Monks & Wine
by Desmond Seward

Fred McMillin

About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He was voted one of the U.S.A's 22 Best wine writers by the Academy of Wine Communications. For information about the wine courses he teaches every month at San Francisco City College (Fort Mason Division), please fax him at (415) 567-4468.

Edgar Vogt and Nora Molabola helped with this article.


Copyright © 2008, Fred McMillin. All rights reserved.


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