Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Hesiod (c.700 bc), the earliest agricultural writer of Ancient greece, wrote Works and Days. Most of this is homely advice for the farmer: ‘Be sparing of the middle of the cask, but when you open it, and at the end drink all you want; it’s not worth saving dregs.’ He is the first writer to tell of simple rustic pleasures: ‘I love a shady rock and Bibline wine [from byblos], a cake of cheese, and goat’s milk, and some meat of heifers pastured in the woods, uncalved, of first-born kids. Then I may sit in the shade and drink the shining wine, and eat my fill, and turn my face to meet the fresh west wind, and pour three times an offering from the spring which always flows, unmuddied, streaming down, and make my fourth libation one of wine.’ Hesiod gives the time for the grape harvest as ‘when Orion and the dog star [Sirius] move into the mid sky’.