Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Mesopotamia in ancient Mesopotamia, which lay in the fertile land between the rivers Tigris and Euphrates and is often thought of as the cradle of civilization, the most widely consumed alcoholic drink at all periods was probably beer. However, grape wine is already mentioned in cuneiform texts preserved on clay tablets from Ur dating to approximately 2750 bc. Vines do not grow so well in the low-lying and humid south of Mesopotamia, and wine seems to have been imported from the more mountainous north. This is probably the origin of the poetic Mesopotamian name for wine, ‘beer of the mountains’.