Wine Snobbery: Blame it on the Romans

Tom Standage of the Herald Tribune looks at wine snobbery through the ages beginning with the Romans.

Rome's obsession with obscure grape varieties and precise vintning has led to centuries of "wine snobbery" which continues to today. Standage states that this uber-sophistication led to the Muslim's rejection of wine.

"The close association between wine and sophistication in the ancient world contributed to its rejection by Muslims. With the rise of Islam in the seventh century, Mohammed's followers expressed their disdain for the previous ruling elites by replacing wheeled vehicles with camels, chairs and tables with cushions and by banning the consumption of wine. Being devout, they signaled, was more important than seeming sophisticated."