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N.S. Gill

Oldest Known Wine

By January 18, 2005

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The December 11, 2004 issue of Science News reports on a "fermented, winelike drink from rice, honey, and fruit" from Jiahu in northern China, which archaeological chemist Patrick E. McGovern describes as the oldest intoxicating beverage. Other contenders for earliest intoxicating beverage come from Iran where wine has been dated to 7400 years ago and beer brewing sites from about 5000 years ago. The Chinese beverage is between 8000 and 9000 years old.
China's Fermented Past
Ancient Wine
Reader Response:
"Thank you so much again for your interesting and informative newsletter.  However, as before, I must take issue with the assertion that this Chinese concoction is the "oldest known wine."  The Book of Genesis is the Book of Beginnings and it records how "Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard: and he drank of the wine, and was drunken" (Genesis 9:20-21a).  Thus, Noah, whose family alone had survived the Universal Deluge, and whose sons and their descendants built postdiluvian culture on earth, produced the first wine and the first intoxicant in recorded human history.  The Chinese and the Iranians and all the other ancient vintners must have come along later."

First Known Writer

Ancient Silk
The same issue of Science News reports on the idea that ancient moths native to western Europe and Asia produced the first silk. According to Irene Good, a specialist in fiber analysis and anceint textile production at Harvard's Peabody Museum, some textiles survived the ravages of time because they were in "arid, freezing, or low oxygen environments, such as well-sealed tombs."


October 19, 2009 at 10:13 am
(1) Brett says:

I agree that the bible does date wine before any known objective physical findings. With that being said, one is right that the oldest “recorded” wine is in the bible or likely on some cave wall. However the oldest “physical” finding of wine is in China – unless some other exists.

I am not contesting the bible, but any written form of history could be challenged as many have done before. The finding of a bottle of aged wine could also be challenged by the science community in the same way.

But I believe in the bible, so I agree the oldest recorded history of wine is per the bible. The oldest bottle find that is confirmed as aged wine would be China.

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