Wine has been made by almost every civilization throughout history, in every part of the world. It has played a part in religious ceremonies, from Dionysus and Bacchus in Ancient Greece and Rome to the Catholic Eucharist and the Jewish Kiddush; it has inspired artists, thinkers, writers and poets through the ages; has even been used as a medicine by the healing professions; and has been a pleasant relaxant for a huge number of people throughout the ages. Yet overindulgence causes drunkenness and bad behaviour, and this has led to both spirited condemnation, and joyful justification, of its consumption. Wine can make you stupid or philosophical; it can heal wounds or damage health; it can bring society together or rend it apart. In Wine: A Cultural History eminent art historian John Varriano takes us on a tour of wine's history, revealing the polarizing effect wine has had on society and culture through the ages. From its origins in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia to the growing industry in Australia, New Zealand and the USA today, Varriano examines how wine is made, and how it has been used in rituals, revelries and remedies throughout history. And from inebriate or tipsy hedonist to teetotaller and abstinent, he investigates the history of wine's transformative effects on body and soul in art, literature and science around the world, from the mosaics of ancient Rome to the poetry of Emily Dickinson and Pablo Neruda and the paintings of Caravaggio, Bosch and Manet. A fascinating exploration of the history of wine, Wine: A Cultural History will delight all those who like a glass of Pinot Noir with their dinner, as well as those who are interested in the rich history of human creativity and consumption.