Known as La Bataille des Vins in its unique French, this circa-1224 poem by Henry d’Andeli depicts an epic, wine-soaked battle royale. It’s wealthy with trash-talking clergy, nationalistic rivalries, and toilet humor.
The hero of our story is King Philip Augustus of France, a real-life royal greatest identified for ushering France out of feudalism and into medieval energy. In d’Andeli’s verse, King Philip presides over a world wine competitors. Producers from modern-day France, Spain, Germany, Cyprus, and past submit greater than 70 wines, together with Loire Valley Sancerre, Chablis from Burgundy, and Alsatian and Mosel varieties.
A fictional English priest judges the juice alongside King Philip. The priest adopts a cross/fail grading mannequin, deeming every wine “celebrated” or “excommunicated.” He enjoys an excessive amount of of the sacrament, although, and slurs his phrases.
Issues get sloppy. The priest nicknames the submission from Champagne “Sir Fart” for its gaseousness. He degrades an Argenteuil wine, saying, “You son of a whore. You’re taking part in to lose!” He additionally bodily threatens those that offend him.
Ultimately, like all unhealthy drunks, the priest makes an inelegant exit.
“This English priest drinks a lot he falls asleep, he falls useless drunk,” Francesca Sautman, a Metropolis College of New York professor and specialist in medieval French folklore, explains.
Sautman believes the priest’s characterization is indicative of 13th-century French attitudes towards the English — specifically, that anybody who doesn’t make their very own wine most likely can’t maintain their liquor. It precipitates centuries of discord between France and England.
Because of his intoxication, the priest misses the victor of The Battle of the Wines. A dessert wine from Cyprus takes the day.
Our greatest guess for its id is Commandaria, an amber-colored wine comprised of two indigenous Cypriot grapes, Xynisteri and Mavro. To provide its candy palate, winemakers sun-dry the grapes and age the juice in oak for at the least three years.
Commandaria has an historic pedigree. It reportedly lubricated the Feast of the 5 Kings, a 1363 banquet hosted by Edward III in London and attended by worldwide royalty. Richard the Lionheart drank Commandaria at his 1191 wedding ceremony, calling it the “wine of kings and the king of wines.”