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Has everything been said about wine for a long time? Far from it. The documentary series Terra X takes on the history of wine and leads us through the millennia. Included: phylloxera congresses and leather sacks that make wine from grape juice. Five reasons why you should watch the 45 minutes.

"Wine. A story through millennia." in the Terra X series
(Available in the ZDF media library until 2 August 2033)

1. sacking with facts

In the beginning there is the leather sack. Not a nice accessory for people in the Stone Age, but all the more practical. Because it can be used to transport the juice of the sweetest fruit - the grape. And as chance would have it, this is probably how people discovered wine, because someone left his leather sack unopened for a little too long.

This is how the story of wine begins, as the documentary series Terra X shows. And this little coincidence turns into a big thing for humanity. Around 30 billion litres of wine are produced worldwide today. There are many a curiosity to be found in history. For example, leather soon made its way into the bottle: some winegrowers are trying out whether leather straps in wine don't work as a preservative. (Voice from off-screen in the documentary: "For whatever reason.")

2. information and entertainment

It is the typical format of Terra X: actors re-enact scenes from history, then an expert in the relevant field narrates and garnishes the scene with expert knowledge. In many documentaries, this results in a mishmash of unbearable boredom when the story has nothing to offer and the experts have nothing interesting to tell. But in "Wine - a story through millennia" this does not apply for a minute. It is entertaining and wonderful infotainment. Perfect entertainment with a glass of wine.

3. the most beautiful (and sometimes most wrong) sentence in the history of wine

"Wine accompanies people on their way to civilisation", the documentary says. We state: At many a wine festival these days it is rather the other way round. And this contradiction between culture and intoxication would not even have required pictures of dancing Romans.

4. through time with superlatives

"The stage that means the world also owes its existence to wine", it is said at one point. Would theatre scholars agree with this thesis? Anyone who wants to get the impression that the world only turns when it's about wine should tune in. Because that's all the documentary does. Symbol of life! Means of politics! And in general! And watch out: In the media library, another documentary in the series appears in the last seconds as a recommendation: "Beer. A World History."

5. outlook on what's to come

Phylloxera was causing trouble for the winegrowers - and the first measures against it, decided at a phylloxera congress in Europe, ensured the exact opposite. More phylloxera. It is a lesson from history that some courses of action should perhaps be thought through longer. The last few minutes on wine and the climate crisis desperately needed some constructive approaches - because this documentary, which is otherwise well worth watching, can offer little in that regard.

More on the topic:

World's oldest white grape variety discovered in the Negev desert

Archaeologists discover ancient wine cellar near Rome

Vines were already cultivated 11,000 years ago

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