Synopsis by Hal Erickson
The "brevity" invoked in the title of this effervescent cable TV special refers only to its length, not its range. Tracing the story of wine all the way back to its accidental invention during the era of the Egyptian pharaohs, the film demonstrates how a beverage that had once been the drink of choice for "the man in the street" has evolved into a symbol of snobbish elitism. Eventually, however, the "populist" appeal of wine won out again, thanks to mass production and clever merchandising. Among the film's tidbits of trivia is the fact that President Thomas Jefferson tried and failed six times to establish a winery in his native Virginia; in another segment, the producers detail the near-collapse of the wine industry thanks to one single, solitary insect. Described by the History Channel's publicity packet as "A Tippler's Tour," A Brief History of Wine was seen over that cable service in early 2003.
beverage, retrospective, wine, winery