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Ancient people drank alcohol regularly because it was usually safer than tap water which might have been contaminated. Because wine played such a significant role in their culture, the ancient Romans were no different. They also drank a great deal of it, by all accounts. Archaeologists have recently been able to identify the flavour of their wine, giving us a taste of the past.

Roman wine had a somewhat spicy flavour and smelled like "toasted bread, apples, roasted walnuts, and curry," according to a study published in Antiquity. In addition to its distinct flavour, it usually had an orange tint; however, depending on the grapes used, the wine's colour could range from white to golden to black.

Lead author and archaeologist Dimitri Van Limbergen stated, "By using the techniques we describe in our paper, the Romans were able to make much better, more tasty, and much more stable wines than is commonly assumed."

Roman wine was traditionally kept in dolia, which are big clay containers that are partially submerged in the earth. Because the pH and temperature were carefully regulated as the wine aged, the researchers claim that this technique gave the wine its spicy flavour. Similar to the qvevri, which are still used in Georgian winemaking, dolia were frequently found in ordinary Roman homes.

This is a far cry from the modern stainless steel tanks that are frequently used to brew wine, and scientists think that the distinctive Roman method of preservation added to the distinctive qualities of the wine.

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