There must be a good study of wine in European trade and war. England’s sometime claim to half of France was curiously biased towards the finest wine-growing regions, until the French squeezed them into Calais, at which point they gave up. And we’ve all seen movies of courageous peasants hiding lakes of wine from evil invaders in prim uniforms.
‘For much of Europe, civilization has been intimately and happily tangled up with wine – the essential element in wave upon wave of cities, cultures, ways of life. With different histories Spain, France, Italy and Greece have been united in being great conveyor belts for wine, drinking immense amounts and exporting it to less happy environments.
Source: Simon Winder, Germania (London, Picador, 2011), p. 151