Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Lead Wine

The fall of Rome and the empire was preceded by years of lead poisoning among the elite. Romans discovered that mixing lead with wine not only helped preserve wine, but also gave it a sweet taste and succulent texture. Water pipes in Rome were often made from lead. Chronic lead poisoning has often been cited as one of the causes of the decline of Rome.


  1. Hmmm, so if my wine has gone sour, I could maybe drop a 148 grain cast wadcutter in the bottle to sweeten it?

  2. Lead , Lead Wine by Neil Diamond

    Lead, lead wine, go to my head,
    make me forget that I
    still love her so...
    Lead, lead wine...

  3. I recall the lead pipes were less of an issue as some may want to believe as they would get a mineral coating (still true in modern plumbing) that would help defend against leeching. Also lots of pipes in Rome were made of things besides lead.
    An interesting component to conversation though is rich elites birth rates may have been depressed by lead intake caused by heavy use of lead infused wine.
    In another life I had to know things and they still bubble up to the surface occasionally.

  4. As I reflect on ND's Hot August Night ('72), he waxed nostalgic on You're So Sweet (possibly a paean to the Lead, Lead Wine, which followed), then dogged up a whole plate of potato chips and a bowl of pretzels in his dazed condition.

  5. Stupid autocorrect. Should've read 'sogged', not 'dogged'...