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32a, Leninskiy av., Moscow, 119334, Russian Federation
PhD Candidate, N. N. Miklukho-Maklay Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Russian Academy of Sciences
This article deals with the tradition of mixing wine with water which existed on the territory of the three largest modern wine-making countries: Italy, France and Spain. Its appearance is associated with the period of antiquity, when drinking wine with water was considered the only civilized way to consume this alcoholic beverage. At that time, a mixture of wine and water was used as food, medicine, as well as a product for thirst quenching; in ancient Greece and Rome, the antiseptic properties of wine were also already known. The tradition of mixing lasted until the middle of the 20th century and has been disappearing in recent decades. Th e rea-sons for its gradual expiration were the industrial revolution of the 1960s — 1980s; the increased access to clean drinking water; improvement of people’s living standards; Europeans’ interest in high-quality wines; as well as the toughening of laws against drunk driving. As a result of these changes, wine has ceased to be a drink of daily consumption in France, Italy and Spain, and has become a product for special occasions: people drink it in certain situations (at home for dinner, in a restaurant) and try to fi nd special dishes that go together well with it. Th us, despite a decline in consumption, the socio-organizing role of wine has grown exceptionally. Interviews with winemakers, wine experts and wine journalists from Russia, France, Italy and Spain make up the main source for writing this article.
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