Wine, glass and two smoking barrels

The narrative of wine storage is a 4,000-year-old love story that has seen the rise and fall of some of the planet's greatest empires, writes Tomas Clancy.

8th June, 2014
The maturing process in the barrel, or cask, has a huge impact on the flavour profile of every wine. Picture: Getty

The issue of wine storage, transportation and delivery to our glasses has preoccupied humanity for around 4,000 years, and has featured prominently in the rise and fall of half a dozen of the world's greatest empires.

Today, we see wine in one dominant form, a visual shorthand for wine in many instances, and that is the wine bottle. However, the wine bottle as we know it is almost entirely a 20th-century phenomenon, and has its roots...

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