Israeli wine researchers aim to revive ancient libations

ARIEL, West Bank (JTA) — The small cardboard box in Elyashiv Drori’s palm looks like it’s full of black pebbles.

Closing the box quickly, he explains that it cannot be open for long. The pebble-like pieces, which were uncovered in an archaeological dig near Jerusalem’s Old City, are in fact remains of a kilo of grapes stored nearly 3,000 years ago. They were preserved under layers of earth from the era when David and Solomon ruled over the Land of Israel.

Next to his laboratory at Ariel University, Drori — an oenophile who has judged international wine competitions — already has barrels of wine made from grapes that have grown in Israel for two millennia. Finding a living sample of the 3,000-year-old grapes will be the next step in his years-long quest to produce wine identical to that consumed in ancient Israel. Read more.


You probably know Neil deGrasse Tyson as an astrophysicist with a seemingly endless stream of science fun facts at his command. You might not be aware that he is also a great oenophile and lover of food.

Some 16 years ago, before I was a journalist and illustrator, I worked with Neil at the American Museum of Natural History. He would sometimes carry around a small canvas tote bag. As I recall, the bag would contain one of two things: either a weighty, mango-sized meteorite to show to guests of the museum, or a bottle of wine to gift to a colleague.

It was pretty symbolic of his twin passions – the heavens, and wine. (By extension, that includes cuisine.) I recently talked with NdGT about how these all collide in the kitchen.

Astrophysicist, Wine Lover, Foodie: The Neil deGrasse Tyson You Didn’t Know

Illustrations: Beth Lebwohl

“Mendoza is an oenophile’s paradise, with almost 1,000 vineyards scattered over 58,000 miles in the foothills of the Argentinian Andes. This month, it’s made all the sweeter with the opening of @casadeuco, a 16-room modernist resort on 790 remote, mountain-ringed acres in the Uco Valley.” - @johnnywogs. Photographed by Luis Ridao. Read the full story in our June 2014 issue. #tasteintravel #takemethere #mendoza #argentina #casadeuco #stayherenow #pools (at Mendoza, Argentina)

Made with Instagram