Traditionally armenians rarely used alcohol. Families from regions where people deal with horticulture used wine, and in mountainous regions they used brandy, but only during hospitality. Women and children didn’t usually use alcohol. Moreover, it was not honorable for women to drink in public. They usually transfer the glass to a family man or a relative. At the same time during holidays both little boys and girls were given a small amount of wine by adults for healthful purpose. Traditionally Armenians associate wine with the blood of Jesus Christ, which was the symbol of sacrament. That’s why they never overuse the wine. Basically the wine was drunk during important family celebrations and in church holidays. Other alcoholic tipples were also not abused.
During public celebrations at the head of the table was performed a long and laudatory speech, called toast. After each toast all the participants had the right to comment on what had been said and to complete the toast. Often in mass gatherings there were heard public and religious toasts. That kind of celebrations were a proper occasion to discuss existing problems. Nowadays especially wedding ceremonies are full of toasts. The variety and the big quantity of toasts give the possibility to exclude the negative impact of alcohol.
From ancient times Armenia was famous for it’s wine makers whose unique traditions have been preserved until today. It is possible to learn about that from works of philosophers such as Herodotus and Strabon. From 401-400 BC when the Greek 10-year-old army led by Xenophon passed through the Armenia , there they were entertained wine and beer, which were stored in a special deep recesses, jars.
According to the Greek historian, reeds were placed in jars, which were served as a cane for our ancestors. According to the Greek historian reeds were placed in jars, which were served as a cane for our ancestors. From 19-20th centuries excavations carried out by Piotrovsky proved the fact that from 9th century BC Armenia had a developed oenology in the Teishebaini fortress. (South from Yerevan… )
Archaeologists found out 480 jars of wine warehouses , where 37 decalitres of wine were maintained. During excavations carried out in Erebuni (present-day area of Yerevan city-fortress) 10 wine warehouses in which there were 200 jars were found out. All this is the evidence that the ancestors of Armenians’ urartians were involved in winemaking. Historical sources indicate that 2000 years ago the wine from Armenia was exported to different countries of the world. In Armenia’s Vayots Dzor region , in birds cave near Areni community in 2010 Archaeologists have discovered a 6000-year winepress, which is the oldest in the region.Since 2010 every year in autumn “The day of wine ” is held in Areni Resident’s of the village lay the tables in front of their houses and offer the guestes not only wine but also harvest and crops of their garden. There is a happy atmosphere, people are playing traditional games and there were dance performances. The main purpose of the wine festival is to present Armenian wine , cultural traditions, local flavor.