Dionysus is the Greek God of wine descended from Zeus. The first part of his name, “dio,” means “Sky Father,” as in Zeus. The second part, “nysus,” refers either to trees or vines or to a male heir.
Dionysus reigns over wine, vineyards, celebrations, fertility, and creativity. But he goes further into ecstasy, drama, and madness. People worshiped Dionysus for the freedom he delivered from the stresses and constraints of daily life. A bit of wine loosens the brain, opening it to new ideas.
Bacchus is his Roman alter-ego, his twin, his doppelgänger. Bacchus means the fruit or berry of a tree or vine. The Italian wine god, Liber (meaning “free”) influenced Bacchus.
A bacchanalia is a fancy word for a wild party, with a bit of dancing, shouting, and screaming going on. In Rome, these parties were eventually banned due to their notorious excesses. But today, we don’t see such violent craziness in most wine bars. We leave that for the beer-slugging football fans.
Interview with the Wine Gods
Fyi50+: So, Dionysus and Bacchus, thanks for talking with me. I know it’s a busy time for you just coming off the Northern harvest season and jumping right into the holidays, starting with Halloween and now into the new year – 2023 to be exact.
Dionysus: Yeah, man, we love to party. Hey, call me “D” and you can call him “the Big B” if you want to call him at all.
Bacchus: Dude, I’m da man, the first, the best, the only God of Wine that Matters.
Fyi50+: Guys, chill. You’re both important to wine. You’re the blood brothers of wine. But, ok, Big B, we’ll start with you and then D, jump on in. When did wine become a thing for you? Like, did you drink wine from your baby bottle?
BB: We don’t have blood in our veins, chump, just wine. You look at our veins, they ain’t blue, no blue blood going on here. When you cut in, pure Burgundy and Bordeaux pour out.
D: True bro. I’ve poured my blood into a glass and duped many a sommelier.
Fyi50+: So, D, you come from Greece, and B, you are from Italy, how come your blood runs French?
D: Come on, get with the program. We’re masters of disguise. You want Brunello di Montalcino or Mavrodaphne, say the word and your cup will runneth over.
Fyi50+: What’s the mystery and pleasure of wine? Why is it so revered?
D: We don’t give away no secrets, especially not for FREE! You gotta pay to play, baby.
B: It’s a gift from us gods, that’s all you need to know. Get with it, now, party times are here.
Fyi50+: Got any favorite wine you want to let us know about?
B: I love them big, brawny, brutal reds in the heaviest bottles ever made – the bigger the bottle, the better!
D: Look at that. He got no class. Me, I go for the shy ones, the subtle ones, the ones you think you ain’t looking. The ones that start slow but pay off big over time, them’s the keepers.
Fyi50+: Okay, guys. Thanks for your time and thanks for the wine!
B & D: Now get you some wine, grab yo babe, and take a wine.
Note: To “take a wine” means to dance sexy to Caribbean music. Enjoy a good bottle of wine and “take a wine“ this season!