Aeon magazine has an interesting story out about wine’s origins in religion. It touches upon Noah, who is credited with planting the first vineyard, and the famed water into wine transformation by Jesus.
The article’s point is that humans have long worshipped wine. Check out this excerpt:
You can tell our culture values wine by looking at the price we pay for it, and the dandyish glasses we drink it from: the fragile ones with the crystal pedestals. But it’s difficult to say what the first farmers made of this extraordinary substance. Early winemakers decorated their vessels, but the symbols they used have faded with the ages. There is one clue, however – a 7,000-year-old piece of pottery from Eastern Georgia with a grape cluster and stick figure etched into it. The figure appears underneath the cluster, and seems to have its arms raised in worship, suggesting that wine was considered divine from the start. Alas, the etching is too crude and worn to know for sure. What we do know is this: where we find legible symbols next to wine, on ancient vessels, or in the textual recesses of human memory, wine is almost always associated with the gods.
I highly recommend reading the essay–not just because it mentions San Clemente, my former beachside home, but because of the deep history about wine you will take away after trekking through the 6,500 words.