Wine, drunkenness, libations and interpretations
The great writer Mario Soldato was fond of saying that “wine makes you dream”, and that the emotions that it excites are therefore the best way of judging its quality. But like all dreams, dreams involving wine have particular meanings. Here at Dievole, we’re decided to take a bit of time to explore them.
Let’s start from the beginning. Both in Greece and Ancient Rome, wine was associated with the cult of divinity, and particularly the cult of the hearth and home. The rituals were fairly simple: you poured a full goblet of wine over the ground or altars (altaria), and this libation would ensure you the goodwill of the protecting spirits.
Wine therefore had positive associations: life, prosperity, joy, drunkenness and truth. Hence the expression of in vino veritas – the truth lies in wine.
But wine was more than that. It was also the final product of a series of processes that brought a fruit of the soil (bunches of grapes) to become a drink, rich in colour and flavour and deeply evocative. Then there was also its association with air, the alcoholic spiritus, which transformed this earthly product into something extremely free and volatile, something almost antithetical to the sphere of earth.
Thus the double-edged idea of drunkenness was born: the idea of sticking to the soil (and to the truth), but also of evasion, a flight towards another, different world.
Wine in dreams
On the one hand, then, wine symbolizes a sacrifice (libation), and on the other a process that has a lot to do with magic, transformation and transcendence. This is why seeing wine in your dreams immediately raises a number of questions.
Let’s start with the red
The colour is a symbol of energy, life and passion. Its antithesis is deprivation, tiredness, loss of vitality. When we see red wine in our dreams, we might think of moments of joy and celebration, but equally of moments of impasse. Further details can be surmised from the circumstances in which the red appears; but these we will look at in more detail later.
Unlike red, white wine was used less often in religious rites. Instead, it was generally seen as a substitute for beer, on account of its positive qualities: lightness, carefreeness, the drink of a dreamer. White, therefore, tends not to carry sacrificial connotations; rather those connected with evasion. When white wine appears in our dreams, then, it’s easier to read in it a desire for freedom, society and pleasure.
Wine and gestures
The real distinction, however, depends on the context: where and how the wine appears, and above all, what the people present are doing.
If we dream of drinking wine by ourselves, we might be looking for private pleasures; we might need space to ourselves; or we might be looking for a new kind of peace. At the same time, we might have a greater need for sociability; to let go of something or to speak candidly with others. If, though, we dream about getting drunk, that could tell us that we need to lose control a bit, to live certain private and public experiences to the full, or even turn our lives in a new direction. The exact opposite is also possible: perhaps we need more control over ourselves and the situations that we face.
At the end of the dream
Wine is rich, and its richness doesn’t manifest itself solely in tasting, the moment when we meet it. It captures our imagination and gives life to our dreams, with images full of vitality and meaning. It seeks out what makes us.