How Wine Came to Bohemia.
As you all know I have a great fondness for anything wine related, I read about wine and I also love hearing story's about wine. The story below came from a book I was reading related to the history of wine and it's beginnings.
One day during the reign of Charles IV, a foreign king came visiting the Czech lands. As they do to this day, kings then went all out when hosting each other on visits - and Charles IV spared no expense in entertaining his unexpected guest. One day near the end of his stay, the strange king brought out several kegs full of good, strong wine from his provisions to say thanks.
Charles IV had never tasted wine before (note: rather doubtful if he was raised at the French court, which he was. end note.) and he liked it. He and his new friend drank for three days and three nights, and when they had finished all the wine they were both sorry for it, and the foreign king went sadly on his way with a pounding head, and Charles IV spent another three days recovering from the binge.
All the time he was hung over, he thought and thought about this wine stuff, and came to the conclusion that it was a very dangerous thing indeed.
When he was feeling better, he issued a proclamation ordering all the farmers who could do so to start cultivating the grape - and making wine from it. Then he ordered huge stores of wine for his armies, and ordered them to drink it to excess.
His reasoning was as follows: if his soldiers did not know wine, and know it well - awfully well - then all an invading army had to do was to "roll out the barrels," get the soldiers plastered, bide their time, and then waltz in and take over the country.
And that is why soldiers drink heavily to this day - not because they are no-good drunkards, but because they are trying to build up their tolerance in case of treachery in battle. They are only trying to serve their country, and that is why you should always by a soldier a drink."I feel sorry for people who do not drink. When they wake up in the morning it is as good as they are going to feel all day".