Beverage alcohol is an ancient
artifact of human culture and likely our most primitive intoxicant.
Archaeologists have found evidence of fermented beverages of
rice, honey and fruit in neolithic Chinese pottery dating to 7000 BC
(McGovern et al., 2004, PNAS, 101:17593-17598), and scholars
trace the origin of barley beer to Egypt, circa 4200 BC (el-Guebaly
& el-Guebaly,1981, Int J Addict., 16:1207-21).
The historical record contains many references to wine, which
figured prominently in ancient Greek and Roman religious ceremonies
and celebrations, for example (Sournia J.C., 1990, A History of