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The addition of various aromatic substances to wine to improve its taste and/or appearance or to make it more durable is a practice that has been in use for thousands of years. Many of the ancient wines were flavoured. In old texts from Mesopotamia there are recipes with the addition of honey, spices, myrrh and also drugs. The Germanic tribes were already producing mead (honey wine) before the turn of time. The Greeks added resin, as it is still common today with retsina, but also various spices such as absinthe, anise and pepper. Spice wines were very popular with the Romans, for example the Piperatum (pepper wine). But they also used lead in the form of lead white or lead smoothness to reduce acidity and make the wine sweeter. The addition of lead was still common in Europe well into the 18th century and was correspondingly dangerous. In Stuttgart in 1708 some customers of the cooper Hans Jakob Erni died of lead poisoning, the punishment is documented: "So his head was cut off for well-deserved punishment in the royal seat" In other cases, such offenders were content to drink large quantities of their own wine.

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