Georgians lay claim to the earliest wine making in the world. There is archaeological evidence that supports this claim, but in a recent discussion with Georgians (over wine) I was told that there is linguistic evidence as well. The claim is that although the word ‘wine’ shares a common root in many language groups, only in Georgian does the word for wine have a clearly traceable root. I don’t have Georgian script, but very roughly (and with no research!), the Georgian word for wine is ghvino, with the root ghvin coming from the Georgian word ‘to bubble’ or ‘to ferment’. This, the argument goes, is additional proof that the Georgians were the first wine makers (circa 6,000BC according to archaeological evidence).
I did a quick search on this site but couldn’t find any past discussions on the etymology of wine. Any history of this discussion? Considering that there are other nationalities that make similar claims to wine production, is anyone aware of similar linguistic arguments in support of their claims? I’m guessing that the Georgian version wouldn’t hold up to much scrutiny, but it makes for a great story.