The Wine Dark Sea

Lots of ink as well as millions of digital bits have been spilled over the controversial phrase that appears repeatedly in Homer in reference to the waters of the Mediterranean, in which Homer speaks of “The wine-dark sea.” People claim never to have seen it, so therefore Homer must have been smoking something…or he was just “one of those, you know, poets.”

However, I can assure you, Martha and I have sat placidly with a glass of red wine (for reference, you understand) on rickety chairs on our hotel terrace watching the ferries pour into the port of Bastia, Corsica, plying the wine-dark sea you see below.

You can’t deny the wine darkness of it. Sure, you can split grapes; perhaps it’s Pinot Noir, or Cabernet, or even the island’s own Patrimonio. But if what you see below is not (generically) wine-dark, well then, you need glasses.

wine dark sea corsica picture
Homer's wind dark sea, with Elba island in the background, shot from Bastia, Corsica.

(The full sized picture has some beautiful detail that doesn’t show here. I mean, if the Corsica Ferry people want a brochure shot, believe me, this is it. I can let the negative go for way less than a million. Really.)

If beautiful sunRISE pictures float your boat, see one from the same vantage point: Corsican Sunrise.


The Wine Dark Sea originally appeared on WanderingItaly.com , updated: Nov 04, 2017 © .


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