Thursday, July 19, 2012



SATURDAY, July 21, the GETTY VILLA MALIBU will offer a lecture on the Greek SYMPOSION, a social institution in ancient Greece for men of status to meet, converse, and drink wine, by historian Oswyn Murray of Oxford University.

Following the talk, visitors will be able to enjoy a tasting of wines inspired by ancient wine-making techniques in the Villa's inner peristyle garden. 

Symposion is Greek for "drinking together" — reclining on couches and enjoying the famous triad of "wine, men and song" (women weren't allowed to take part). 

The ancient Greeks adapted rituals of communal drinking from the Near East, but they turned them into a style of life: this was euphrosyne (bliss), the highest form of pleasure, and the focus of aristocratic Greek art and culture.

While guests at the Getty Villa's wine tasting will remain upright, they will have the opportunity to achieve bliss with four distinctive wines selected with ancient traditions in mind. 

Three wines are from vintners who are fermenting grapes using terracotta vessels partially buried in the ground, similar to methods used by the ancient Greeks and Romans. The fourth wine is made from grapes indigenous to the Greek Islands dating back 3,500 years.

The wine list for the tasting includes a 2001 Gravner Anfora Bianco Breg, Friuli-Venezia-Giulia, Italy, a 2009 Azienda Agricola COS Pithos, Sicily, Italy, a 2009 Del Dotto Clay Vessel Zinfandel, Napa Valley, California, and a 2010 Domaine Sigalas Asirtiko Athiri, Santorini, Greece.

The museum galleries will be open before and after the lecture where vessels used in a symposion are on view. 

Drinking in the Greek Manner: A Brief History of the Symposion will take place on Saturday, July 21 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Villa Auditorium for the lecture and the Inner Peristyle for the wine tasting. Appetizers are included. Tickets are $60 and can be reserved by calling (310) 440-7300 or by visiting:

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