Which brings me to a study by Mara Squicciarini and Jo Swinnen over at the American Association of Wine Economics that notes a strong correlation between wine consumption and monogamy.
Arguably, a first major step in history towards monogamy is when formal monogamy is introduced in Greece around 1000 BC. This rule is maintained by the Romans and is later spread over the Roman Empire. Interestingly, during the centuries of the Greek and Roman Empires, those are the only two regimes which have formal monogamy, and also the only ones that (only) drink wine. The rest of the world is considered barbarian by the Greek and the Romans, for both reasons, i.e. for having multiple wives and for drinking beer.
Beer, as anyone who has ever been to a college bar knows, does not inspire monogamous behavior.
Squicciarini and Swinnen trace wine consumption through history, noting the correlation between wine consumption and monogamy but not settling on a cause-and-effect relationship. Does wine cause people to be less sexually promiscuous, or does monogamy cause people to drink more wine?
That, it seems to me, would be a good subject for further research. Perhaps I’ll start tonight after work.