Roman Wine and Foods

The Romans liked to eat food and drink things that were based on a region called the Mediterranean Triad.

This was a place in the Mediterranean that would allow the Romans to grow and have foods that were popular.

Food and Drinks

There were many foods that were popular and that were used to help make wine and other drinks.  Some of the foods included olive oil, barley, beef, pork, chicken, fish, fruits, vegetables, apples, figs, eggs, and more.

The important thing about this food was that something like barley, apples, figs, and other fruits were used to make wine and other essential drinks for the Romans.


When the Romans would wake up, they would eat breakfast before they would go to work or to their jobs.  They would eat a traditional breakfast like we eat today, such as eggs, bread, cheese, milk, dried fruit, or figs, and most of the time, they would have wine with their breakfast.


Like today, most Romans would eat lunch around noon time.  They would have different foods such as eggs, fruits, salad, fish, meat, salad, and once again, usually a glass of wine.


The biggest meal of the day was called Cena, which meant dinner. This was when they would eat a variety of meats such as fish and pork, and they would eat lots of fruits and vegetables.

The biggest thing that they had at dinner time was wine.

Wine at dinner was called comissatio, and it was interesting because it was considered an end of the meal drink.  After each dinner, the Romans would have a time where they would sit around and talk and drink wine together.

Wealthy Roman Foods and Drink

Romans that were wealthy would spend a lot of money to purchase and make food.  They would even hire cooks to come and cook for them, or they would force the slaves to make their food.

A Roman that was rich would have a different amount and kind of food that the regular civilians had.  They would have things such as beef, chicken, pork, snails, fish, and many spices would be used.

Some of the most important spices of the Romans were clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper, and salt.

The wealthy Romans would have banquets often and would bring a group of people together so that they could have dinner together, as a celebration.  Many of the people would invite extra guests and would make a lot of different kinds of food.  This was considered a party and would be very expensive to have.

Poor Roman Foods and Drink

If you were a poor Roman, which was most of the people that lived in Rome, you would not have a variety of food like the wealthy Romans did.

Most of the people would have a Mediterranean triad, which included olive oil, barley, and wine, and then a variety of vegetables and fruits, mostly that were grown in their own gardens.

Some of the poor people owned their own cattle and chickens, and so they would be able to have meats, eggs, milk, and cheese.


There were different drinks that the Romans could drink, but the most important beverage of the Romans was wine.  The wine was found in all areas of Roman society, and even men, women, children, and slaves drank wine.

The exciting thing about drinking wine was that the Romans did not believe that people should drink so much wine that they would get drunk.  They drank their wine in little amounts, and this was an essential food in Rome.


The wine was so important to the Roman society that they would grow grapevines all over the area.  These grapevines were used to make different kinds of wine, and the Romans would drink wine all throughout the day and with each of their meals.

Facts About Roman Wine and Food:

  • One meal that the poor Romans would eat was called pottage, and this was bread and vegetable stew that was cheap to make.
  • People in different areas had different foods that they liked. For example, the people in Germany would drink beer instead of drinking wine.
  • Some Romans would use butter instead of olive oil to cook.
  • People in Europe ate more meats than other Romans.
  • Some Romans believed that pork was greasy food and would not eat it.

What Did You Learn?

  1. What were some foods that were important to Roman society?  Some essential foods that were important to Roman society were barley, olive oil, wine, meats, vegetables, and fruits.
  2. Did all Romans eat the same? No. Not all Romans ate the same.  Even wealthy Romans ate differently than the poor Romans.
  3. Why was wine so crucial to Roman society? The wine was essential to Roman culture and was drank with every meal.  Each person in the family would drink wine, and even the slaves drank it.
  4. What was grown all over the region? Grapevines were produced all over the  area so that the Romans could enjoy their wine.
  5. Did the Romans drink too much wine and get drunk? No!  The Romans looked down on people drinking too much wine.