When Wine Tastes Best • Moonbows & Tidal Forces

If you’ve read the Gypsy’s Bio you know that there are two forces at work here.  There is the Gypsy that travels the world indulging in a sybaritic lifestyle only to occasionally grace her home to convey her adventures to Barbara, the academic, so that she may vicariously write about them.  Barbara, of course, struggles to impart the Gypsy’s flair and essence into the tale, and usually adds an earthly quality thru her analytical approach to life.  This blog is unequivocally one of those collaborations as the Gypsy and her sister now believe they know all the right and wrong times to drink wine based on “the cosmos”.   Since Barbara studies the Universe through Astronomy, let’s see how they marry this one!

If you have ever wondered why drinking wine is much more appealing on one day and not so much on other, you are not alone.  There are groupings of people including commercial retailers, Wine Schools, restaurateurs and everyday quaffers who restrict offering wine tastings or opening notable bottles of wine to certain times of the week or month.  Their decision to drink or avoid wine is based on a unique classification system rooted in fifty five years of experimentation by a biodynamic gardener named Maria Thun coupled with empirical data gathered by hundreds of wine drinkers using the results of her research.  To learn what this all means, please read on.

Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925), a highly respected Austrian author, educator and philosopher, wasMaria Thun Planting Calendar approached in 1924 by a group of farmers wanting a solution to their concern with declining food and soil quality.  He gave a series of eight lectures with the objective of healing the earth through agriculture which became the basis for biodynamic farming that is today practiced world-wide.    Steiner pointed to cosmic influences as important factors at work in agriculture.  He challenged his followers, through rigorous experimentation, to develop a system of timing in the sowing of seeds that coincided with the forces of celestial bodies.  Maria Thun was an avid gardener living in central Germany and heeded Steiner’s call.  Thru her work outdoors in nature, she was much attuned to the rhythm and movements of the sun, moon, planets and stars.  She documented a lifetime of results from planting an array of fruits and vegetables while following all tenets of biodynamic gardening and mapping the position of the celestial bodies through each process.

All ancient cultures believed that matter is a mixture of four natural elements: earth, water, fire and air.  The Chinese relate to these elements as states of energies.  Multiple theories, including the teachings of the great philosopher and scientist Aristotle, include a fifth element that is beyond the state of observable matter, referred to as ether, space or the void.  Some modern scientists see a parallel between these classical elements and the four states of matter: solid, liquid, gas and weakly ionized plasma.  Particle physicists further theorize four gauge bosons as force carriers, particles that carry any of the fundamental interactions of nature, commonly called forces.  Mankind from all ages contemplates the burning question, “What are we and where do we come from?”

The four elements: Earth, Water, Fire and AirFor thousands of years each of the 12 constellations of the zodiac in which the sun, moon and planets travel in their orbits have been associated with one of the four elements: earth, water, fire and air. Over the years of careful documentation and analysis, Maria deduced that plants demonstrated enhanced root growth, as would be advantageous for carrots or radishes, when their seeds were sown as the moon was passing in front of a constellation bearing the qualities of the element of Earth (i.e. Taurus, Virgo or Capricorn). Similar consistencies were correlated to leaf growth, ripe fruit maturation and enhanced flowering when the seeds of plants requiring that attribute were planted as the moon was passing thru the constellation associated with the element that produced this symbiosis; resulting in a designation of root, leaf, flower and fruit days.

Maria’s experiments deduced that additional lunar and planetary effects also come into play.   Most activities of gardening (and wine drinking) are deemed unfavorable during:

  • lunar or solar eclipse
  • Occultation occurring when a planet’s light is covered by the moon or another planet
  • Perigee occurring when the moon reaches its closest point in its 28 day elliptical orbit around Earth
  • Nodal Events occurring when the orbit of the moon or planets intersects the plane of Earth’s orbit

Maria’s passed away in 2012.  Her work resulted in the publication of her annual Maria Thunwine-when-best Biodynamic Calendar that correlates sowing, cultivating and harvesting plants to root, leaf, flower and fruit days.  Collaborated research with Maria and wine aficionados primarily in the United Kingdom and U.S. demonstrated that wine tasted better and was most appreciated on Fruit and Flower days as opposed to Root and Leaf days.   As with most activities of gardening, drinking wine is deemed as unfavorable when the other aforementioned lunar and planetary influences listed above can come into play.   A separate pocket calendar titled “When Wine Tasted Best” based on these principles is published annually by Maria’s son Matthias Thun.

Moon Bow

A Moon Bow is a rainbow produced by moonlight rather than sunlight. Precise conditions must exist, making moon bows rare

It is clearly evident that the moon is an influential cosmic component in Maria’s findings.   The moon certainly exerts dramatic tidal forces in moving the Earth’s oceans and sea beds.  Even though humans are infinitesimally small in comparison, it seems plausible that the mutual gravitational effect of the moon and Earth could have some effect on the matter that comprises our body, particularly in view of the fact that we are made up of 70% water. The phenomenon of a Moon Bow demonstrates that the moon continues beaming the sun’s light energy through the night and it seems that could have some effect on the plants.  Regarding wine, it is a living organism that goes thru chemical changes as it ages in the bottle.  And when you buy a bottle of expensive wine, wouldn’t it be nice to know when it’s going to be at its best?  Barbara and (maybe) the gypsy will be doing their own experiments on how wine tastes based on the insights in Maria’s publication and will release these findings as appropriate.  If any reader picks up a copy of the booklet and experiments with the data, or uses the monthly chart posted below (which will be updated monthly) please post your results in the comment section of this blog.

As mentioned, with the Scientist and the Gypsy, you get two in one.  Barbara is so enamored with the way the tides affect earth that she would like to post an additional piece from her cosmology website.  It is simply here for you enjoyment.  Please read on if you are so inclined.

When Wine Tastes best - November 2016

When Wine Tastes best – November 2016


Legend for “When Wine Tastes Best” Charts.  Day of Month is in the far left column.

Favorable:  Fruit Days are Red / Flower Days are Yellow

Unfavorable:  Root Days are Brown / Leaf Days are Blue

————————– indicates Days to Avoid Drinking Wine


The North American Maria Thun Biodynamic Calendar 2016 by Matthias Thun, Floris Books

When Wine Tastes Best 2016 by Matthias Thun, Floris Books   www.florisbooks.co.uk

Stella Natura Working with Cosmic Rhythms Biodynamic Planting Calendar 2016 by Sherry Wildfeuer.  Published by Camphill Village Kimberton Hills, PA   www.stellanatura.com

Stars and Galaxies by Seeds Backman.  Published by Cengage Learning


Tidal Forces of the Moon, Sun and Earth


Lunar Tidal Forces on Earth – The moon attracts the Earth and the EarthTidal Forces attracts the moon – their gravitational effects are mutual. That means the moon’s gravity can explain the ocean tides.  The side of Earth that faces the moon is 4,000 miles closer to the moon than is the center of the Earth. Consequently, the moon’s gravity is just a bit stronger on the side of Earth facing the moon than on the center of Earth. Tidal bulges are caused by these small differences in gravitational forces.

  • The moon pulls on the oceans on the near side of Earth and the oceans respond by flowing to form a bulge on the side of Earth closest to the moon
  • Likewise, the moon pulls more strongly on the Earth’s center than on the opposite side facing away from the moon. In this situation, the moon’s gravity is pulling Earth away from the ocean (as opposed to the ocean away from the Earth, causing a second bulge on the far side

A common misconception is that the moon has an affinity for water. It is more accurate to realize that the moon has mutual attraction for all of Earth, water and rocky mass. We do not notice it, however, as the Earth rotates its landscape rises and falls a few centimeters along with the ocean tides. That is what causes the tidal bulge on the far side of Earth, facing away from the moon.

The tidal bulges remain fixed in position relative to the moon. As the Earth rotates on its axis, a complete turn each day, the turning Earth carries you and your beach into the tidal bulge and the water deepens and crawls up the sand. As the Earth continues turning you are carried out of the tidal bulge and the water resides. The tides rise and fall twice a day on a normal coastline because there are two tidal bulges.

Solar Tidal Forces on Earth – Gravity is universal, so the sun also produces tides on Earth. While the sun is 27 million times more massive than the moon, it lies 400 times further away from Earth than does the moon. Therefore, tides on Earth caused by the sun are less than half as high as tides caused by the moon.

Combined Lunar and Solar Tides – Twice a month, at the new moon and full moon, the combined effects of the lunar and solar tides cause exceptionally high and exceptionally low tides. These are called Spring Tides. At the first and third quarter moon, the sun and moon pull at right angles to each other and their effects partially cancel each other out. These less extreme tides are called Neap Tides.

Effect of the Moon’s Tidal Forces on Earth’s Daily Rotation – There is geological and paleontological evidence that Earth rotated faster and that the Moon was closer to Earth in the remote past. Tidal rhythmites are alternating layers of sand and silt laid down offshore from estuaries having great tidal flows. Daily, monthly and seasonal cycles can be found in their deposits.

The moving water in tidal bulges experience friction with ocean beds and resistance when it moves up onto the landmass. This friction and resistance causes the Earth’s rotation to slow with a resulting increase in the length of day of 0.0023 seconds per century. While this seems negligible, just 620 million years ago a day on Earth was just 22 hours long.

Effect of Earth’s Tidal Forces on the Moon’ Orbit around Earth

Tidal Effects on the Moon's Orbit

Tidal Effects on the Moon’s Orbit

As stated earlier, the moon attracts the Earth and the Earth attracts the moon – their gravitational effects are mutual. The Earth rotates eastward on its axis. Friction with the ocean beds drags the tidal bulges slightly eastward out of a direct Earth-moon line. The gravita-tional field resulting from the friction from these massive tidal bulges pulls the moon forward in its orbit around Earth. The moon’s orbit is growing larger by 3.8 cm per year. Although there is no water on the moon, friction from within flexing rock on the moon’s surface has slowed its orbit to the point that it is now tidal locked (keeping the same side facing Earth).

Conclusion – This article discusses the interaction of tidal forces caused by the moon and sun on Earth, and the Earth’s tidal effects on the moon. Tides are much more than just the rising and falling of Earth’s oceans in daily and monthly rhythms. Tidal forces contribute to ocean currents, which moderate global temperatures by transporting heat energy toward the poles. By generating conducting fluids within the interior of the Earth, tidal forces also affect the Earth’s magnetic field. They can even pull gas away from stars to feed black holes and rip galaxies apart. Tides cause some of the most surprising and impressive processes in the Universe.


Stars and Galaxies by Seeds Backman.  Published by Cengage Learning

Wikipedia – Tidal Forces



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