Home » Bold red wines » THE END OF THE MAYAN CALENDAR



Do you buy it?  Do you believe the Mayans predicted the end of the world as we know it?

Do you know that most high school-aged children are using the Mayan calendar as a way to hedge their bets on homework assignments?  “If we’re still here on December 22, I’ll get my annotated bibliography done.”

I wonder how many mortgage payments are also being dropped in the mail post-December-22…

If you have ever traveled to the Yucatan peninsula, you have probably visited some Mayan ruins – Chichén Itzá, Tulum.  They overwhelm the visitor.  You show up slightly sunburned from the previous days on the beaches of Cancún or Playa del Carmen.  There might be a lingering scent of lime or perhaps some tequila-induced lethargy from the night before.  You pile out of the hired van and are struck with vendors hawking tchotchke renditions of pyramids and the Chaac Mool statue, where we were told one would lay his head before it was chopped off, in honor to the gods.

And it is usually hot hot hot, and dry.  You wend your way through the vendors, and then slowly the ancient civilization begins intruding into your consciousness.

The sheer scope and magnitude of one of these cities leaves the visitor in a state of wonder and surprise.  We like to think we are living the culmination of knowledge and  understanding, but Mayan ruins will slap you out of that state of bravado.  These were highly organized societies, with advanced understandings of math and astronomy.  Mind you, all that learning was pre-printing press and books, pre-calculators, pre-telescopes, pre-just about everything.

Did they know enough to be able to predict the end of the world, or were they just messing with us?  That is an awful long time to wait for a punchline.

Keep in mind, too, that this was a civilization that at a certain point just up and walked away from these wondrous cities, receding back into the jungles that surround them.

mayan-calendar-2If the Mayans were right…

If the Mayans were right, the wines I would want on my table leading up to this Friday would be:

1. Albariño, any vineyard will do.  I love the brightness of an Albariño, and the memories it brings of my first pilgrimage on the Way of Saint James, the Camino de Santiago.

2. Barón de Ley Finca Monasterio, a red that has richness and depth, a red that is ever so Spanish.  And now it appears Barón de Ley is bringing its spectacular Maturana into the US.  Get some quick before December 21!

If the Mayans were right, what would you choose for your table?




About Claire Ziamandanis

Claire Ziamandanis is Professor of Spanish at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY. Over her 20 years at the college, she has been a champion for study abroad, establishing the first affiliation for Spanish students, and then working with the Study Abroad office to open the doors to students from other majors. Claire loves travel, food, wine and Spanish but not necessarily in that order!


  1. Hi Claire,

    Why I’m not surprised you chose Baron de Ley! Happy Holidays to you. Luckily the world didn’t end so keep on drinking!

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