Drinking in the Holy Country is a lot like in Sartar except:
Most wine is red. And quite good. And also not watered down. Intoxication has divine sanction – we have Ernalda, Orlanth, and Lodril as rolemodels.
Wheat beer is very popular and has a bread-y taste with hints of toasted nuts and grains.
Young wines are popular in Earth Season and are drunk by the farmers (and is popular in the cities).
Violence is less common in drinking halls than in Sartar. Consider it part of Belintar’s civilizing legacy.
Let’s separate the legendary sensual festivals of the palaces of Nochet or Rhigos, from those of ordinary life. For most folk in the Holy Country, red wine is available mainly at religious feasts and celebrations. Otherwise it is wheat beer, young wine, and fruit wines. Music and dancing are going to be common, with many claiming that Donandar hails from the Holy Country.That may or may not be true, but the Jolly Fat Man is definitely from the Holy Country. One of the sons of Ernalda, the Jolly Fat Man is a beloved Bacchus/Silenus figure, and at many feasts someone gets the honour of being the designated JFM to preside over the festivities. Athletic contests are VERY popular in the Holy Country (an echo of the even more popular Tournament of the Masters of Luck and Death). The cult of the Strong Man is popular, and many cities have areas where muscled men work out and practice, often watched and celebrated by noble women.
As an aside, a Colymar adventurer in one of our campaigns with an 18 STR and 17 CHA joined the cult of the Strong Man in Nochet and made his fortune performing for the pleasure of aristocratic women. He concluded it was a much better life than being one of the bodyguards of Queen Leika.
Port is a distilled wine – so you need to add distilled wine like aguardiente. Such things exist, but largely under the control of sages and other specialists. In short, it ain’t cheap or common.
And of course, in the Holy Country you never know if the jolly fat drunk or the intoxicated women at the festival are powerful priests or even gods, so better just treating them like gods and letting them roll with it.
Other things very common in the Holy Country – incense, spice, silk, and intoxicants. Remember, the Holy Country has the world’s merchant fleet, a colony in Teshnos, and trade contacts in Lur Nop, Fonrit, Jrustela, Teleos, and even the East Isles.
So if you want your lush, sensual, drug-hazed festivals, no better places than Nochet or Rhigos.
As an aside Lyndsey Marshal from HBO’s Rome is always in mind when I think of Queen Samastina of Nochet.
There are some very tasty emmer and einkorn beers available in Dragon Pass and the Holy Country. I have even tried one, I think from the Killard Vale.
Esrolia and Caladraland are famed for their reds. The merchantss claim that Vinavale produces the best reds in the Holy Country, and by extension in Glorantha.
Dragon Pass and Heortland has more white grapes.
One thing I have learned from living in Berlin is that white grapes can be grown in much more adverse conditions than red. There are decent white wines in places like Thuringia and Saxony, and superb white wine the Sudtirol.