Wine has been an integral if not always necessary element of many of the world’s cuisines for a very long time now. Those intrepid proto-vintners of the Caucasus, the Georgians, assert that they’re working on their 8000th vintage (give or take a kveveri or two), a claim which places the origin of winemaking back to the early-neolithic.
Evidence exists that the Chinese were in the game as far back as 3000 BCE, a millennium or so earlier than the first documented fermentations in the Nile Delta. Wine was a ritual beverage at the courts of the great cereal empires of the ancient Near East for ages before being banished — or driven underground — by the Islamic conquest.
We know about the Greeks and Romans, of course, because they are the direct antecedents of modern Western wine culture, but it’s worth noting that classical-era wine practices differ markedly from our own. In that era wine was almost never drunk neat but was always mixed with water and generally consumed after, rather than before or during, meals at male-only drinking parties called symposia. The sterner sort of Roman husband thought it improper for his wife to drink wine at all.
If we define cuisine as a more or less durable socially-constructed schema for preparing and consuming food, the places to which we assign various consumables assume importance. Some examples (drawn from our own culture) might be (i) that the sweet course marks the end of the meal (we call it dessert); (ii) that a salad may be positioned as a first course and thereby function as an appetizer, or make its appearance after the main course as a kind of palate-cleanser; (iii) that a proper main course requires a starch, a vegetable, and a protein source (or at least 2 out of 3).