Referring to Roman times:
Until cork was discovered, seventeen hundred years later, a film of olive oil over the top of a wine jar was the only means they had of preventing the wine from turning sour.
From Betty Watson's «Cooks, Gluttons and Gourmets: A History of Cookery» published in 1962 and now, I think, out of print. (Fun read if you like food.)
Another useless factoid: In ancient Greece, the archer Orion was credited for inventing white wine sauce.