The simple glass of wine is not that simple. It requires several years to grow the grapes, months to age, and a thorough understanding of all the various elements and nuances of taste and flavor profiles. Then, you add in aspects such as how to name the wine – after all, most wines are named for either their region or types of grapes – understanding how to serve and pair wine, and then knowing what type of glass to serve it in and the simple beverage can become quite complex.
But, moving beyond the science of the wine, there are many interesting facts – both historic and fun – that can be used to add to those boring business “parties” where conversation can be stilted and dull. So, to make your next dinner party conversation more fun, here are some wine facts collected from around the Web.
· The Vatican with 74 liters per capita per year, which is about 99 bottles of 75cl per year!
· The color of the wine tells you about its geographical origin. Darker shades of wine, namely the darkest reds and yellow whites come from warm climates. Lighter colors come from cooler climates and taste lighter and less lush.
· Women get drunk faster from wine because of their water to fat ratio. This is because women have a higher fat content than men do and fat does not absorb any alcohol. The intoxicant therefore spreads to less liquid, leading to a higher BAC.
· In an experiment conducted in 2001 at the University of Bordeaux, every one of the 54 undergraduates in wine making and tasting thought they were tasting a red wine while it was actually a dyed white wine.
· The world’s oldest person attributed her ripe old age (122) to a diet of olive oil, port wine and 1kg of chocolate per week.
· The ancient Greeks had a wine glass to ensure the drinker’s moderation. If wine was poured above a certain level, the cup spilled its entire contents out of the bottom.
· Chinese people who want to display their wealth drink expensive red wines mixed with Coca-Cola and Sprite to make it taste more palatable.
· The custom of bumping glasses with a “cheers” greeting came from old Rome where they used this method to make sure no one is trying to poison the other (bumping glasses makes the drink spill from one cup to the other). This tradition started even earlier in ancient Greece – where the host was to drink the first cup of wine to show his guests he does not intend to poison them.
· During the prohibition period in the United States, grape juice concentrate manufacturers took advantage of the big drinking lust Americans had and put a great warning sticker on their product saying “After you mix the concentrate with water, please do not keep the mix in a barrel for 20 days – as it will turn into wine.”
· The world champion of recognizing wine by smell was crowned in 2003. Richard Juhlin, of Sweden, was able to recognize 43 wines out of 50. For comparison – second place was only able to recognize 4 of them.
· If you own a collection of bottles – don’t keep them standing up – this can cause the cork to dry, shrink and oxygen\air might get in the bottle. Always keep the bottles lying down - unless it’s an artificial cork.
Wine – it’s much more than a delectable beverage enjoyed with a meal or as part of unwinding after a long day. It is a drink with a long and colorful history. So, raise a glass and enjoy your wine –after all, there’s more to wine than meets the eye or the palate!