This time we want to lighten things up in our on-going series Wines Around the World and give you a list of our favourite wine facts. These tidbits are great trivia to impress friends at your next wine tasting. Just try to parse them out so you don’t come off like Cliff Clavin from Cheers.
Check out these awesome facts
- When the cork is presented to you from your bottle of wine at a restaurant, touch it to make sure it isn’t dry and crumbly. This would indicate that the wine was stored improperly (most likely upright) and be an almost sure sign of spoilage.
- Ullage is the empty space inside the bottleneck or wine barrel that develops with time due to evaporation. If there is too much air exposure, the wine can spoil.
- In general, drink dry before sweet, white before red and light before heavy.
- Rosé is pink because the red/black grape skins are only allowed in the fermentation process for a short period of time rendering the wine a pink colour instead of a deep red.
- Italy produces just under 1/4 of the world’s wine. They are also the largest consumers of wine. Around 90% of wine is made to be consumed upon purchase.
- A tastevin is a saucer like cup worn around the neck of sommeliers and is used when judging the maturity and taste of a wine.
- One study shows that the average American consumes each year over 25 gallons of beer, 2 gallons of wine, and 1.5 gallons of distilled spirits.
- It takes 4 – 5 lbs of grapes to produce 1lb of raisins.
- A meniscus is where the surface of the wine touches the glass. Clues of a wine’s age and quality are apparent through the hue and depth of color near the meniscus.
- During Prohibition, ships would take people out to sea into international waters, to what was advertised as “cruises to nowhere”. Here they would legally be allowed to consume alcohol. The ships would typically cruise in circles and became known as “booze cruises.”
- In the mid 17th century, before the use of corks, oil soaked rags were stuffed into the necks of the bottles to seal them.
- Drank to much wine last night? Try coconut water to cure that hangover. With no fat and natural sugars, this beverage is high in electrolytes, and naturally rehydrates the body.
- By calculating the volume of carbon dioxide in a 750ml bottle of champagne and dividing it by the volume of gas of the average bubble- scientists revealed that there were 49 million bubbles in a bottle of champagne.
In a different study, which cost 7 million dollars to fund, scientists recorded the release of bubbles and counted them, revealing that there were 250 million bubbles in a bottle of champagne.
- There are 20 million acres of grapes planted worldwide. This makes wine grapes the single most widely planted fruit crop!
These are some of our favourite facts about wine, but it’s a big subject and we’ll be sure to share more in a future article.