The 20 little known wine facts that we are going to narrate here today will either make your day or will at least make you think over and again. So, let us be wise and instead of spending too much time creating a nice opening paragraph, let us jump straight into these facts about wine…
Little Known Wine Facts: 1-5
1. Of all wine sales in restaurant, 55% sales come from red wines.
2. There is a condition called Oenophobia which literally means intense hatred for or fear of wine.
3. The history of wine in this entire world was profoundly affected by a single man. His name was Prophet Muhammad. After his death, it took only 10 years for wine to be completely banned in Arabia and then it was banned in every country where Muhammad was heeded.
4. Ancient Romans had this notion that the primary taste of wine is not of much importance and hence, they season their wines with additional flavors by adding things like absinthe, lead, onion root or asafetida, garlic and fermented fish sauce.
5. 4 to 5 years – that is the amount of time it takes for a fresh grape vine plantation to grow and become harvest-able.
Little Known Wine Facts: 6-10
6. Tiniest of temperature fluctuations can actually alter wine quality dramatically. It is because of this, Global Warming can actually redefine future wine growing.
7. It is a common belief among various wine makes and consumers that if wine is genetically modified, uniformity will be achieved but mystique and romance that have been traditionally associated with wine.
8. Hippocrates, in all his records of medicinal remedies, included wine. He argued that it helps convalescence, works as general antiseptic, works as diuretic and helps in cooling fevers.
9. Plato came up with an interesting argument that at the age of 18 one should start drinking wine. He or she should continue drinking it in moderation only to taste it until the person reaches the age of 31 and only after that person reaches the age of 40 should he or she as much wine as he or she wishes to so that the ‘crabbedness of old age’ can be cured.
10. Amphora was the standard wine container in ancient world. Amphora was a container that could be carried by two people. It was introduced in Egypt by the inventors – Canaanites (people who lived in Canaan) during 15th century BCE. Later, it was introduced across Mediterranean by forebears of Canaanites – the Phoenicians.
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Little Known Wine Facts: 11-15
11. According to Thucydides, only after the Mediterranean people learned cultivating vines and olive did they emerge out of barbarism.
12. Standard of Ur – a Sumerian panel aged 5,000 years has the first wine drinking illustration known to mankind.
13. Wine discovery has a funny story. It is said that there was a semi-mythical man named Jamsheed that the Christians claim to be Noah (oh, so very Christian – everything in world is their gift!) had a harem (so Noah had a harem…hmm…). A woman in that harem wanted to kill herself and thought that fermented grapes were poisonous and would kill her. She had it and instead of being dead, she finds herself lively and rejuvenated. Voila! Wine was discovered!
14. Epic of Gilgamesh puts wine making as a significant theme. Siduri – the goddess was wine making in charge. Siduri’s depiction suggests fertility and wine had a symbolic association.
15. Wine making is a pretty old practice. The oldest grape pips or seeds that archaeologists have found date as far back as 8,000 BCE. Such grape pips are usually considered as verification of wine making. Those pips were found in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey.
Little Known Wine Facts: 16-20
16. The oldest cultivated vine pips that have been recovered so far came from Georgia (then Soviet Union’s part). They are as old as 7,000 to 5,000 BCE.
17. Ancient Egyptians thought that ability of storing wine till it becomes mature is nothing other than alchemy. The privilege of storing wine was hence given to the pharaohs only.
18. Wine was one of the items in ancient cultures that was used for facilitating trade. Wine brought many cultures in contact. For instance, Romans traded wine to get slaves. Greeks traded wine to get precious metals.
19. In ancient Greece, bubbles in wine were attributed to evil spirits or moon phases.
20. Time zones can play mind games when it comes to wine. In Southern Hemisphere, grapes are plucked during a time when it is Spring in Northern Hemisphere. So, an Australian wine of 1999 will actually be 6 months older than a wine produced in 1999 in Northern Hemisphere.
Estreicher, Stefan K. Wine from Neolithic Times to the 21st Century. Algora Publishing, 2006.
Joseph, Robert and Margaret Rand. Kiss: Guide to Wine. New York, NY: Dorling Kindersley, 2000.
Unwin, P.T. H. Wine and the Vine: An Historical Geography of Viticulture and the Wine Trade. New York, NY: Routledge, 2006.
Bonadies, Michael. Sip By Sip: An Insiders Guide to Learning All about Wine. New York, NY: Doubleday Dell Publishing Books, 1998.
Johnson, Hugh. The Story of Wine: New Illustrated Edition. London, UK: Mitchell Beazley, 2005.
Charters, Stephen. Wine and Society: The Social and Cultural Context of Drink. Woburn, MA: Butterworth-Heinemann, 2006.
Pellechia, Thomas. Wine: the 8000 Year-Old Story of the Wine Trade. New York, NY: Thunder’s Mouth Press, 2006.