We are back with wine trivia! Yes, we mean, wine facts! Any yes, we are not done with wine but, we will try to make this article the last one because we don’t want to bore you to madness. Afterall, a bit of sanity is required to taste wine! 😉
So, let’s begin…
Odd Wine Trivia: 1-5
1. In ancient Rome, women drinking wine was just not acceptable. A husband could simply kill his wife if he found out that she drank wine! 194 BCE is the last recorded time of Roman history when a Roman man gave divorce to his wife simply because she tasted/drank wine.
2. You drink wine and your gums will tingle. It is caused by a substance known as tannin. You can actually see tannin as sediments in wine bottles. Tannin has excellent antioxidant properties.
3. A standard glass of white wine will have 110 calories. Exact same is present in a glass of dry red wine. Want more calories? Go for sweeter wines!
4. Red Burgundy wine is referred to as Holy Grail by winemakers across the globe. The reason is simple. The grape used for the wine is Pinot Noir and it is extremely difficult to make the Red Burgundy from that grape.
5. Europeans brought home some vine cuttings from New World. Turned out that those vine cuttings had Phylloxera vastatrix – a tiny insect known for eating the vine roots. So, in order to save their own grape vines, the Europeans had to graft the American vines to the root stocks of Europe. So, there is something called Pre-Phylloxera wine in Europe. It refers to the wine made before Phylloxera reached European vineyards back in 1860s.
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Odd Wine Trivia: 6-10
6. Traditionally, the method of storing wine was to keep the bottle on its side instead of keeping them standing. The reason was that when laid on side, the wine stayed in contact with the cork and thereby prevented the cork from drying up and then shrinking. A shrunk cork destroys the wine by letting in air.
7. In ancient world, wine was carried in what is known as Wineskins. Wineskins were made of animal skin, especially pig sink. The skin was cleaned thoroughly and then tanned and finally turned inside out so that the hairy side remained inside. Wine was then stored in it and the animal hair stayed in contact with the wine.
8. Monastic orders were the best innovative winemakers during the Medieval Ages. Benedictines and Cistercians were considered as best winemakers because it is said that they went around tasting soil to understand how soil quality changed from place to place. The knowledge collected back then is heavily used today.
9. Orthodox Jews need Kosher wine. Kosher wine simply means the wine that has not been touched by non-observant Jew or Gentile anytime during the whole process of making the wine. This includes from time of picking the grapes till the time of bottling the wine. And yes, ingredients should also be kosher.
10. When it comes to all fruit crops in world, wine grapes take the number one spot in terms of total acres of plantation.
Odd Wine Trivia: 11-15
11. One ton of grapes is capable of producing 60 cases of wine. Each case contains 12 bottles. So, 720 bottles of wine are produced using one ton of grapes.
12. In 1922, Tutankhamen’s tomb was opened. The grave had buried wine jars. It was found that those jars were extensively labeled, mentioning the manufacturing year, winemaker’s name and additional comments like ‘very good wine’. The labeling was as good as today’s laws of wine labeling in many countries.
13. Symposium was the center of intellectual and social lives of Greeks. The literal meaning of ‘symposium’ is ‘drinking together’ and hell yes, Greeks loved to engage in intellectual discussions while drinking wine.
14. Universities and hospitals were two more institutions apart from monasteries and churches that had wine as one of the major income sources. One such famous hospital was Hôtel-Dieu, Beaune, France. It is now a museum.
15. Wine affects women more than men simply because their stomach has a thin enzyme lining compared to men. This particular enzyme helps in metabolizing alcohol. The enzyme’s name is alcohol dehydrogenase.
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Odd Wine Trivia: 16-20
16. Le Donne del Vino – this was the first organization of females that was created for promotion of role of women in wine industry. The organization was created by women of Italy in 1988.
17. There is a saying – ‘the bottle is ‘corked’’. It simply means that wine bottle has a contaminated cork and this is understood if the wine you taste has a very musty smell which is very similar to the smell of wet mold or wet cardboard.
18. ‘Sniffing a cork reveals the wine quality’ – you must of heard of this. Well, this is totally WRONG. The only way to understand the wine quality is to taste it. If ever someone hands over a cork to you, inspect it to see whether it has cracks or breaks or it is drying or has molds. Also, expensive and high quality wines will have manufacturing date and other information on the cork.
19. There is something called feminine wine. It simply means that the wine is more delicate compared to other wines. There is also something called masculine wine, which is referred to as ‘full’ wine or ‘big’ wine.
20. In Europe, wine is named after the geographic location where the wine has been produced. In non-European countries, the wine is named after the grape varieties that are used for wine production. Example of European wine name: Chassagne-Montrachet Morgeot. Example of non-European wine name: Pinot Noir.
Odd Wine Trivia: 21-25
21. Here is an awesome wine trivia: there is something called a ‘numb’ wine. This is a type of wine which has no odor and will never develop any odor in future. Then there is something called ‘dumb’ wine. This too doesn’t have any odor but in future, it will potentially develop some pleasant odor.
22. Holding the wine glass has something called correct way or incorrect way. Correct way is to hold the stem of the glass. The incorrect way is to hold the bowl of the glass. In case of the incorrect way, hand’s heat can raise wine temperature and change its taste.
23. It is believed that Champagne was created by Dom Pierre Perignon – a Benedictine monk. That’s not true. He actually invented many production process and principles that are widely used in Champagne production today.
24. Wine tasting is basically smelling the wine. This is why women are better wine tasters than men, particularly those women who have attained reproductive age. Their olfactory senses are far better than men.
25. What really is a vintage wine? It is the wine made out of the single year’s harvest. Those wines that are produced by mixing harvests of two years or more are non-vintage wines. Vintage wine doesn’t mean the year of bottling the wine.
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Odd Wine Trivia: 26-30
26. There’s a class of people called prohibitionists. They are also known as ‘drys’. They attempted, in the early 20th century, to remove the mentioning of wine from colleges and schools and even from literatures of ancient Rome and Greece. They also wanted to remove medicinal wines from Pharmacopoeia of United States and also tried to prove that all the prises of wine mentioned in Bible were for grape juice that was not fermented.
27. The oak trees that are harvested in France for making wine barrels have an average age of 170 years.
28. Romans discovered something interesting. They found that if sulfur candles were burned inside empty vessels of wine, the vessels stay free from vinegar smell.
29. Irrespective of the color of the wine, all wines are always stored at the exact same temperature. However, when it comes to drinking the reds and the whites, temperatures are very different.
30. Here is another fun wine trivia: “In ancient Greece, it was important to drink wine in moderation and for that, a special glass was designed. If the glass was filled above the defined level, all the wine would flow out of the bottom of the glass.” The glass was known as Pythagorean Cup.
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Estreicher, Stefan K. Wine from Neolithic Times to the 21st Century. Algora Publishing, 2006.
Johnson, Hugh. The Story of Wine: New Illustrated Edition. London, UK: Mitchell Beazley, 2005.
Joseph, Robert and Margaret Rand. Kiss: Guide to Wine. New York, NY: Dorling Kindersley, 2000.
Miller, Tracy. “Women Who Drink Two Glasses of Wine a Day Have Better Sex Than Non-Drinkers.” Daily News. August 6, 2009. Accessed: August 30, 2017.
Pellechia, Thomas. Wine: the 8000 Year-Old Story of the Wine Trade. New York, NY: Thunder’s Mouth Press, 2006.
Sbrocco, Leslie. Wine for Women: A Guide to Buying, Pairing, and Sharing Wine. New York, NY: HarperCollins, 2003.
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