Wine facts continued (36-50)
- The substance in wine that tingles the gums is tannin (related to the word “tan”), which is derived from the skins, pips, and stalks of grapes. It is usually found only in red wine and is an excellent antioxidant. Visually, it is the sediment found at the bottom of the bottle.
- Darker shades of wine (the deepest, blackest reds and the most golden whites) usually come from warm climates and are rich and ripe. Lighter colours, especially in white wines, come from cooler climates and are lighter and less lush.
- Champagne gets its bubbles in the bottle. Wine is still when it’s bottled, but yeast and sugar are added to the mix which create the carbon dioxide as they interact over at least 15 months.
- With age, red wines tend to lose colour and will eventually end up a sort of brick red. On the other hand, white wines gain colour, becoming golden and eventually brown-yellow.
- All wines taste like fruit. Only rarely does a wine taste like grapes—for example, Muscat or Concord wines.
- The Germans invented Eiswein, or wine that is made from frozen grapes.
- The word “champagne” is named after a province in France, meaning, “open country”. Due to the Protected Designation of Origin law in Europe, sparkling wine made outside the Champagne region of France can no longer be called “champagne.”
- The English word “wine” may be rooted in the Semitic yayin (lamentation and wailing). In Arabic, the word is wain, in Greek it is oinos, and in the Romance languages it is vin, vino, vina, vinho.
- Grapes are the only fruit that are capable of producing the proper nutrition for the yeast on its skin and sugar in its juice to ferment naturally.
- Archaeologists found grape pips (seeds), usually considered evidence of wine making, dating from 8000 B.C. in Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan. The oldest pips of cultivated vines were found in (then Soviet) Georgia from 7000-5000 B.C.
- Plato argued that the minimum drinking age should be 18, and then wine in moderation may be tasted until 31. When a man reaches 40, he may drink as much as he wants to cure the “crabbedness of old age.”
- Ancient Romans thought seasoning was more important than the primary flavour of wine and often added fermented fish sauce, garlic, asafetida (onion root), lead, and absinthe.
- A crop of newly planted grape vines takes four to five years to grow before it can be harvested.
- Red wine represents 55% of restaurant wine sales.
- Oenophobia is an intense fear or hatred of wine.
Read 25 more facts about wine on the previous page…