Vino, Wein, fion, ווייַן, 酒, iwayini, anggur, alak, şarap, вино, شراب or κρασί no matter how you say, spell or pronounce it – humans have had a long and close relationship with wine. Wine vessels found in Georgia (Eurasia, not the US) date back 8000 years and the reference to the consumption of wine can be found in ancient texts, including Persian and Egyptian hieroglyphs. With a topic as wide-ranging as wine, it takes years of dedication and study to become a true authority on the subject.
In the interest of time, here are a few fun facts about the adult-version of fermented grape juice:
- Stroke risk is lower for those who drink wine moderately and regularly.
- The alcohol in wine helps balance cholesterol towards the beneficial type.
- In 1976, there was a wine tasting in Paris that blindly-compared Californian wine to French wine. California won, and the lone reporter covering the event was blacklisted for reporting it.
- The oldest preserved bottle of wine is nearly 1700 years old and is on display in a German museum.
- In the Biblical Old Testament, only the Book of Jonah has no reference to “the vine” or wine.
- California, New York and Florida lead the United States in wine consumption.
- California is the fourth-largest wine producer in the world, after France, Italy and Spain.
- The Code of Hammurabi (1800 B.C.) includes a law that punishes fraudulent wine sellers: when caught they were drowned in a river.
- Romans discovered that mixing lead with wine not only helped preserve wine, but also gave it a sweet taste and succulent texture. Chronic lead poisoning has often been cited as one of the causes of the decline of Rome.
- The Vikings called America “Vinland” (“wine-land” or “pasture-land”) for the profusion of native grape vines they found there around A.D. 1000.
- Proper serving temperature for white wine is 45-50 F (7-10 C). For red wine, it is 50-60 F (10-15 C).
- One ton of grapes makes about 60 cases of wine, or 720 bottles. One bottle of wine contains about 2.8 pounds of grapes.
- Wine grapes rank number one among the world’s fruit crops, in terms of acres planted.
- Wineskins were a common way to transport wine in the ancient world. Animal skins (usually pig) were cleaned, tanned and turned inside out so the hairy side was in contact with the wine.
- The highest paid price for a bottle of wine was a 1992 Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon sold at a fundraising auction. The price… $500,000!