1. Drinking red wine in small doses is better than not drinking at all.
You probably heard about the health benefits of drinking wine. But this fact may come as a surprise – many human trial studies have shown that moderate consumption of drinking red wine is better for you than not drinking wine at all. The antioxidants found in red wine can lower incidences of cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, and mortality. But of course – as with any alcoholic drink – too much drinking will replace the benefits with increased health risks.
2. Wine is healthy because of the tannins.
Tannin is a polyphenol, which is pretty much everything in a wine besides water and alcohol. Other polyphenols in wine include color pigment, resveratrol, wine aromas, and 5,000 other plant compounds. Out of these polyphenols, the most abundant in wine that brings health benefits are procyanidins – a condensed type of tannin that’s also found in dark chocolate and green tea. This compound is associated with preventing cholesterol plaque in blood vessels, which is beneficial in longevity and heart health.
But not all wines are better for you. Those that have significantly higher levels of tannins are the better wines to pick. While it’s difficult to know exactly what wine is better when you’re out shopping, remember these things: Dry wines are better than sweet wines. Also, red wines with lower alcohol content (13% ABV or lower) are better than stronger, high-alcohol wines.
3. Wine has been drunk for at least 9,000 years.
Historians say that this was the time when the earliest vineyards were arranged in the Middle East and spread around the Mediterranean through the Etruscans and Phoenicians. They were the original winemakers. The French soon started copying the winemaking process, which is why they often get credit for inventing wine.
4. The oldest bottle of wine is over 1,650 years old.
Known as the Römerwein, or the Speyer wine bottle, the oldest bottle of wine is at least 1,650 years old. This dates back to the 4th century. The bottle is a 1.5-liter glass vessel discovered during the excavation of a Roman nobleman’s tomb in Germany. It was buried around 350 CE and was found again in 1867.
5. California is the fourth large-scale producer of wine in the world.
If California is to become its own country, it will be the fourth-largest producer of wine after France, Italy, and Spain.
6. As red wines age, the color becomes lighter.
As the wine ages, the color becomes less intense. Super old wines are pale and translucent in color.
7. Almost all red wines in the market are made from one species of grape.
The common red wines, including Merlot, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah, are made from one species of the grape: Vitis vinifera. There are other wine species, but they are rarely used for making wine. So, Vitis vinifera is commonly considered as the wine grape species.
8. Red wines commonly contain fewer sulfites than white wines.
Since the color of wine comes from grape skins and not the juice itself, it’s possible to make white wine using red grapes. And it’s more common than you think. For instance, a Blanc de Noirs Champagne is a white sparkling wine made with red grapes that make Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.
9. There’s a reason why wine bottles are usually green.
The dark green wine bottle is an English invention made by Sir Kenelm Digby around the 1600s. Before that time, wine is kept in goatskin bags. The main reason for keeping wine in the dark green bottles is to prevent wines from oxidation. Too much oxygen can get the flavors of the wine to get duller. However, wines contain natural antioxidants to prevent oxidation from occurring. But still, sunlight can break down both the antioxidants and the tannins on the wine. This is why wine glass bottles are tinted to block out sunlight and preserve the antioxidants.
10. Wine has significantly higher antioxidant content than fruit juices.
To get the same amount of antioxidants you can find in wine, you need to drink seven glasses of orange juice or 20 glasses of apple juice. Due to it’s antioxidant properties, wine is regarded as a great drink to lower cholesterol.
11. Wine tastings are more of “wine smellings.”
When you go to wine tastings – you’ll notice that people smell the wine more often than actually tasting it. Top sommeliers say that smell is the essential sense to notice when it comes to drinking wine.
12. One of the top champagne experts in the world can correctly identify 43 out of 50 champagnes.
In 2003, a man named Richard Juhlin shocked and surprised the wine-tasting world at a champagne blind tasting competition in Paris. During the event, Juhlin was able to identify the producer, the year, and brand of 43 out of 50 champagnes. It was an impressive feat because the second placer was only able to identify four champagnes.
13. Wine may cause cancer in the digestive tract.
While wine has many medical benefits, it can slightly increase the risk of contracting some kinds of cancer affecting the digestive tract, particularly the esophagus.
14. Sweet wine is best stored in the fridge.
Chilling the wine tones down its sweetness. If the red wine becomes too warm, it may lose some of its fruity flavors.
15. “Cheers” ritual started back in the Middle Ages.
Back then, poisoning drinks were a favorite way of people to get rid of an enemy. To make sure that the glass is poison-free, drinkers would pour a bit of wine into each other’s glass. If the glasses were filled to the brim, they clink it hard so that a bit of alcohol would pour into the other. Mixing the drinks after the “cheers” and then taking a sip became proof that the drinks were unharmed.
16. A glass of wine consists of juice from one cluster of grapes.
Yes, drinking a glass of wine is equal to eating a cluster of grapes – only with alcohol added. That’s equal to 75 grapes.
17. Wine covered in snake blood can be ordered in Vietnam.
In Vietnam, some restaurants can offer a glass of cobra wine. They will serve a rice wine covered with snake blood that is killed on the spot. It’s a bit disgusting, as the meat of the snake is included in the drink. The rice wine is sharp and earthy, and the presence of the snake adds a fishy or chicken-like flavor.
18. A red wine glass must have an angled edge that points slightly inward.
A red wine glass must have an edge that is angled slightly inward. This design makes it easier for the person to smell the aroma of the wine.
19. Hippocrates recommended wine as treatment for many ailments.
Hippocrates, who is known as the father of Western medicine, used wine in many of his recorded remedies for ailments, including lethargy, diarrhea, and labor pains. He also use it for lower fevers as a general antiseptic.
20. A wine glass must be held by the stem.
Have you ever wondered why wine glasses have stems? There’s actually a right way to hold a glass – it must be held by the stem, so the temperature of wine doesn’t rise.
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