Whether you are new to wine, or are a long-time expert, the following fun facts may come in handy during your next conversation about wine:
- According to the experts, the vineyards that are the origin of wine as we know it today, have existed on the earth since the Ice Age.
2. The ancient Greeks never drank pure wine. They used to mix it with water to avoid the symptoms of drunkenness, which was considered a symbol of lack of civilization.
3. Wines receive their name both from the variety of grapes they come from and from the geographical area or place where they are produced.
4. There are different characteristics by which wine can be classified:
For its color: The three main varieties are white, rosé and red wine.
By its main flavor: there are also three main groups: dry, semi-sweet, and sweet wines.
By its age: according to the year of harvest of the grapes used for its elaboration.
5. The oldest bottle of wine is more than 1600 years old and is in the Historical Museum of Pfalz in Germany. It was buried in 350 A.D. and rediscovered in 1867
6. Hippocrates, recognized as the father of medicine, stated that, in the right dose, wine cures several diseases.
7. Old wine is not always better than younger varieties. In fact, only some wines improve with aging.
8. A glass of wine contains on average 100 to 120 calories.
9. There are people who have a rare fear of wine. This condition is called “enophobia”.
10. The ancient Greeks believed in a god who protected the vineyards and the wine. The name of this god was Dionysus.
11. Monks were the most innovative winemakers during the Middle Ages. Many contributions to the winemaking procedure are attributed to their communities and congregations.
12. The shape of the container in which the wine is tasted matters. Most wine glasses are specially designed to direct the wine to key areas of the tongue and nose so that the drinker can fully enjoy the taste and aromas of the wine.
13. The oldest known winery is the Titanic, which is submerged in the sea. Most of the bottles in this winery were still intact while the divers explored the remains of the ocean liner.
14. The worst option for wine storage at home is the kitchen. This room is usually warmer than the rest of the house, which affects the characteristics of the wine. The refrigerator is also not a good place to store wine, since its atmosphere is too cold, which also affects the characteristics of the wine. If it is not possible to have a wine cellar, the best storage option would be a closet, considering the space to place the wine bottles in the right position.
15. The origin of the expressions of joy used to toast “salute”, “health”, has a meaning related to “drinking for health”. This origin comes from antiquity, where the host was the first to drink the wine served, showing the guests that the wine was not poisoned.
Author: Maria Athanasopoulou is the founder of Respond on Demand Ltd and chair of the Board of Directors of the World Food Travel Association (WFTA). She serves as WFTA’s Certified Ambassador to Greece and is also a Master of Arts in Culinary Travel.
Edited by: Lilí Torres C.