“Wine is bottled poetry”, this was said by none less than Scottish author and poet Robert Louis Stevenson the man behind Treasure Island. Wine is after all one of the most celebrated beverages across the world. What makes it such a treasured drink is perhaps the fact that it is a blend of alcohol with such nice taste, flavors, and aroma. It is good for health, grand for celebration and perhaps one of the nicest things to gift someone. This beverage has stood witness to the journey of the human civilization. Here we celebrate this drink by taking look at 11 amazing things that you may not have known about wine.
1.Greeks Showed The World How To Toast
You may have raised a toast on several occasions but never really cared to know about the origin of the term. Like many good things in the world, it was the Ancient Greeks who started this tradition. In ancient Rome, the Senate honored Emperor Augustus dropped a piece of burnt toast in a glass of wine to reduce wine’s ‘ugly’ flavors. They referred to the burnt toast as ‘tostus’ and that’s where the tradition began and every celebration in the world is incomplete without raising a toast.
2.“Drinking to one’s health” Has Cruel Origin
You often drink wine to someone’s health but do you know the origin of this tradition? In the ancient world, it was common to poison an adversary or enemy by poisoning the drink. It was customary in Ancient Greece for the host to drink from the primary cup assuring the guests that the drink hadn’t been poisoned. This assurance soon turned into a tradition of drinking to someone’s health and saying a few good prayers before sharing a drink in a group.
3.Oldest Wine – 1700 Years and Counting
You have heard that wine gets better with age and by that theory Speyer (Römerwein) Wine Bottle would surely be the best in the world. It is said to date back to 325 AD and was found in a Roman tomb in the city of Speyer, Germany in 1867. The bottle which contains around 1.5 liters of wine is regularly displayed but remains unopened despite the efforts of the scientific community to open it and analyze the drink inside. We wonder what would it be to taste this drink and can there be a price put on it.
4.Wine Law in 1800 BC!
You are aware of all the compliances winemakers have to meet in the modern world. But this isn’t new as there was written the law in Babylon as early as 1800 BC. It was mentioned in the famous Code of Hammurabi written on a rock in ancient Mesopotamia. Among the 282 legal guidelines that were mentioned on the rock, one was to do with the fraudulent sale of alcohol. Offenders would be drowned in the river for breaking the law! Fraudulent wine sellers are better off in the modern world!
5.Think Symposium, But It Isn’t An Academic Gathering!
Think of the term ‘symposium’ and you can be excused for thinking it to be a typical academic gathering where subjects are debated at an expert level. But for the ancient Greeks, it was an occasion to drink wine! Yes, you hear that right. In Ancient Greece, symposium meant a get-together where the elite minds would engage in expert discussion over a glass of wine. So if you are attending one soon you can carry a bottle of wine and share the true meaning of the term with others in the meet.
6.All Wines Don’t Improve With Age
You have heard it and we have also mentioned above that wine tastes better with age. Au contraire (to the contrary as the French would say) not all wines improve with age. In fact, the vast majority or nearly 90% of wines taste best within one year of bottling. Every wine tastes best for a certain period which wine tasters call a plateau. This plateau varies, and for most wines that you can lay your hands on it is best within a year or so. So the next time you buy wine doesn’t waste time aging it!
7.Fairer Sex are Better Wine Tasters
All the wine tasters you know of or have seen on magazines and TV are likely to be male. But it is actually the fairer sex that should be doing the job as they are better wine tasters. Why? Wine tasting is as much to do with taste as it is about the odor and no guy in the world can beat girls in this game. Hormonally girls are inborn with a better sense of smell while both the genders are on the equal platform in terms of taste buds. You have your answer.
8.Armenia Was Making Wines in 4000 BC
While it is hard to put a time-frame on where the first wine production began archaeologists have been able to unearth the secrets of the oldest winery in the world. Believe it or not, it dates back to 4000 BC. A few hundred miles north of the capital Yerevan in the village of Areni archaeologists discovered this winery inside a cave beside many artifacts that relate to wine production. And the village and the surrounding area are still renowned for wine production with some of the best wines in the world coming from this small region.
9.Sugar is added to some Wines
Do you live with the belief that all the sugar in wines come from grapes. Well, that is only partially true! While the sugar in most wines does come from grapes and that’s how wine is supposed to be in some cases beet or cane sugar is added to the wines in case the grapes being used aren’t perfectly ripe. This process is called as chaptalization. Without the right quantity of sugar, grapes don’t get fermented into alcohol.
10.Wine Is As Good As Beer or Spirits in Health Benefits
For years it was believed that mild intake of red wine can help in reducing the risk of cardiac problem mainly heart attacks. This belief was so much so that many cardiac patients used wine as a means to contain this ailment. Recent studies have however shown that red wine’s benefits don’t exceed that of beer or other spirits in reducing the chances of heart attacks when taken in mind quantities. Your list of beverages for cardiac problems has just increased!
11.Climate Change May Hit Wine Industry
The threats of climate change are well known and documented. And like everything else you can think about it would also a serious threat to the wind industry. Alarming as it may sound but a 2006 study suggested that rise in global temperature would shrink the premier wine making regions in the United States by 81%. The story around the world would be quite the same. It is perhaps your best reason to fight climate change!