14 Interesting Wine Facts

Karen Frazier

Fun Facts About Wine

As one of the oldest beverages known to man, there are so many different interesting facts about wine. Some, especially those about the positive health benefits of wine, are pretty well known by the wine drinking public. Here, you will find some of the lesser known, but no less interesting, facts about wine.

Wine Is Nearly Guilt-Free Beverage

Wine is almost guilt free, as it contains no fat and zero cholesterol. Dry wines are much lower in carbs and calories than sweet wines, so if you're watching your waistline, choose a dry red or white wine.

Wines Were Used as Ancient Prescriptions

When Hippocrates wrote out what would be modern day prescriptions (those that have been found and recorded), almost all of his "prescriptions" included wine as a cure for what ailed his patients. Even today, research suggests wine has a number of health benefits, particularly red wine, which contains higher levels of polyphenols and resveratrol than white wines.

Climate Change Will Affect the Wine Industry

Researchers believe climate change will have a hugely negative impact on winemaking as the warming of the earth dramatically affects how and where grapes are grown and whether they can be successfully harvested. As the temperature warms up, drought and heat may make some of the world's greatest wine regions non-productive.

Women Metabolize Wine Differently

Women metabolize wine more quickly than men due to the physiological makeup of their stomach linings. Both men and women have enzymes in their stomachs that work to break down and digest wine, women just happen to have less of this enzyme.

Shiraz Originated in Iran

It is believed that the Shiraz grape found its origins in Iran, a Muslim country that does not drink wine. Wine was banned in most all Muslim countries about 10 years after the death of the Prophet Mohammed, whose passing is widely believed to be around 632 A.D.

Wine Contains Antioxidants

You would have to drink 20 glasses of apple juice to receive the same antioxidant benefits of one glass of red wine. If you prefer orange juice, you'll need to down seven glasses. Wine's primary antioxidant is resveratrol, which is in higher concentration in red wines than it is in white wines.

Wine's Has Organic Compounds

Wine has so many organic compounds that it's structural makeup is considered more complex than that of blood serum. Blood serum is the liquid left over when the fibrinogen and red and white blood cells have been removed.

Critter Wines Are on the Rise

Wine bottles that feature animals on the label are affectionately referred to as "critter wines." Yellow Tail wine from Australia with its image of a wallaby was one of the first "critter label" wines, and the trend has grown in recent years, particularly in Australia and around the world.

Titanic Wine Cellar Sits on Ocean Floor

The Titanic wreckage contains what is considered one of oldest known wine cellars. Even though the Titanic sits at around 12,000 to 13,000 feet below the ocean's surface, most of the wine bottles in the cellar were found to be intact. Most of the wines remain on the ocean floor, undisturbed.

The Most Expensive Wine

The most expensive bottle of wine ever sold was a 1945 Domaine Romanee-Conti Burgundy sold in Sotheby's auction in 2018. The collector paid $558,000 for the 750 mL bottle. Another bottle of the same wine sold shortly thereafter for $496,000. Both bottles came from the cellar of Burgundy winemaker Robert Drouhin.

There Are 10,000 Wine Grape Varieties

There are more than 10,000 varieties of wine grapes planted around the world. Of those, the most popular and common grapes are referred to as the Six Noble Grapes: Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot.

Most Widely Planted Wine Grape Varietal

Cabernet Sauvignon is the world's most widely planted grape varietal. Worldwide, there are more than 713,000 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon planted. The most widely planted white varietal is Airén, a lesser-known Spanish grape. There are around 625,000 acres of Airén planted. White Airén is used in many Spanish white wine blends, its primary use is in brandy.

Orange Wine Is a Thing

You've probably heard of red wine, white wine, and rosé, but are you aware of a fourth color category of wines called orange wine? In the case of wine, orange describes the color and not the flavor. Orange wines have a peachy or orange-ish tint. They are made by processing white wine grapes as if making red wines; the crushed grapes are left to macerate with the skin and seeds for a period before the winemaking process continues.

Eating Artichokes Alters Wine's Flavors

Artichokes contain a chemical called cynarin that alters your taste buds, causing everything to taste slightly sweet. Because of this, when you drink wine while eating artichokes, it alters the flavors of the wine causing even dry and acidic wines to have a sweet, flat taste to them. If you're having artichokes, the best wine to pair is a crisp, high acid, very dry wine.

Ben Franklin Wine Quote

Finally, this last interesting facts about wine isn't a fact at all, it's a quote from Benjamin Franklin who said, "Wine makes daily life easy, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance."

Karen Frazier
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14 Interesting Wine Facts