14 facts about wine you may not have known…

1. Drinking wine can improve your sex life

This is perhaps one of the most amazing and interesting facts about wine – when consumed regularly it can actually help to boost your sex drive! An Italian study showed that women who have 2 glasses of wine daily, enjoy physical pleasure much more intensely than women who don’t drink wine at all. A very good reason to start drinking wine, isn’t it?!

2. The world’s biggest red wine consumers are the Chinese but a really small country is rocking first place per capita basis…

The Chinese drank their way to a record 155 million 9-litre cases of red wine in 2013, thereby surpassing the French whose consumption decreased by 18 % to 150 million cases. The increasing popularity of red wine in China is largely due to the fact that red is considered to be a lucky color. This symbolic importance combined with the health improving virtues of the drink, encourage Chinese to grab a bottle from the supermarket shelf more and more often.

But which country drinks the most wine per capita? The Vatican with 74 liters per capita per year which is about 99 bottles of 75cl per year!

3. We have monks to thank for our wine

Monastic orders such as the Cistercians and Benedictines preserved and innovated the art of winemaking during the Middle Ages. It is thanks to their research and indefatigable efforts we have such an elaborate winemaking technology today. One of the world’s most famous Champagnes Dom Pérignon was named after a monk. Dom Pierre Pérignon (1638-1715), an early advocate of organic wine-making, experimented with new methods, successfully improving the winemaking process. His practices and techniques are still used today.

4. Not every wine improves your health

Red wines are known to contain many beneficial antioxidants such as polyphenol and resveratrol that have cardio-protective effects and anti-cancer properties. Grape skin is especially rich in antioxidants. Since red wine is fermented together with its skin, it has more antioxidants than white wine which is processed without its skin.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but white wine may even slightly increase the risk of contracting cancer, especially of the digestive tract, as some studies show. So, don’t drink more than 1 or 2 glasses of wine per day!

5. Women get drunk faster then men from wine because of their water to fat ratio

Women usually tolerate less alcohol than men, but this has nothing to do with their body weight or size. If a woman and a man of the same size and build drank the same amount of wine, the woman would still show a higher blood alcohol concentration (BAC). This is because women have a higher fat content than men and fat does not absorb any alcohol. The intoxicant therefore spreads to less liquid, leading to a higher BAC – so no challenging your boyfriend to a drinking competition ladies, at least not with vino…

6. Wine was discovered about 6,000 years ago in the Middle East

The earliest remnants of wine were discovered in Iran, dating back to the Neolithic period (8500-4000 B.C.). The oldest evidence of cultivated vines were found in Georgia, dating from 7000-5000 B.C. It is supposed that the drink originally fermented by mistake. Native yeasts accidentally came in contact with grapes stored in containers, turning the sugars in the grapes into alcohol.

The art of winemaking was later refined by the Egyptians and spread throughout the Mediterranean by the Greek. The Romans made it popular all over Europe and the Spanish as well as other Europeans took their brew to the New World, Oceania and South Africa.

7. There are folks that are afraid of wine

Yes, really! Amazingly, there are people around the world who hate wine and there’s even a name for it, it is called “oenophobia”.

8. Wine doesn’t make you fat

While beer produces a beer belly, wine does not affect your waistline at all – hallelujah!  In fact recent studies showed that “women who routinely drank moderate amounts of alcohol, totalling about one drink per day, carried almost 10 pounds less body fat than women who did not drink at all”. Experts believe that the calories in alcohol are not metabolised in the same way as calories from carbohydrates, fats or protein. So if you are about to start a diet to lose weight, then you should consider having a glass of wine instead of chocolate pudding for dessert.

 9. The tradition of “cheers” began because of suspicious Romans…

The custom of bumping glasses with a “cheers” greeting came from old Rome where they used this method to make sure no one is trying to poison the other (bumping glasses makes the drink spill from one cup to the other). This tradition started even earlier in ancient Greece – where the host was to drink the first cup of wine to show his guests he does not intend to poison them.

10. Speaking of Rome…

In ancient Rome it was forbidden for women to drink wine. If a husband found his wife drinking wine he would be allowed, by law, to kill her. Thankfully, that is no longer the case!

11. Ancient Egyptians were not wine fans at all

An ancient civilisation that did not like wine was Egypt. The old kings avoided wine from the belief that the red alcoholic beverage is actually the blood of men who tried to fight the gods and failed. This is why, according to the Egyptians, people can act irrationally while drinking it (alcohol).

12. When alcohol was banned in USA, grape juice companies cashed in in a crafty way! 

During the prohibition period in the United States, grape juice concentrate manufacturers took advantage of the big drinking lust Americans had and put a warning sticker on their product saying “After you mix the concentrate with water, please do not keep the mix in a barrel for 20 days – as it will turn into wine.” Sneaky!

13. The world champion of recognising wines purely by smell managed to guess 43 out of 50 wines correctly

The world champion of recognising wine by smell was crowned in 2003. Richard Juhlin, a sport ed from Sweden, was able to recognise 43 wines out of 50. For comparison – second place was only able to recognise 4 of them.

14.  Wine should be stored lying down and in a cool, dark place

Although the temptation is great – try not to keep your wine in the kitchen. The heat there is too much and may damage the wine’s quality. Unfortunately, the fridge is no place for a wine either since it is just too cold. Find a cool dark closet somewhere in the house where you can keep all your bottles, or get a wine cellar.

Also, if you own a collection of bottles – don’t keep them standing up because this can cause the cork to dry and shrink, allowing oxygen\air to get in the bottle. Always keep the bottles lying down (Unless its an artificial cork.)